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Surrender to Northern Ireland ordered where there is already a conviction in this State for membership of unlawful organisation

By: James Cross BL

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High Court, in European Arrest Warrant proceedings, indicates that it intends to order the surrender of respondent to Northern Ireland to face a charge of the offence of belonging to the Irish Republican Army, on the grounds that his conviction in this jurisdiction for membership of an unlawful organisation did not preclude his surrender as the case involves two separate instances of offending in different years in different jurisdictions.

European arrest warrant - there should not be duplicity of trial or punishment for any criminal act - autrefois convict and acquit – abuse of process - a judicial authority of the Member State of execution must refuse to execute a European arrest warrant where the person named in the warrant has been finally judged by a Member State in respect of “the same acts” as are the subject of the European arrest warrant – argued his conviction in late 2017 for an offence of membership of the Irish Republican Army in the State precludes this Court from executing a European arrest warrant for his surrender to Northern Ireland to face a charge of the offence of belonging to the Irish Republican Army – argued the Northern Ireland charge relates to a “continuing offence” of belonging to this unlawful organisation and that he has already been convicted of this offence in 2017 – Court rejected his characterisation of the offences - case involves two separate instances of offending in different years in different jurisdictions - the legal rules in Ireland relating to the principle of ne bis in idem are not any different from the rules applicable anywhere else in Europe - Court is obliged to look at the acts which are relied on as constituting the offending as set out in the warrant issued by the judicial authority of the issuing Member State – relevant statutory provisions - extra-territorial terrorist offences - warrant does not include any charge against the respondent which relates to his activities in the State which led to the 2017 conviction – whether membership is an offence of a continuing nature - ingredients of the offence of membership of an unlawful organisation – further information requested in relation to the offences of receiving training in terrorism and attending at a place used for terrorist training – Court intends to surrender respondent to Northern Ireland.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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