EU warrants 'undermine British law

Is the EU "experiment" getting out of control?

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EU warrants 'undermine British law'
By Andrew Sparrow, Political Correspondent
(Filed: 31/01/2005)

Ministers have been criticised for backing European Union plans to allow police to raid the homes of people not suspected of breaking British law.

A Labour-dominated committee of MPs has described the proposal for a European evidence warrant as "deeply disturbing". It says the warrant could be used against a person accused of committing an offence in another EU country even if no British law was broken.

The proposal is still being negotiated in the EU and is not expected to become law for some time. But the Home Office has angered the Commons European scrutiny committee by disclosing that it is not opposed to the principle of the police executing a search warrant in connection with conduct that would be legal in Britain.

The European evidence warrant follows the principle of the European arrest warrant, which came into force last January.

One of the most controversial aspects of the arrest warrant was that it generally abolished the principle of "dual criminality" - the rule that someone could be extradited only for conduct against the law in the country seeking extradition and against British law.

This raised the prospect of Britons being extradited for offences such as Holocaust denial, which is illegal in Germany and Austria.

The European evidence warrant would also abolish dual criminality, although the proposal as it now stands would allow Britain a five-year exemption before that safeguard would be removed.

In a report last week, the committee said: "We found it disturbing that a person's home might be entered and searched at the request of a foreign authority for the purpose of obtaining evidence to prosecute conduct which is not criminal in this country."

The MPs raised the issue with Caroline Flint, the Home Office minister dealing with European evidence warrants. In a letter sent before Christmas she conceded that she was not opposed to the abolition of dual criminality.

She told the committee: "The application of the principle of mutual recognition to orders to obtain evidence is fundamental to improving the existing mutual legal assistance procedures, without resorting to extensive harmonisation of procedure."

She also said dual criminality was not necessary in relation to search warrants "because mutual recognition is founded on the principles of equivalence and trust in each other's judicial systems".

Bill Cash, a Tory member of the committee, said the plan illustrated very clearly how British law was being undermined by Brussels.
This is rediculous - it would mean that, in theory at least, any firearms owners in the EU who legally own pistols or self-loading rifles could be prosecuted in the UK under Sec. 5 of the 1968 Firearms Act (as amd)... I was under the impression that laws were supposed to be territorially limited... In addition, anyone who smokes dope in Holland could be prosecuted in some other EU country for taking drugs, and people in the UK & Ireland would be able to be prosecuted on the mainland for traffic offences (and vice-versa) - i.e. driving on the wrong side of the road!!! How recockulous! :roll:
Next we will see interpoll (or EUROPOLL! 8O) abducting suspects and taking them across borders to be tried!

Bit worrying :evil:

what is the point in these laws if we already have laws which say that you can only be charged under the law of the land if you commited the crime in the afore mentioned land?
Now I am against this, but once this becomes law, does it mean, that I would be able to walk into a UK Police station and report a French person for breaking the law?

So just to cause an issue, I could report the French for Hunting with dogs? (Again Im all for hunting). Or will it be a case of the British following European Laws, and Europe not following British Laws?
I agree the “European Community” in principle but when you start integrating laws, tax, liberty and cross board controls and exemptions you start as expected building a “super state” but unlike the only other democracy across the water a governing body without control and fiscal management will destroy that state.

The original idea of a common market was brushed aside when the Brussels monolith became a controlling power and was able to demand more and more funding without any means of monitoring the spending and the number of people it employs.

Sadly, this government and quite possibly any future government of any political persuasion are unable, though fuzzy thinking and spineless management, to stand up or change the status quo; we are stuck with this and as time progresses more and more badly thought legislation will be introduced and more and more of our own control will be eroded to the point where we will not have a government and be forced to vote for even less visible members of parliament that does not even sit in this country.



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Does this mean that someone in the UK can be prosecuted for a crime under German Law, such as a young eejit wearing a swastika?

I would be interested to see if there are any laws in other, less enlightened (or possibly rather more sensible) EU States that would have their supporters here crying into their organic espressos. For instance, is there anywhere in the EU where bum fun is still illegal? And what about drugs? Cannabis may be Class C over here, but what about other countries? Can we arrest half the population of Amsterdam now for being out of their heads?
It seems there is some confusion here. What I understand this to mean is that someone could be extradited from Britain for a crime committed in another EU country, which is not a crime in Britain.

Say someone goes hunting with dogs here, then hops it to France before Inspector Knacker gets his hands on him, we could extradite him even though such hunting is not illegal in France.

I could be wrong. Still seems a fairly stupid idea.
What it means is that should someone commit a crime whilst in country 'A' and then leaves country 'A' for country'B', country 'A' can apply for extradition under the laws of country 'A'.

As it is just now, The criminal act for which someone would be extradited has to be illiegal in both countries 'A' and 'B'.

Therefore, if someone wanted to interfere with a kiddy in country 'A' and then buggered off to country 'B' (where they have a far more liberal view of kiddies sexuality 8O ), the person would not face extradition (unless it was a real strong case).

What the new law comes in, country 'A' can ask country 'B' to extradite the subject regardless if they view the offence as a crime.

As someone else mentioned above, if peter mandelson went to some 'less enlightend' corner of euroland and did the bumdance with some other beaver dodger then returned to the UK, He could be extradited back to the less enlightened country to face charges. Although im sure this wouldnt happen as he is one of the chosen ones (chosen by his mate tone, and not by me and you! :roll: ) and this would go against all that europe stands for (Human rights etc, :evil: )

Waste of paper! waste of time! and a waste of my taxes! :evil: :evil: :evil:
Yes, extradition is a remedy by which the accused is coercively returned, by his home state, to the state where he allegedly committed the crime.

However, in the case of criminalized thought and speech, it's not so clear what the place where the crime is committed, the crime's "situs" actually is.

Some have taken the view that illegal, discriminatory, hateful words posted on the Internet represent a crime the situs of which is the entire planet.

The range of offenses for which the European Arrest Warrant will issue includes "racism" and "xenophobia."

In other words, the warrant will issue to apprehend a man who protests the refusal of UK authorities conscientiously to enforce the immigration laws, or a man who makes derogatory comments about the European Union.

I conclude that some of the items posted on this website could conceivably subject their authors to detention and prosecution in some European venue where there is no presumption of innocence, no right to trial by jury, and no recognition of every man's right to speak his mind.
Oh feck! were all doomed to a life cracking rocks in lesser europe for our desent on the glorious motherland :twisted:

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