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Case law

Federal Constitutional Court, 2 BvR 890/16

September 2016 - Germany

Presumption of innocence
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The German Federal Constitutional Court found that extraditions pursuant to a European Arrest Warrant are permissible even if the right not to incriminate oneself is not guaranteed to the same extent in the requesting state as it is under German criminal procedural law and guaranteed by the German Constitution.

In this case, the defendant was requested by the United Kingdom from Germany. The possibility under British criminal procedural law to use the accused’s silence to their detriment under certain circumstances was found to be in contradiction with the right not to incriminate oneself as applicable under German criminal law and enshrined in the German Basic Law. However, the Federal Court found that this does not violate the German constitutional principles, which are beyond the reach of European integration. Only where the core content of the right not to incriminate oneself, which is inherent to human dignity, is affected, Art. 1 of the Basic Law is violated. The Court thereby did not admit the argument put forward by the complainant and subsequently accepted his extradition to the United Kingdom for the purpose of criminal prosecution.

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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