Minister for Justice, Equality and law Reform v Valdemaras Altaravicius, Respondent (No. 2)

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr. Justice John MacMenamin
Judgment Date31 July 2006
Neutral Citation[2006] IEHC 270
CourtHigh Court
Docket Number[No. 8 Ext/2005],[2005 No.
Date31 July 2006
MIN FOR JUSTICE v ALTARAVICIUS
IN THE MATTER OF THE EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003 (AS AMENDED)

BETWEEN

MINISTER FOR JUSTICE, EQUALITY AND LAW REFORM
APPLICANT

AND

VALDEMARAS ALTARAVICIUS
RESPONDENT

[2006] IEHC 270

[No. 8 Ext/2005]

THE HIGH COURT

EXTRADITION:

European arrest warrant

Statutory interpretation - Words and phrases - âÇÿJudicial authority' - Principles to be applied - Ejusdem generis - Whether judicial authority stated on face of warrant being competent judicial authority - Whether prosecutor general judicial authority for purposes of European arrest warrant - CaseC-105/03 Criminal Pupino [2006] QB 83 and Enander v Governor of Brixton Prison [2005] EWHC 3036 (Admin), [2006] 1 CMLR 37 considered - Framework Decision 2005/584/JHA, art 6(1) - European Arrest Warrant Act 2003 (No 45), ss 2 and 4A - Surrender order (2005/8 Ext - MacMenamin J - 31/7/2006) [2006] IEHC 270 Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform v Altaravicius

: The respondent asserted

inter alia that his arrest and surrender was not in accordance with the Framework Decisions 2002/584/JHA, that the Prosecutors General's Office of the Republic of Lithuania was not a judicial authority for the purposes of the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003, the offences alleged predated Lithuania's membership of the European Union and that the warrant failed to specify the circumstances in which the alleged offence was committed.

Held by MacMenamin J., in refusing the reliefs sought, that the purported judicial authority was a correct one. There was correspondence of offences here. The Framework Decision was intended to apply to all acts including those prior to its commencement.

Reporter: E.F.

CRIMINAL CODE OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA ART 180 PAR 1

EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003 S16

EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003 S2

CONSTITUTION ART 40.4.1

MIN FOR JUSTICE v STAPLETON UNREP HIGH COURT PEART 21.2.2006 2006/40/8565

TREATY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ART 34(2)(b)

EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003 S11(1)(d)

EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003 S11(1)(f)

TREATY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ART 34

EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003 S10

EUROPEAN UNION COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION 13.6.2002 (EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003) RECITAL 5

EUROPEAN UNION COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION 13.6.2002 (EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003) ART 1.2

EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003 S4

EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003 S20

MIN FOR JUSTICE v FALLON AKA O FALLUIN UNREP HIGH COURT FINLAY GEOGHEGAN J 9.9.2005 2005/38/7997

DUNDON v GOVERNOR OF CLOVERHILL PRISON 2006 I ILRM 321

ENANDER v GOVERNOR OF HM PRISON BRIXTON & ANOR 2005 EWHC 3036

EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003 S33

CRIMINAL JUSTICE (TERRORIST OFFENCES) ACT 2005 S4(a)

ALMAND v SMITHWICK 1995 1 ILRM 61

EUROPEAN UNION COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION 13.6.2002 (EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003) ART 6(1)

EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003 S2(1)

EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003 S33(5)

EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003 CHAPTER II

BACKING OF WARRANTS (IRL) ACT 1965 (UK)

EXTRADITION ACT 1965 S202(4)

EUROPEAN UNION COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION 13.6.2002 (EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003) ART 6

EUROPEAN UNION COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION 13.6.2002 (EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003) ART 6(3)

DPP v FARRELL 1978 IR 13

IRISH COMMERCIAL SOCIETY v PLUNKETT 1986 IR 228

CW SHIPPING LTD v LIMERICK HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS 1989 ILRM 416

QUAZI v QUAZI 1979 3 AER 897

EXTRADITION ACT 1989 S202 (UK)

STATUTORY INTERPRETATION BENNION 4ED 1054

CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST MARIA PUPINO C-105/03 COURT (GRAND CHAMBER) 16.06.2005

CRILLY v FARRINGTON 2001 3 IR 251 2002 1 ILRM 161

CRIMINAL JUSTICE (TERRORIST OFFENCES) ACT 2005 S70

EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003 S5

AG v DYER 2004 1 IR 40 2004 1 ILRM 542

CRIMINAL JUSTICE (THEFT & FRAUD) OFFENCES ACT 2001 S14

CRIMINAL JUSTICE (THEFT & FRAUD) OFFENCES ACT 2001 S4

EUROPEAN UNION COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION 13.6.2002 (EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003) ART 3

EUROPEAN UNION COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION 13.6.2002 (EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003) ART 4

EUROPEAN UNION COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION 13.6.2002 (EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT ACT 2003) ART 32

1

JUDGMENT of Mr. Justice John MacMenamin dated the 31st day of July, 2006 .

