Supreme Court: Leapfrog appeal granted in extradition case where trial judge appeared to have been misled on State’s obligations
The Supreme Court has determined that it will hear an appeal relating to the surrender of a man to Lithuania where the State had failed to implement Framework Directive 2008/909/JHA.
In the determination delivered by the court yesterday, it was noted that the High Court appeared to have been led into error by submissions made on behalf of the Minister for Justice and Equality in making the application.
As such, since there was the potential for confusion in other cases arising from the High Court decision, the court held that an appeal would be heard on the issue.
The Minister had previously applied to the High Court for an order for the surrender of the appellant to Lithuania on foot of a European Arrest Warrant. In January 2022, the High Court rejected each of the appellant’s submissions in opposition to the application and granted an order for surrender (see Minister for Justice and Equality v. Kairys  IEHC 57).
One of the appellant’s submissions was that surrender should be refused because of the absence of any legal mechanism whereby the appellant could seek to serve his sentence in Ireland. This submission was grounded on a decision by the ECJ that the State was in breach of its obligation to implement the Framework Directive, “which provides for the application of the principle of mutual recognition to judgments in criminal matters imposing custodial sentences or measures involving deprivation of liberty” (See Commission v. Ireland Case C- 125/21, delivered in March 2022).
In the High Court, the trial judge determined that the State was not obliged to implement the Framework Directive based on Campbell v. Ireland and Anor  IEHC 162 and X (Case C-665/20PPU). The appellant sought leave to appeal this point to the Supreme Court.
The panel for the appeal determination consisted of Charleton, O’Malley and Murray JJ. In granting leave for a leapfrog appeal to the Supreme Court, the panel stated that the trial judge’s statements on the optional implementation of the Framework Directive was “erroneous, with the errors apparently deriving from submissions mistakenly put forward by the Minister”.
It was stated that the High Court appeared to have been led into error, which prevented the trial judge from giving full consideration of the issue. Since the decision was “capable of causing confusion in other cases”, the court granted leave on the question of “whether the failure of the State to enact legislation implementing the relevant Framework Decision gives rise to any entitlement to resist the execution of a European arrest warrant”.
Minister for Justice and Equality v. Kairys  IESCDET 75