Union citizen is not extradited to third country

A man living in Sweden, who is a Croatian citizen, was requested to be extradited to Serbia to serve a prison sentence., The crimes for which the prison sentence was imposed correspond to aggravated weapons offences and causing danger to another, and according to the judgment, they had been committed in 2010. The man has lived in Sweden for more than 10 years and lives with his partner and daughter. He runs a business together with his partner in the construction industry. The daughter, who is 13 years old, has lived most of her life in Sweden and goes to school here.

The question before the Supreme Court was whether the man, who is a Union citizen, should be considered permanently resident in Sweden and, as a result of the principle of equal treatment under EU law, be treated in the same way as Swedish citizens in the examination of the extradition request. For Swedish citizens, there is an obstacle to extradition in accordance with Section 2 of the Extradition Act.

According to the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Union citizens who have exercised their right to free movement within the Union must, as a general rule, be treated in the same way as nationals of the country in which they reside, if they are clearly integrated in that country. This follows from both the principle of equal treatment and the prohibition of discrimination. The Supreme Court has therefore already held in previous cases that Section 2 of the Extradition Act must be interpreted in conformity with the Treaty so that Sweden's obligations under EU law can be upheld.

In this case, the Supreme Court considered that the man had such a strong connection to Swedish society that he should be considered to be permanently resident here and thus equated with a Swedish citizen.

An impediment to extradition was therefore considered to exist under Section 2 of the Extradition Act.

The judgment clarifies that it is beyond the scope of the Supreme Court's examination of impediments to extradition to determine whether a transfer of enforcement of sentences will take place in the individual case. A new judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union which allows Union citizens to be extradited in certain cases also from the country in which they are permanently resident, where a transfer of the enforcement of the sentence cannot be carried out, does not lead to any change in the previous case-law of the Supreme Court.


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