Case may spark showdown between the European court of justice and Poland over its ‘systematically damaged’ rule of law

An Irish high court judge has refused to extradite a suspected drugs trafficker to Poland due to concerns about the integrity of the Polish justice system, in a landmark decision that could lead to a showdown between the Polish government and the European court of justice (ECJ).

Justice Aileen Donnelly referred the extradition case of Artur Celmer – a Polish man arrested on drugs charges in Ireland last year – to the ECJ because recent legislative changes to the Polish judicial system had been “so immense” that Ireland’s high court had been forced to conclude that the rule of law in Poland had been “systematically damaged”, undermining the “mutual trust” that underpinned the European arrest warrant process.

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