Democrat - July-August 2010
EU Investigation Order
Government agrees to further loss of human rights
EU Investigation Order
ConDem Government agrees to further loss of human rights
The European Investigation Order and the European Arrest Warrant are yet another instance of sweeping powers being handed over to Brussels by the ConDem Government.
The EU Constitution now called the Lisbon Treaty, gives the EU the
power to extend the "structure, operation, field of action
and tasks" of the police force whose agents, like EU officials
and some others enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution. The EU
prosecutor and federal police force will take over the powers and
institutions of the existing European Community.
This means that police from other European countries will be able to come to the UK with the power to arrest Britons without first obtaining an extradition order. Telephone tapping, finger prints, DNA, monitoring bank accounts and general surveillance will be within their powers. Anyone refusing to cooperate could be arrested by UK police.
Fair Trials International is a campaign group which says that under the new rules for example, it would be possible for Spanish police investigating a murder in a Spanish holiday resort night club, to demand the ID and DNA of every British citizen holidaying there at the time of the crime. This could easily result in wrongful arrest and all that could bring in its wake. Fair Trials International has been leading a campaign to keep Britain out of the EIO because it fears miscarriages of justice and civil liberties abuses. It is also concerned that our police will be obliged to investigate incidents or matters which are not even regarded as crimes in this country.
Eurojust's annual report has found that 256 cases were brought before it for mediation last year, involving European Arrest Warrants (EAW) in which two, or several, member states disagreed over the EAW's scope and proportionality, according to EUobserver. The article quotes a spokesperson for Fair Trials International saying: "Although the European arrest warrant was intended to deliver justice, the current system is in practice resulting in serious injustice".
The European Investigation Order is the prelude to the very controversial European Arrest Warrant. There is concern that the EAW to which Britain is signed up, has been used to investigate very minor misdemeanors. In addition, prosecutors only are empowered by the directive.
There will be no right by Britons under suspicion to obtain information from foreign police which could prove their innocence.
There are a number of countries demanding the new powers. There are also a number of countries including Denmark reported as being ready to say No!. Before the election the Tories were reported as being opposed to these regulations, but it seems that their coming to power with the Con-Dem alliance has brought about a u-turn.