Commission to Appear as Amicus Curiae in Case
The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (‘the Commission’) has
been granted liberty from the Supreme Court to exercise its amicus curiae (‘friend
of the court’) function in an internationally significant case relating to the
European Arrest Warrant system and an individual’s right to a fair trial.
The case (Artur Celmer v. Minister for Justice and Equality) has
been appealed directly from the High Court to the Supreme Court as it is of
significant public importance. The case centres on the requested extradition of
Mr. Artur Celmer, a Polish national, to Poland under the European Arrest
Warrant system, where concerns have been raised by Mr. Celmer over recent
legislative changes in Poland about the independence of the judiciary, the
courts and the Public Prosecutor. These changes, according to Mr. Celmer,
undermine the possibility of him having a fair trial.
In the High Court in November 2018, Ms. Justice Donnelly found that
concerns raised by Mr. Celmer in relation to Poland’s judicial independence did
not reach the threshold of amounting to a real risk of a flagrant denial of his
right to a fair trial. On that basis, the High Court ordered Mr. Celmer’s
surrender on each of three European Arrest Warrants, however that decision has
been appealed to the Supreme Court.
The November High Court judgment came following a referral of two
questions by the High Court in Dublin to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU)
As amicus curiae, the Commission will assist the Supreme
Court by making submissions drawing on international and domestic law in
relation to extradition proceedings.
Emily Logan Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality
“The Commission will now exercise our amicus curiae role to assist
the Supreme Court in its adjudication of the right to a fair trial issues at
question. This case will be significant in ensuring that there is clarity
around determining whether or not extradition should be granted when a fair
trial issue arises in the execution of European Arrest Warrants.”