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Aleksi Petruhhin: Request for preliminary ruling from the Latvian Supreme Court - (10 May 2016)

EU countries not obliged to extend extradition protections to non-nationals

Human Rights

The European Court of Justice ruled that a national of a Member State of the European Union cannot claim extradition protections of another State by residing there. Instead, the State in which the person is residing can adhere to its international obligations, provided it is satisfied that the extradited person will not be subject to inhuman or degrading treatment.

The ECJ stated that such a stance did not constitute discrimination on the ground of nationality, so long as it could be shown that the categories of nationals were not in a comparable situation.

Aleksei Petruhhin, subject matter of extradition, an Estonian national was arrested in Latvia. Russia filed a request for Mr. Petruhhin’s extradition with Latvia, which under EU law refuses extradition of its citizens. Subsequently, the Latvian Supreme Court had submitted to the ECJ a reference inviting comment on the matter. Article 19 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union states that nobody can be removed, expelled or extradited to a State where there is a serious risk of death, torture or inhuman treatment. Latvian law for its part provided: ‘A citizen of Latvia may not be extradited to a foreign country, except in the cases provided for in international agreements’.


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