Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA: Greece’s Role in Recognizing and Executing European Criminal Judgements

By Anagnostakis Law Team

This article delves into the integration of Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA into Greek legislation. This framework facilitates the recognition and execution of penal decisions, specifically those involving custodial sentences or security measures, across the European Union.

Key Provisions

Law 4307/2014

  • Recognition and Execution by Greece: Greece recognizes and executes custodial sentences or security measures issued by other EU member states.
  • Requests for Recognition and Execution by Greece: Allows Greece to request other EU member states to recognize and execute similar decisions.

Conditions for Recognition

  • Presence Requirement: The convicted individual must be present in either the issuing or the executing state.

Competent Authorities

  • Public Prosecutor of First Instance: Handles the recognition and execution of the decision in the region of the convicted person’s usual residence.
  • Prosecutor of the Court: Responsible for transmitting the decision and the required certificate to the executing state’s competent authority.
  • Ministry of Justice, Transparency, and Human Rights: Acts as the central authority, aiding courts with administrative tasks and maintaining statistical data.

Transmission of Decisions

  • Prosecutor of the Court: Sends the decision and the accompanying certificate to the executing state’s competent authority. This can be:
  • The member state of the convicted person’s nationality and usual residence.
  • The member state to which the convicted person will be deported post-sentence or release.
    — Any other member state that agrees to accept the decision and certificate.

Conditions for Transmission

  • Presence and Consent: The convicted person must be present in Greece or the executing state, and must consent if required.
  • Social Reintegration: The Prosecutor must believe that serving the sentence in the executing state will aid in the convicted person’s social reintegration.

Withdrawal of the Certificate

  • Reasoned Opinion: The Prosecutor can withdraw the certificate if the executing state’s competent authority provides a reasoned opinion against executing the sentence for social reintegration.
  • Request for Information: The Prosecutor may request details about conditional or provisional release from the executing state and decide to withdraw the certificate based on this information.
    Non-execution: If sentence execution has not started, the prosecutor can withdraw the certificate with justification.
  • Partial Recognition: If the executing state can only partially recognise the decision, the prosecutor may withdraw the certificate.

Consent of the Convicted Person

  • Requirement for Consent: The decision and certificate are sent to the executing state only if the convicted person consents, either in person or by an authorised representative.
  • Exceptions to Consent: Consent is not required if:
  • The decision is sent to the convicted person’s nationality state, where they usually reside.
  • The convicted person will be deported post-sentence based on a judicial or administrative order.
  • The convicted person has escaped or returned to a member state related to pending or past criminal proceedings in Greece.

Execution of the Sentence

  • Execution Restriction: Greece cannot continue executing the sentence once it starts in the executing state, except if notified that the remaining sentence is not being served.
  • Jurisdiction Return: Jurisdiction returns to Greece if the executing state fails to execute the remaining sentence.

Recognition and Execution

Execution of Sentence

  • No Dual Criminality Check: Recognition and execution occur without dual criminality checks for offenses punishable by at least three years of imprisonment under issuing state law, including but not limited to terrorism, human trafficking, and drug trafficking.

Adaptation of Sentence

  • Sentence Duration: If the sentence exceeds the maximum penalty for similar offences under Greek law, the Three-Member Misdemeanour Court may adjust it.
  • Contradictory Sentence: If the sentence contradicts Greek law, the Court can adapt it to a suitable penalty or measure under Greek law, ensuring it is not harsher than the original sentence.

Refusal to Recognise the Judgement

The prosecutor may refuse to recognise the judgement and execute the sentence for several reasons, including:

  • Incomplete or incorrect certificate.
  • Absence or non-consent of the convict, where required.
  • Violation of the principle of ne bis in idem.
  • Offences not listed in Article 8.
  • Convict’s immunity under Greek law.
  • Age-related criminal irresponsibility.
  • The remaining sentence duration is less than six months.
  • The sentence is time-barred under Greek law.
  • The convict’s non-appearance at trial under certain conditions.
  • Lack of consent for prosecution of prior offences.
  • Inability to execute specific psychiatric or medical measures.
  • Offence committed predominantly in Greek territory.


  • Transfer and Execution: The convicted person is transferred to Greece within 30 days of the Prosecutor’s order for recognition and execution. The sentence execution is governed by Greek law, with deductions for any deprivation of liberty already served.
  • European Legal Principles: This framework is based on fundamental European legal principles, ensuring the recognition of judgements across member states within the EU.

This structured incorporation of Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA into Greek law underscores the collaborative judicial environment within the EU, promoting the seamless execution of penal decisions across borders.

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