Human Rights and Equality Commission Granted Liberty to Appear Before Supreme Court in Right to Fair Trial Case

Commission to Appear as Amicus Curiae in Case

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (‘the Commission’) has today been granted liberty from the Supreme Court to exercise its amicus curiae (‘friend of the court’) function in an internationally significant case relating to the European Arrest Warrant system and an individual’s right to a fair trial.

The case (Artur Celmer v. Minister for Justice and Equality) has been appealed directly from the High Court to the Supreme Court as it is of significant public importance. The case centres on the requested extradition of Mr. Artur Celmer, a Polish national, to Poland under the European Arrest Warrant system, where concerns have been raised by Mr. Celmer over recent legislative changes in Poland about the independence of the judiciary, the courts and the Public Prosecutor. These changes, according to Mr. Celmer, undermine the possibility of him having a fair trial.

In the High Court in November 2018, Ms. Justice Donnelly found that concerns raised by Mr. Celmer in relation to Poland’s judicial independence did not reach the threshold of amounting to a real risk of a flagrant denial of his right to a fair trial. On that basis, the High Court ordered Mr. Celmer’s surrender on each of three European Arrest Warrants, however that decision has been appealed to the Supreme Court.

The November High Court judgment came following a referral of two questions by the High Court in Dublin to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in Luxembourg.

As amicus curiae, the Commission will assist the Supreme Court by making submissions drawing on international and domestic law in relation to extradition proceedings.

Emily Logan Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission stated:

 “The Commission will now exercise our amicus curiae role to assist the Supreme Court in its adjudication of the right to a fair trial issues at question. This case will be significant in ensuring that there is clarity around determining whether or not extradition should be granted when a fair trial issue arises in the execution of European Arrest Warrants.”

ENDS/

 

For further information, please contact:

Brian Dawson, IHREC Communications Manager,

01 8589601 / 087 0697095

bdawson@ihrec.ie

Follow us on twitter @_IHREC

 

Editor’s Note

As the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is now formally involved in the proceedings, we are precluded from making any further comment as the matter is before the Supreme Court.

Where written submissions are made by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to the superior Courts in amicus curiae cases they will be made available on www.ihrec.ie after the case has been heard.

The amicus curiae function of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

The Commission’s functions under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 include that of applying for liberty to appear as an amicus curiae (friend of the court) before the superior courts in proceedings that involve, or are concerned with, the human rights or equality rights of any person.

Section 10 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act sets out the functions of the Commission and Section 10(2)(e) provides that the IHREC shall have a function:

“to apply to the High Court or the Supreme Court for liberty to appear before the High Court or the Supreme Court, as the case may be, as amicus curiae in proceedings before that Court that involve or are concerned with the human rights or equality rights of any person and to appear as such an amicus curiae on foot of such liberty being granted (which liberty each of the said courts is hereby empowered to grant in its absolute discretion).”

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is an independent public body, appointed by the President and directly accountable to the Oireachtas. The Commission has a statutory remit set out under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act (2014) to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland, and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding in the State.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s national human rights institution and is recognised as such by the United Nations. The Commission is also Ireland’s national equality body for the purpose of a range of EU anti-discrimination measures.

 

 

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