Two things that are not generally known about the European Arrest Warrant. And how it could be struck down.

1. People do not realise how profoundly different the systems of criminal law used in Europe are from ours.

2. So far there have been a smallish number of innocent British victims of the EAW, struck down on a random basis. The average Briton thinks “Well, it is unlikely to happen to me, I need not worry”. I will show that, on the contrary, authorities holding this kind of power are a threat to democracy itself.

3. I will show that the EAW is repugnant to the British constitution, and how it may thus be struck down in court. This should not exonerate MPs and the media from their duty to consider it and try to get it removed from the Statute book.

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1. Most people in Britain think that the other European countries have similar criminal law systems to ours.

Actually they don’t.

So when someone like Andrew Symeou was kept in prison, after extradition to Greece, for 11 months before his first public appearance in open court (where the case against him was dismissed), the British thought this was just due to sloppiness in keeping up standards by the Greeks. This is not so. The Greeks, like other continental jurisdictions, do not enjoy our safeguard of Habeas Corpus. They work to different standards from ours.

In Britain, when there is a crime, the first step by detectives is to investigate. During their investigation, they will formulate suspicions, and seek evidence against suspects. When, and only when, they have collected enough evidence to be able to charge a suspect formally and put him or her on trial, he or she will be arrested and then within hours or at the very most, a few days, they will be produced in open court and charged. In that hearing the prosecution must be able to produce the evidence that there is a prima facie case to answer, evidence already collected beforehand. This is thanks to section 38 of our Magna Carta (1215). See details in my essay on the official Magna Carta 800th celebratory website (linked below on this page).

In the Napoleonic-inquisitorial systems used on the continent, they do things the other way round. The first step in a criminal investigation can be, and often is, to arrest and imprison the suspects, on the basis of clues. If they had Habeas Corpus, then the investigators would be asked to exhibit these “clues” in open court, in a hearing taking place within hours or at most days after arrest, to see if they constituted solid evidence of a case to answer, or just a flimsy basis for suspicion. But they don’t have Habeas Corpus. The authorities will then seek evidence against the suspect, while he is under lock and key. Of course this can take months. Occasionally even years. During this time the suspect stays in prison. He may ask for bail, but the burden of arguing against granting him bail is not on the prosecution, unlike in the UK. He will be interrogated, but in private hearings. He will have no right to a public hearing during this time.

NB The investigations are not conducted under the authority of the police, but by the prosecutor, who is a “judicial authority”. This way people do not think “police state”, and indeed they may be led to think, “Well if a judge says so…”.

At the end of all this time, the case may be dismissed, and if so the prisoner will be released. Hence cases like Andrew Symeou’s in Greece. In Italy it is calculated that every year 1000 innocent people have their lives and livelihoods traumatised and ruined by this system. There have been long-running national TV broadcasts telling some of their stories.

The main problem with the EAW is that when a person is arrested in Britain on an EAW, the British court is not allowed to ask to see, let alone assess, any evidence against him. The legislators blindly and blithely assumed that the evidence would have already been collected by the authorities in the requesting country, and would be shown shortly after he arrived, as would happen in the UK. When it happens that the person is not produced promptly in court and evidence is not shown, the British foolishly assume that this must have been merely due to “sloppiness” on the part of the continental authorities. They do not understand that this is how the continentals operate normally under their criminal-law procedures, which are completely different from ours.

Before passing the legislation in 2003, no research had been carried out into continental criminal-law procedures by the government or by anyone else. I prepared a six-page briefing paper on aspects of Italian criminal procedure, which was read aloud in the Commons by an opposition MP, but the (Blair) government ignored it and passed the legislation regardless. (My paper can be found on the Hansard record, linked at the end of this page, in my submission to the House of Lords in 2013.)

This conflict is NOT resolved by the European Convention on Human Rights, as I explained in my speech at the House of Lords in March 2017, linked at the top of this page.

2. The State is the sole body in society that has the power to use violence, legally, on people’s bodies. It does this with the criminal laws and procedures.
In many States round the world, it uses this power to strike down those who oppose the rulers politically.

In Britain we have had peaceful constitutional and political development for 350 years, so we forget that criminal law is not only about catching criminals. We have forgotten that it can also be used for political purposes. In some EU member states it still is.

The European Arrest Warrant until recently was used to strike at innocent victims in Britain on a largely random basis. However there have been a couple of cases where its arbitrary powers have been used for political purposes.

