Press Letter - July 2014

Sir, Residents in West Lancashire should be deeply concerned about the plans to continue with the European Arrest Warrant debated in the House of Commons last week.

The average person would assume that before a British citizen can be extradited to a foreign country that a British court would have the power to consider the prima facie evidence against them and make a decision, based on that evidence, that their extradition is justified or not. That is not the case with the European Arrest Warrant.

Under the EAW all that is required to send a suspect off to a foreign judicial system is that a form is correctly completed. Indeed neither Ormskirk magistrates, nor any British court has power to consider any evidence, or refuse extradition.

Other treasured liberties such as habeas corpus and trial by jury are also undermined by this deeply flawed pan-European system.

We successfully extradite serious criminals to countries on every continent, as we should, without such a dangerously flawed system. The Government is seriously mistaken to pursue this policy. The Prime Minister recently told the “Today” programme that he wants to pursue a relationship with our European partners based on “trade and co-operation” and on being “an independent nation state”. I agree with those sentiments, but the actions need to match.

Postscript and update 10/11/14. Clearly the actions didn't match the sentiments. I think this puts it rather well.

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