How to be a Third Pillar guardian of fundamental rights? The Irish Supreme Court and the European arrest warrant

Elaine L. Fahey, Dublin Institute of Technology

Document Type Article

Published version: (2008) 33 E.L. REV. August © SWEET & MAXWELL AND CONTRIBUTORS 2008.


This article outlines recent developments as to the operation of the European arrest warrant before the Irish Supreme Court. The European Arrest Warrant Act 2003 includes a far-reaching obligation to refuse surrender where a breach of fundamental rights has occurred, one that has been read down dramatically by the Irish courts. While the Irish courts cannot access the Court of Justice pursuant to Art.35 TEU, they have employed the Pupino decision so as to “bridge the gap” and provide judicial protection. The effectiveness of the Supreme Court as a Third Pillar guardian of fundamental rights is thus considered.