The European Arrest Warrant and EU Citizenship
PhD student: Mrs Dr J.J.M. Graat
Promotors: Prof S.A. de Vries, Dr A. van den Brink, M. Luchtman
Duration: 15/1/2015 - 15/1/2019
PhD defence: Utrecht, 18/3/2022
This dissertation discusses foreseeability problems which citizens travelling in the EU could encounter. For instance, a Dutch national who causes a traffic accident in Germany and kills a French national could be subjected to three different national criminal laws. However, to what extent could this Dutch national have foreseen the application of French law? This question regarding the foreseeability of a national criminal law is relevant, since the investigatory measures which could be used and sanctions which could be imposed for the criminal conduct may differ in the three states. In addition, France could issue a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) which facilitates the surrender of the Dutch national to France for the purpose of prosecution, regardless of the difficulties to foresee the application of French law. In light of the objective of the EU to offer its citizens an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) in which safety and free movement are guaranteed, this dissertation argues that the foreseeability problems clash with fundamental rights, such as the substantive legality principle (the right to a law which clearly describes criminal offenses and sanctions). As EU citizens often encounter these foreseeability problems when exercising their free movement rights, they should be protected by fundamental rights whose scope reflects both the free movement and security dimension of the AFSJ. This dissertation provides recommendations for such a ‘transnational’ interpretation of the legality principle and for EU legislation that could adequately solve the foreseeability problems and the role of the EAW therein.
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