EU's top court to rule on extradition of Pole from Holland

On October 12, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) will hold a hearing on extradition of a Pole to Poland, which had been previously refused by a Dutch court over concerns that the Poland's courts are no longer independent.

In January 2019, the Netherlands suspended the extradition of 11 suspects to Poland. In a statement on the matter, the Amsterdam-based International Legal Aid Chamber (IRK) wrote that the decision arose from concerns about the independence and fairness of Polish courts. The chamber stated that it needed more information about the cases from the Polish side before deciding further in the matter.

The IRK ruling followed a 2018 EU Court of Justice (CJEU) ruling ordaining the suspension of European Arrests Warrants (EAWs) in cases where their subjects are at risk of unfair court proceedings. The ruling was a response to a query from an Irish court which halted the extradition of an EAW-sought Pole to Poland on rule of law grounds.

In the ruling, the CJEU cited the EC's rule of law objections to Polish court reforms and the resulting activation of the EU's sanctioning Article 7 against Poland and decreed that assessments of the rule of law situation in Poland should be carried out by EU courts.