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EU rules on transfer of sentenced persons

In a globalised world, transfers of convicted criminals to complete their sentences in their home countries are becoming more and more common. The international framework developed to facilitate such transfers requires the consent of both states involved as well as of the sentenced person. This has been seen as a major disadvantage, including of the 1983 Council of Europe Convention on transfers.

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The Schengen agreement introduced the first international arrangements under which, in some cases, forced transfers were possible without the individual’s consent.

A 2008 Council Framework Decision defined a new legally binding framework within the EU for the transfer of sentenced persons. In particular, the need for consent of both Member States involved has become less strict.

To facilitate transfers and to preserve a high level of protection of fundamental rights, the EU’s Stockholm Programme includes the objective of agreeing guidelines on detention conditions. In 2011 a Commission Green Paper on detention defined the framework for financial and operational support of this objective by the EU.

Read the complete briefing here.

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