Blunkett Urged to Rethink Euro Arrest Warrants

Daily Mail (London), December 31, 2003 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Blunkett Urged to Rethink Euro Arrest Warrants


EUROPEAN arrest warrants which come into force at midnight should be scrapped, civil rights groups said yesterday.

The controversial warrants will make it easier to extradite Britons to other EU countries.

But there are concerns that once abroad, they will not receive a fair trial.

Home Secretary David Blunkett has dismissed concerns, insisting that the European Convention on Human Rights means that anyone is guaranteed a fair trial within the EU.

Campaigners say the problems faced by British planespotters convicted of spying during a holiday to Greece two years ago highlight the poor standards of justice in some member states.

Stephen Jakobi, director of the legal rights group Fair Trials Abroad, said: 'The idea that only guilty people get arrested is simply wrong, and the main countries we are concerned about are Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal and Greece. A number of countries pay lip service to the European Convention on Human Rights.

'They have signed up to standards they don't obey - for example in providing legal help and translators for a trial. That's why you see rubbish cases like the planespotters in Greece.

'We are still years away from the introduction of Europe-wide bail arrangements, and without that it will be impossible to use these new warrants without discrimination. If you are foreign you will not get bail, and you will be locked up possibly for long periods.

'Ministers here were so keen to arrest British villains who have escaped abroad that they didn't think hard enough about the consequences for our own citizens.' A spokesman for the civil rights group Liberty last night urged the Government to put the whole system on hold until standards of justice in other EU states are significantly improved.

'Despite the Government's assurances, we do know from a mass of evidence that whatever treaties countries sign up to, it is often the case that the standard of justice is very low,' he said.

The new warrants cover a list of 32 offences where the principle of 'dual criminality' is suspended, so that a suspect can be extradited even if his or her home country does not recognise the crime in question.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Blunkett Urged to Rethink Euro Arrest Warrants


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?