The Act on amendments of the Act on Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters with Member States of the European Union entered into the force in March 2015. By this Act, the Republic of Croatia has implemented the Directive on European Protection Order in its domestic law. Investigative judges at the County courts are the competent issuing and executing authorities in the meaning of the Article 3 of the Directive on the European Protection Order.
Financial penalties are handled by the municipal and misdemeanour courts, as specified in the amended provisions. Certificate from Article 16 of the Council Framework Decision 2005/214/JHA on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to financial penalties has to be sent to the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Croatia, the central authority for receiving and transmitting these certificates.
The biggest challenge regarding judicial cooperation is the fact that Croatia is still not part of the Schengen area. Therefore, it does not have access to the Schengen Information System (SIS) and, consequently, does not receive alerts. In practice, this means that Croatia needs to receive the EAW within 48 hours after the arrest (with a possibility for prolongment of another 36 hours by the investigative judge). This temporary solution would be in place until Croatia joins the Schengen.
In the case of EAW requests to Croatia, the Croatian Contact Points should preferably be contacted in order to increase the chance of the warrant getting through.
If a European Arrest Warrant is issued for the purpose of execution of a custodial sentence and the requested person is a citizen/resident of the Republic of Croatia or is staying in the Republic of Croatia, he /she has the possibility to express his/her will to serve the sentence in the Republic of Croatia. In that case, the Court shall postpone the execution of the European arrest warrant and request additional documentation from the issuing State (the documentation from the Article 6 of the Council Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA on the application of mutual recognition to judgments in criminal matters imposing custodial sentences or measures involving deprivation of liberty for the purpose of their enforcement in the European Union or applicable international agreement if the issuing state has not implemented the mentioned Framework Decision). This documentation has to be sent to the Croatian Court within 15 working days.
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia has taken an opinion that in the cases where the issuing state has not sent the requested documentation within the mentioned deadline, the Court should refuse the execution of the European Arrest Warrant.