Europe: "prisoners' rights under further pressure"

A Dutch judge, in May 2019, refused to transfer a person to an English prison, stating that the conditions of detention could amount to a real risk of inhumane and degrading treatment. The prisoner was the subject of an European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

The European legal framework facilitates judicial cooperation between EU member states. The cornerstone of such a cooperation is the mutual trust that every member respects fundamental rights to the same standard. What if they do not? Some of the developments in judicial cooperation can have significant impacts on the lives of persons deprived of liberty.

Leandro Mancano is a Lecturer of EU Law at Edinburgh Law School and Programme Director of the LLM in European Law. His book “The European Union and Deprivation of Liberty: A Legislative and Judicial Analysis from the Perspective of the Individual”, launched last March, contains an unprecedented analysis of the approach of EU law when it comes to detention. Prison Insider asked him three questions.

"New systems of cooperation within the EU are based on the presumption that member states comply with fundamental rights."

There has been increased awareness of the seriousness of appalling detention conditions

"These instruments constitute a starting point in the improvement of prisoners’ rights although much still needs to be done in these areas"