Report The 2019 Annual Conference on International Extradition and the European Arrest Warrant Lake Iseo, Italy, 24-25 June 2019
25 law professors and practising lawyers from around the world gathered in Sarnico, Italy in the last week of June 2019 to brainstorm on current developments in extradition law and the practice of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). The meanwhile fourth edition of the annual conference on International Extradition and the EAW was held at Hotel Cocca, on the shores of beautiful Lake Iseo (Italy). For the previous editions of this meeting of persons interested in extradition law, see eucrim 3/2018, p. 160; eucrim 3/2017, p. 118, and eucrim 3/2016, pp. 132-133. As in previous years, the 2019 conference attracted experts from many countries, including the United States, Mexico, Canada, Belarus, the England, Scotland and several countries in Continental Europe.
The seminar began with a report by UK barrister Mark Summers QC - who appears on a regular basis in extradition cases, including Assange v. Sweden in 2012 - on the current Hong Kong crisis that originated from the proposed reform to extradition arrangements.
A number of presenters offered country reports, namely on The Netherlands (by researcher Joske Graat), Finland (by Ministry of Justice officer Taina Neira), Switzerland (by lawyers Gregoire Mangeat and Alice Parmentier), Scotland (by advocate Mungo Bovey QC from the Faculty of Advocates of Scotland), Belarus (by lawyer Alaksiej Michalevic), and Poland (by lawyer Urszula Podhalanska). Thomas Wahl (an extradition expert from the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law) offered an update to certain key aspects of the EAW jurisprudence in Germany and the European Court of Justice. In the 2018 edition, Wahl presented the controversial Puidgemont case from a German perspective; this time, we heard a presentation by Paul Bekaert, a Belgian lawyer, who represented Carles Puidgemont in the Belgian EAW case. Paul Bekaert also summarised the decisions of Belgian courts in other notable extradition cases when freedom of expression was at stake.
In separate sessions, Nicola Canestrini, a criminal lawyer from Italy, raised the question of how “free movement” rights can impact on the extradition of EU citizens to third countries while Anna Oehmichen (a lawyer and University lecturer from Germany) described how the abuse of the Interpol red notice (issued in the case at issue by the Dubai authorities, for a criminal offence that seems to exist only in the UAE) could lead to major violations of the fundamental rights of the requested persons. Finally, Stefano Maffei of the University of Parma, one of the organisers of the conference, announced the publication of his new book “Extradition Law and Practice”, which offers an overview of the typical course of an extradition case and the description of 30 notable extradition cases.
Other participants included Canadian law student Camille Baril; Italian lawyer Vanni Sancandi; Italian graduate student Irene Milazzo; Sibel Top, a PhD student at the Institute of European Studies (IES) in Brussels; Mariana Melgarejo from the UK embassy in Mexico city; Björn Weißenberger, Florian Fuchs and Mohammed Arjun Zahidul (German law students) and Kylie Zaechelein, Trenten Bilodeaux and Paul Borges (from the University of the Pacific Mc George School of Law).
The Vth International Extradition Conference will be held in Northern Italy on 22-23 June 2020. All those interested should email the team of organisers at email@example.com.