The absence of the accused in criminal proceedings leading to a conviction causes many legal and practical questions when an European Arrest Warrant is issued to execute such an in absentia judgment. Whereas some Member States see no problem in allowing trials without the accused, other Member States have serious objections to it. These different standards create many problems in practice and necessitate the executing judicial authority to request supplementary information from the issuing judicial authority, leading to delays and extra costs. It may result in – sometimes unjustified – refusals to execute the EAW. This study identifies the problems concerning the application of Article 4a(1) Framework Decision 2002/584 on in absentia judgments and proposes both practical and legislative solutions. It intends to contribute to a reduction of the number of in absentia cases, speeding up the surrender proceedings and raising the safeguards for the individual.
Kei Hannah Brodersen is a PhD candidate at Maastricht University. Vincent Glerum is legal advisor (District Court of Amsterdam) and professor of International and European Criminal Law (University of Groningen). André Klip is professor of Criminal (Procedural) Law (Maastricht University), member ofthe Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences and judge (’s-Hertogenbosch Court of Appeal).