TALLINN - The Estonian parliament passed on Monday a bill seeking to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure whereby the Estonian law will be brought into accordance with three legal instruments regulating cooperation in criminal procedure between EU member states, with regard to two of which, shortcomings have been pointed out in infringement proceedings launched by the European Commission.
The amendments mainly concern the regulation of the European arrest warrant. The bill specifies the provisions of circumstances excluding and limiting extradition, places on an equal footing the rights of Estonian citizens in the recognition and execution of the European arrest warrant and the rights of European Union citizens living in Estonia based on the right of permanent residence. It also supplements the provisions on the postponement of extradition and temporary extradition, and stipulates 60 days as the final deadline for the execution of the European arrest warrant and 30 days for extending the extradition.
The law also clarifies the request for consent to the acceptance of extradition, its extension and subsequent extradition, and supplements the grounds for the temporary postponement of extradition with humanitarian considerations. The current law only defines the threat to human life as the basis.
In addition, in connection with the two extradition treaties concluded on behalf of the European Union -- the treaty on the extradition procedure between EU member states and Iceland and Norway, and the trade and cooperation agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland -- the Code of Criminal Procedure provides for an implementing provision.
The bill was passed with 75 votes for and one against.