Where doubts concerning the interpretation and application of European Union law arise in proceedings before the regular courts for the review of extradition requests received by way of mutual legal assistance as determined by European Union law, the right to one’s lawful judge requires that the relevant questions be referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) for a preliminary ruling. Failure to comply with the duty of referral incumbent upon regular courts under European Union law does not always violate the guarantee of Art. 101(1) second sentence of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz – GG).

On 29 August 2017, the 1st chamber of the 2nd court panel of the Federal Constitutional Court decided unanimously in several cases that denying legal aid for lawsuits brought forward by asylum seekers from Syria is not compatible with the constitutionally protected right of having equal access to judicial review. The Federal Constitutional Court overturned the judgments from lower courts, which had denied the Syrian asylum seekers financial assistance from public funds for legal expenses associated with their cases, otherwise known as legal aid.