ALMOST two-in-five suspects sought for criminal prosecutions in Ireland are successfully extradited here under a European-wide law to fight cross-border crime.
Figures released by the European Commission revealed that since 2004, when the EU's arrest warrant procedure became operational in Ireland, 69 crime suspects were extradited back to Ireland from other EU states.
The focus on the effectiveness, to date, of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) comes as the Irish High Court in Ireland will rule tomorrow whether to extradite self-confessed murder suspect Ian Bailey to France.
Mr Bailey is wanted by the French authorities in connection with the 1996 murder, in Schull, Co Cork, of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
Mr Bailey, who has denied any involvement in Ms Toscan du Plantier's death, was arrested twice over the murder but never charged by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The Briton is seeking a Supreme Court appeal against a High Court order that he be surrendered to France and has argued that his surrender would have implications for every citizen in the Irish State.
Between 2004 and 2009, Irish authorities issued a total of 180 EAWs, giving a success rate of some 38pc.
The commission said that the EAW, which has seen the surrender of 11,630 suspects throughout Europe, was "an important tool" to catch criminals.
But it warned that the fast-track procedure could be undermined by over use in non-serious cases and hampered by concerns over fundamental rights in some member states.