The European Arrest Warrant [EAW] is the flagship instrument of mutual recognition in European criminal law. Since its entry into force on 1st January 2004 the ECBA has followed the development of this instrument closely. The ECBA and its EAW working group have  made submissions and representations about the problems encountered by defendants in such proceedings, and in particular the violations of fundamental rights in which such proceedings can result.

In line with the ECBA’s objectives, the project leads disseminate information on the EAW framework, promote good practice among defence lawyers involved in EAW proceedings and assemble a network of practitioners. Members regularly take part in training courses (jointly with EAW) and participate in the monthly meetings with the WG to discuss recent case law.

The ECBA EAW Handbook stems from the ECBA’s aim to provide practitioners with a preliminary guide about what an EAW is and how to defend it. You can consult it here. This is an ongoing project supplemented and updated by the working group. The core of the handbook is available in multiple languages. The working group is currently working on an updated version of the handbook and national chapters.

The key work the ECBA has conducted in this area includes:

1. ECBA Handbook on the EAW for Defence Lawyers – following the recommendations of the 2012 study, the ECBA, with contribution from JUSTICE, has produced a Handbook for practitioners on how to defend an EAW. The General Part on EU Law is available on-line on a dedicated website and also as a downloadable PDF 
2. Partnership with EIPA Luxembourg - European Centre for Judges and Lawyers (ECJL) Training Intersections of the Application of the European Arrest Warrant and the Protection of Fundamental Rights
3. Partnership with the Academy of European Law / Europäische Rechtsakademie (ERA) Training EU Criminal Law for Defence Counsel – Focus on the European Arrest Warrant, partly funded by the European Commission
4. Study “European Arrest Warrants - Ensuring and Effective Defence” - joint ECBA, JUSTICE and ICJ study and partly funded by the European Commission – the report was published in 2012 and was the culmination of a two year study reviewing defence of EAW's in practice in ten EU member states.
5. E-Learning Course for Academy of European Law / Europäische Rechtsakademie (ERA) The European Arrest Warrant: 10 Key Questions for Defence Counsel
6. Attending expert meetings, providing information about problems encountered by defence lawyers and campaigning for procedural safeguards to protect the rights of citizens throughout the EU
7. The European Arrest Warrant Project Website – providing practical information to defence lawyers and the public about the adoption of the framework decision in each member state and as a resource of case law.