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Romanian prison conditions would not expose respondent to real risk of breach of fundamental rights

By: James Cross BL

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High Court, in European Arrest Warrant proceedings, orders the surrender of the respondent to Romania to serve sentence of imprisonment, on the grounds that: correspondence with offences in Irish law was established; the Court was satisfied that the statutory requirements for trials in absentia had been complied with; the Court was satisfied that prison conditions in Romania would not amount to a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights; and there are no substantial reasons for believing that, if surrendered, the respondent would be exposed to a real risk of a breach of his fundamental rights as a result of the likely prison conditions he will face.

European arrest warrant – Romanian authorities seeking the surrender of the respondent to enforce a sentence of five years and 22 days’ imprisonment – points of objection – correspondence - correspondence has been established between the offence of illegal tree felling as referred to in the EAW and an offence under the law of this State, viz. an offence contrary to s. 27(10) of the Forestry Act, 2014 and also an offence of criminal damage contrary s. 2 of the Criminal Damage Act, 1991 - correspondence can be established between the other offence to which the EAW relates and an offence under the law of the State, viz. attempted murder – trial in absentia - not present when the sentence of five years and 22 days’ imprisonment was imposed and that the statutory requirements for trials in absentia were not met - satisfied that the respondent did not appear at the trial at first instance and was represented by a lawyer appointed by the court – on appeal represented by a lawyer of his choice - in relation to the tree felling offence, the respondent was present for the trial which resulted in his original conviction and suspended sentence – Court satisfied that the statutory requirements had been complied with - satisfied that the defence rights of the respondent were given effect at the hearing before the appeal court – prison conditions - submits that the likely conditions in which the respondent would be detained were such as would amount to a breach of his right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment as recognised in Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights - satisfied that the conditions of detention set out in the said letter are the conditions in which the respondent is likely to be detained and same would not amount to a breach of Article 3 ECHR – whether the respondent would be afforded a minimum of three square metres personal space - not satisfied that there are substantial reasons for believing that, if surrendered, the respondent would be exposed to a real risk of a breach of his fundamental rights as a result of the likely prison conditions he will face - satisfied that the surrender of the respondent is not incompatible with the State’s obligations in that regard and would not contravene any provision of the Constitution – surrender ordered –

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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