Witold Klaus, Justyna Włodarczyk-Madejska, Dominik Wzorek.
In the Pursuit of Justice: (Ab)Use of the European Arrest Warrant in the Polish Criminal Justice System
Central and Eastern European Migration Review, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2021 | pages: 95-117
Poland is the leading country in pursuing its own citizens under the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), with the number of EAWs issued between 2005 and 2013 representing one third of the warrants issued by all EU countries (although some serious inconsistencies between Polish and Eurostat statistical data can be observed). The data show that Poland overuses this instrument by issuing EAWs in minor cases, sometimes even for petty crimes. However, even though this phenomenon is so widespread, it has attracted very little academic interest thus far. This paper fills that gap. The authors scrutinise the topic against its legal, theoretical and statistical backdrop. Based on their findings, a theoretical perspective is drawn up to consider what the term ‘justice’ actually means and which activities of the criminal justice system could be called ‘just’ and which go beyond this term. The main question to answer is: Should every crime be pursued (even a petty one) and every person face punishment – even after years have passed and a successful and law-abiding life has been building in another country? Or should some restrictions be introduced to the law to prevent the abuse of justice?
European Arrest Warrant, deportation, criminal justice, membership