One is the case of Alexander Adamescu pursued in Britain on an EAW issued by Roumanian authorities, on criminal charges which critics claim are trumped up to mask political motives (details on http://www.tfa.net).

But now there is a case where the motives are openly political. The Catalan professor Clara Ponsati, a lecturer at St Andrews University, has been hit with an EAW in Scotland, issued by the Spanish authorities, who accuse her of “violent rebellion” and “misuse of public money”. She faces up to 33 years in prison. She was a Minister in Puigdemont’s separatist Catalan cabinet, and he too has been hit by a Spanish EAW, in Germany.

She has a lot of sympathy and support in Scotland, largely because Scottish separatists identify their cause with the cause of Catalonia wanting to secede from Spain. However it should be of concern also to people in England and to those in Scotland who are not in favour of Scottish separatism, for it shows up the deep difference in approach to democracy by the British and Spanish States.

In Britain the response was, “You want to be independent? Ok, have a referendum.”

In Spain the response was, “You want to be independent? Ok, have 30 years in prison.”

…and they sent the Spanish State police to baton-charge and physically assault peaceful Catalans who were going to cast their votes in the polling stations.

3. The truth of the matter is that the EAW, enabling quite arbitrary arrest and imprisonment on NO EVIDENCE, is a TOOL FOR TYRANNY.

When the European Public Prosecutor is up and running, he will be able to issue EAWs against British people in Britain (as confirmed by Counsel’s Opinion, linked at the bottom of this page). He will clearly be a creature of the Commission, ready to do the bidding of those who have already expressed their desire to punish us for Brexit.

And, incredibly, Mrs May and her government want to keep us in and under the EAW indefinitely, after Brexit, with a new EU-UK Security Treaty. The Mainstream Media have hardly ever reported, let alone commented on, this.

Giving the Commission the effective power to have any of us picked off at their arbitrary behest and transported in chains to a dungeon in Europe, with no questions asked, will ensure our permanent de facto vassal status, and “Brexit” will then most certainly be in name only, if even that.

The EAW is plainly repugnant to the British Constitution, and I show how this fact, if properly presented and argued in court, as I am hoping Professor Ponsati’s lawyers will consider doing, could cause the court to strike it down, just as the Appeal court of Lord Laws and Crane effectively annulled the effects of the Weights and Measures Act to confirm the convictions of the Metric Martyrs, at the beginning of the present century. See details of the argument here:

http://campaignforanindependentbritain.org.uk/the-eaw-is-unconstitutional-here-is-how-it-can-be-struck-down/

27/06/2018

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The mainstream media so far are not interested in publishing (even less in paying for!) this kind of work. And there is NO university chair of comparative criminal procedure anywhere. So neither the politicians nor the legal professionals have really any idea of the systems they are exposing British people to with the European Arrest Warrant, the European Investigation Order and other measures in the pipeline. Over the years I have had some support from some generous friends for my work, but that was some years ago and I really do need to be able to carry on.

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History of the EU’s attempt to take over UK criminal justice

(c) by Torquil Dick-Erikson, 2016

Here is the story. It sounds weird, but I can document every single statement in it, with evidence from the sources. Just ask.

In April 1997, at a specially convened seminar in Spain, the EU Commission unveiled its “Corpus Juris project”, for a single system of criminal law for the whole of Europe, based entirely on Napoleonic-inquisitorial principles. It takes the form of an embryo criminal code. It would sweep away our own Magna Carta based system, and in particular our Trial by Jury and Lay Magistrates (art. 26.1), our Habeas Corpus (art. 20.3.g), our protection against double jeopardy (art. 27.2). I happened to be among 141 European jurists invited to attend, as guests of the Commission. I was included in the Italian delegation, as a last-minute replacement. The head of the Italian delegation had read an article I had published in an Italian law journal and had been impressed enough to invite me to come along and fill an empty slot.

In 1998 Brussels called an interparliamentary conference to look at the Corpus Juris project and to ask the participants, “How ready are the people of your country for a Europe-wide single system of criminal justice?”. The British delegation included Humfrey Malins QC MP, who looked at the Corpus Juris project, was horrified and wrote a letter to the Telegraph about it. The Telegraph, also primed by what I had reported in The European Journal, ran a week of articles every day sounding the alarm about Corpus Juris. The Telegraph had the necessary authority and credibility to galvanise some into action. There were PQs from two MPs, and Kate Hoey, Home Office Minister at the time, read Corpus Juris and was horrified and promised to veto it. Meanwhile the Labour MEP Pauline Green led all the Eurosocialists, including the Brits, to vote to “welcome” Corpus Juris in a resolution in the European Parliament. Blair did not have the stomach to disown Kate Hoey publicly (though later she was moved from Home to Sport), nor to publicly endorse Ms Green. There was then a weighty Report from the House of Lords, which examined Corpus Juris and rejected it (HL 62, 1999).

