European Arrest Warrant


European Arrest Warrant is a request issued by a judicial authority of a European Union member state for the arrest and transfer by another EU member state of a person specified in the EAW. It is prepared in connection with the suspicion that a person has committed a crime, or in connection with the need for the person to execute a sentence or a security measure. On the basis of this request, as a rule, the authorities of the requested state become obliged to arrest and transfer the EAW person to the requesting country.

In Poland, the judicial authority competent to request an EAW is the district court. However, in order for this court to apply the EAW, two prerequisites must be met – there must be a suspicion that the person prosecuted for an offense under the jurisdiction of Polish courts is in the territory of another EU member state, and the interests of justice speak in favor of issuing the EAW. If the EAW is to concern a person who is being prosecuted in connection with pending criminal proceedings, the crime to which the proceedings relate must be punishable by imprisonment of at least one year.

The transfer of a person specified in the European Arrest Warrant from Poland to another EU member state may take place only for the purpose of carrying out criminal proceedings against that person, on the territory of the requesting state, or for the execution of a sentence of imprisonment or other measure involving deprivation of liberty imposed on that person.

Under certain conditions, a person may not be transferred under the EAW. Polish regulations indicate situations in which there is an absolute prohibition on the surrender of such a person, such as when there is a final judgment against the prosecuted person in another state for the same acts, the person to whom the EAW applies is not criminally responsible under Polish law due to his or her age, or when the surrender would violate human and civil liberties and rights. In some situations, refusal of execution will depend on the court’s assessment and discretion, such as when there are criminal proceedings pending in Poland against a person prosecuted under the EAW for the offense that forms the basis of the EAW, or when a sentence of imprisonment may be imposed in the EAW issuing state for the offense to which the EAW relates without the possibility of seeking a reduction.

As part of the EAW, our law firm offers:

  • detailed discussion of the institution of the European Arrest Warrant, its admissibility, the scope of its application and the resulting consequences for the prosecuted person;
  • assistance in establishing the circumstances underlying the issuance of the EAW;
  • analysis of the legal and factual situation of the prosecuted person, including, among other things, the preparation of a strategy of action and recommendations for further conduct of the prosecuted person;
  • assistance in drafting an application for revocation of the EAW;
  • active participation in hearings on the possible issuance or revocation of the EAW and in hearings related to its execution;
  • full cooperation with foreign lawyers, especially to the extent necessary to establish the circumstances and legal norms related to the issuance and execution of the EAW;
  • assistance in drafting a complaint against the decision to transfer a person prosecuted from Poland.

Our offer is addressed to:

  • Polish citizens against whom an EAW has been issued;
  • foreigners residing on the territory of Poland;
  • families of persons prosecuted under the EAW;
  • companies whose employees are prosecuted under the European Arrest Warrant.

How can
we help you?

the experts

Maciej Zaborowski

Advocate, Managing Partner

Paweł Gołębiewski

Attorney-at-law, Head of International Criminal Law Practice