In reponse to the European Commission report today
calling for more national implementation of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), UKIP MEP for London, Gerard Batten
"The Commission cannot fail to register that the European Arrest Warrant has resulted in many miscarriages of justice across Europe. But their report fails completely to get the point. They say it is 'an important tool to catch criminals'. No it isn't. It is a device for transferring suspects from one EU state to another. The police 'catch' criminal suspects, the courts should decide on the quality of evidence against them.
"The Commission says that the EAW should not be used for not very serious crimes such as 'bicycle theft'. That is a complete red herring. If someone faces judicial surrender from one country to another it is an equally serious matter for them whether it is for bicycle theft or murder. The whole point of the EAW is that is has stripped the courts of considering the prima facie evidence against the suspect and the power to decide if there is a proper case to answer.
"The British courts now have no power to protect their own citizens from unjust extradition, even when they know a grave injustice is being done. That is the fundamental problem with the EAW. Extradition (judicial surrender) has been reduced to a mere bureaucratic formality.
"The Commission says the EAW is an 'efficient way to extradite suspects in a border-free EU'. Yes, that is the point. The EU considers itself one political state which should have one legal system. The EAW is based on the idiotic doctrine of 'mutual recognition' that says that all EU legal systems are equally valid, whether they be a corrupt court in Romania or Bulgaria or the Old Bailey or Royal Courts of Justice in London.
"Out of 54,689 arrest warrants issued so far the Commission can only quote a handful against serious criminal or terrorist suspects. These people could have been extradited under national systems that protected the entire population who are now unprotected from unjust extradition.
"We have thrown the baby out with the bathwater in the name of relentless European integration."
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