European arrest warrant: The case for opting in

European arrest warrant: The case for opting in

Opinion piece (The Telegraph)
Charles Grant
06 November 2014

SIR – Parliament will soon face a crucial vote on the Government’s proposal to opt into certain EU measures. A key concern is the European arrest warrant (EAW).

Without the EAW, other EU members may be unable speedily to extradite suspects such as Hussain Osman or Jeremy Forrest to Britain – both in jail after use of the EAW. The Association of Chief Police Officers says we cannot afford to lose it.

Britain also risks becoming a safe haven for fugitives from justice – a handful of them British citizens, but the vast majority foreign nationals wanted for crimes elsewhere in Europe.

At home, recent statutory changes should help prevent extradition to long pre-trial detention overseas, and curb EAW use for trivial offences. Overseas, Britain can only lead reform of Europe’s criminal justice co-operation by being part of the system.

There is no credible alternative to the EAW. Other EU members will be reluctant to adopt new laws if we reject a system that works. Resort to international law on extradition would be slow and ineffective.

A vote to opt in will be a vote for security and for fair and effective criminal justice.

Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers

Lord Carlile of Berriew QC

Sir Henry Brooke

Sir David Edward QC

Sir Anthony Hooper

Sir Francis Jacobs QC

Sir David Latham

Sir Konrad Schiemann

Andrew Caplen

President, Law Society of England & Wales

Alistair Morris

President, Law Society of Scotland

Evanna Fruithof

Consultant to The Bar Council

Jonathan Cooper

Doughty Street Chambers

Richard Clayton QC

4-5 Gray's Inn Square

Tom de la Mare QC

Blackstone Chambers

Helen Malcolm QC

Three Raymond Buildings

Professor Philippe Sands QC

Matrix Chambers

Lord Blair of Boughton QPM

Lord Harris of Haringey

Baroness Ludford

Former Member of the European Parliament

Lord Roper

Charles Clarke

Andrea Coomber

Director of JUSTICE

Charles Grant

Director of the Centre for European Reform

William F Hughes

Former SOCA Director General

Michael Kennedy

Former President of Eurojust, former COO at CPS

Peter Neyroud

Former Chief Constable

Professor John Spencer QC

Cambridge University

Professor Estella Baker

De Montfort University

Professor Patrick J Birkinshaw

Hull University

Professor Paul Craig

Oxford University

Professor Brice Dickson

Queen's University Belfast

Professor Piet Eeckhout

University College London

Professor Angus Johnston

Oxford University

Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas

Queen Mary University of London

Professor Steve Peers

University of Essex

Nicola Padfield

Cambridge University

Dr Cian Murphy

King's College London

Dr Veronika Fikfak

Cambridge University

Dr Alicia Hinarejos

Cambridge University

Dr Rebecca Williams

Oxford University

Hugo Brady

London School of Economics