2

The respondent herein is a citizen of Lithuania born on 13th November, 1983. It is alleged that on 28th December, 2001 he in the company of a number of others using mental coercion or physical violence against two juveniles stole from one of them a mobile phone contrary to paragraph 1, Article 180 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania. The allegation in question is punishable by detention or imprisonment for a term of up to six years in the Republic of Lithuania.

3

On 30th December, 2004 Ms. Vaida Urmonaité the Deputy Prosecutor General of the Republic of Lithuania acting in the capacity of issuing judicial authority or its representative signed a European Arrest Warrant. The warrant states that the issuing of judicial authority was the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Lithuania. The signatory and her official position are set out, as is the nature and legal classification of the alleged offence.

4

The European Arrest Warrant (hereinafter "the warrant") was endorsed for execution on 5th April, 2005. The respondent was thereafter arrested on 15th April, 2005 and brought before the High Court on that date. He was released on bail pending the hearing of an application under s. 16 of the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003 (as amended) (hereinafter "the Act of 2003"). On 29th April, 2005 the respondent filed and served what was a series "points of objection" setting out grounds upon which he then sought to resist his surrender to Lithuania.

5

Thereafter the matter was adjourned on a number of occasions to allow the respondent and his lawyers to obtain the advice of an expert in Lithuanian law. These adjournments were apparently sought in order to enable the defendant to deal with, and rebut if necessary, various presumptions incorporated in the Act of 2003. An adjournment was first sought for this purpose on 5th May, 2003, later adjournments of the hearing of the s. 16 application were granted to the respondent on 10th May, 2005 and 28th June, 2005. No affidavit has been filed by an expert in Lithuanian law on any issue arising herein.

6

A Notice of Constitutional Issues challenging the constitutionality of provisions of the Act of 2003 was later served and filed by the respondent on 20th July, 2003. The hearing date of the s. 16 application was finally set for the 27th October, 2005.

7

On 25th October, 2005 a letter was sent by the respondent's solicitors to the applicants solicitors seeking a copy of the Lithuanian court order referred to at paragraph B of the warrant. This document is the domestic Arrest Warrant issued on 8th February, 2002 District Court of Kedainiai Region in Lithuania ("the Domestic Warrant).

8

No challenge had been made to the validity of the Domestic Warrant in the final points of objection or the notice of constitutional issues. Furthermore although the matter was adjourned on a number of occasions following the execution of the warrant for reasons earlier outlined, the respondent did not seek a copy of this Domestic Warrant prior to 25th October, 2005. No reason was vouchsafed in the letter as to why he might require sight of a copy of the Domestic Warrant.

9

On 27th October, 2005 the date assigned for hearing of the s. 16 application the respondent sought an order from the High Court directing the applicant to produce or make discovery of the said Domestic Warrant prior to the hearing of the application. Following submissions in relation to this preliminary application Peart J. reserved judgment on the preliminary issues raised. On 29th November, 2005 this court ordered that a copy of the Domestic Warrant be produced to the High Court and furnished to the respondent prior to any hearing of the application under s. 16 of the Act. The applicant successfully appealed this decision to the Supreme Court. In its decision of the 5th April, 2006, the Supreme Court reversed the order of the learned High Court and the matter was remitted for the hearing of the s. 16 application to this court.

The Matters now in Issue
10

The points of objection comprise 26 in number. However Mr. David Keane, Barrister-at-Law (who appeared with Mr. Brian Conroy, Barrister-at-Law) on behalf of the respondent has helpfully indicated that there is one central issue which falls for determination. It does not dissent from the proposition that it fails on this point, no other issues are seriously addressed in his submission.

11

For ease of reference the issues will be recited in brief.

12

Points 1 and 2 Assert the arrest and surrender of the respondent was not in accordance with law or in compliance with the Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA Council Framework Decision Council of the European Union of the 13th June, 2002.

13

Points 3, 4 and 5 are the central issues which arise for consideration in this judgment. These relate to the question as to whether the competent judicial authority stated on the face of the warrant that is the "Prosecutor's General Office of the Republic of Lithuania" is a "judicial authority" that term is defined in s. 2 of the Act of 2003. Under this rubric issues arise as to the interpretation of s. 2 of that Act.

14

The applicant was also put on proof that the offence recited in the warrant is robbery as defined is an offence known to Irish law (points 6 and 7).

15

The respondent also relies on points 8 and 9 which raise issues as to the retrospective operation of the Act of 2003 (point 8 and 9).

16

An objection under point 10 is raised wherein it is averred that the provisions of the Act as amended is repugnant to Article 40.4.1 of the Constitution of...

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