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European Union
Country of Decision : European Union
Court Name : EU: Court of Justice of the European Union [CJEU]
Date of decision : 02/04/2020
Type : Judgment
ECLI : ECLI:EU:C:2020:262
Case Number/Citation/ Document Symbol : Case C-897/19 PPU

I.N.

The CJEU rules on the extradition to Russia of a beneficiary of international protection who acquired the citizenship of Iceland

In this Grand Chamber judgment on a preliminary ruling request, the CJEU ruled on Iceland’s association with the Dublin III Regulation and the non-discrimination between nationals and asylum beneficiaries who subsequently become nationals of an EU+ country.

I.N. is a national of Russia, who was granted asylum in Iceland on 8 June 2015 and who became a national of Iceland on 19 June 2019. On 30 June 2019, Croatian authorities arrested him while crossing by bus, together with his family, the border between Croatia and Slovenia. The arrest was done on the basis of an international notice of Interpol in Moscow and Russia sought his extradition from Croatia. The Croatian court responsible for deciding on the extradition found that the legal conditions were met and authorized the extradition. I.N. requested the annullment of the decision before the South Vrhovni (Supreme Court, Croatia), invoking a risk of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment in the event of extradition to Russia. Iceland requested safe passage for I.N. to Iceland as the criminal proceedings for which Russia sought extradition were the basis on which Iceland previously granted asylum to I.N.

The CJEU held that the requested Member State must first verify the risk of the person being subjected to the death penalty, torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In the context of this verification, the fact that the person concerned, before acquiring the nationality of the EFTA State concerned, was granted asylum specifically because of the prosecution which gave rise to the extradition request constitutes a particularly serious element. Furthermore, the Court ruled that, before considering executing that request, Croatia must inform the EFTA State (Iceland), in order to enable the latter to request the surrender of its national, provided that it is competent to prosecute that national for acts committed outside its national territory. The CJEU further held that, in this case, which concerns not an EU citizen, but a national of a third state, Articles 18 (non-discrimination based on nationality) and 21 (freedom of movement and residence for Union citizens) TFEU, are not applicable. It added that the situation in question does fall within the scope of EU law, specifically the EEA Agreement. The court further held that the fact that I.N. had been granted asylum in Iceland constitutes a particularly serious factor for the purposes of the assessment and in the abscence of developments in Russia, Croatia should refuse the extradition.

Refugee Protection; Torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment ;

Dublin Regulation III (Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for IP); Other EU legislation;

EASO IDS

European Union, Court of Justice of the European Union [CJEU], I.N., Case C-897/19 PPU, ECLI:EU:C:2020:262, 02 April 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.

https://caselaw.easo.europa.eu/pages/viewcaselaw.aspx?CaseLawID=1278