The EU realised that there would be a huge, flaming row with the UK which would boost the withdrawalist side enormously if they insisted and tried to bulldoze it through by Qualified Majority Voting, as a German and an Italian MEP told the House of Lords’ Committee they had been planning to do. So they put it quietly aside. The story was now that it had never been an EU proposal, but merely an exercise by a bunch of academics, almost as if they were just wishing to while away a rainy afternoon. The EU came to realise how inflammatory it was potentially, and how it would really frighten the monkee (Britain) who would escape their clutches if they put it on the agenda again. So it disappeared from the radar. The BBC and other media decided it was a non-story. The Telegraph did not mention it again. And there it has remained until now – at the back of the fridge.

Instead of a single criminal-law system for all Europe, it was decided at Tampere in 1999 that each nation would keep its own legal system, but to have “mutual recognition” of each other’s legal decisons. Mutual recognition presupposes mutual confidence in the fairness of each other’s systems. The other systems were and are largely unstudied, unresearched and unknown – at least in Britain, so it was decided that since they were all signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights and subject to the European Court of HR, that was OK. The main fruit of this approach has been the European Arrest Warrant. A provision was and is that a EAW should not provide any indication of evidence of a prima facie case, and the country receiving a EAW is not allowed to ask for any evidence, but has to trust the requesting country blindly.

Thus, the EAW, far from being an alternative to Corpus Juris, is actually a stepping stone towards it. By enabling arrest and lengthy “precautionary”  imprisonment (months, and longer) without evidence nor any public hearing, it tramples underfoot our Habeas Corpus rights.

The next step towards Corpus Juris is to establish its central pillar – the European Public Prosecutor. This is now underway, though the UK has opted out. But having accepted the EAW, our opt-out from the EPP’s jurisdiction can be circumvented, for he will be able to issue EAWs against Britons in Britain, as confirmed by Jonathan Fisher QC in a formal Counsel’s Opinion, commissioned by the President of the Freedom Association, Christopher Gill.

All this was to be kept in abeyance, as long as the UK had an escape route, ie the ability to head for the exit door if its people and Parliament feel that our freedom is severely and really threatened. It is still, so far,  open to Parliament to rescind the ECA72 (even unilaterally and with immediate effect if we feel that Brussels might abuse its residual power over us if we took the route of article 50).

But once Brussels sees that we are locked inside, and no longer have a quick way out, then they will wheel out Corpus Juris once more, and we will get the full nine yards of it.

This will be the case if the Brexit referendum returns a victory for the IN vote. The tragedy at present is that we are heading for the vote with 99% of the electorate in complete and blissful ignorance of this specific, looming, threat to our personal freedom and its safeguards from arbitrary arrest and wrongful imprisonment.

Why is criminal law so important? and why is Brussels so keen on getting control over our criminal law? British people usually think that taxation, monetary policy, business regulation, etc are more important. This is because we think of criminal law as being merely about catching and punishing criminals.

We British have had such a long and unbroken history of peaceful constitutional development, that we have forgotten that, at the end of the day, criminal law is actually the handle granting complete control over a State and all its inhabitants. Criminal law means police, handcuffs and prisons. It means the physically forceful, enforcement powers of the State over the citizens. It is under the criminal law that the State can (or cannot) send its officers into your home, breaking down the door, hauling you out of your bed and off to a prison. The State holds a monopoly of legal, even lethal, force over the citizens, and the exercise of this power is regulated by the criminal law.

In fact, the EU has not only developed the Corpus Juris project. It is also training and drilling its own paramilitary, lethally armed, police force, the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF). Six national gendarmeries are being trained and drilled side by side, in a location in Northern Italy, to weld them into a single European corps. They will then be deployed all over the territory, and once inside Britain – Mrs May said in 2012 “Of course we will call upon them, if we see the need” – they will surely not leave if asked to go by a merely British government, for they will owe allegiance only to Brussels.

The Corpus Juris plan envisages not only a European Public Prosecutor stationed in Brussels, but also that he shall have a Delegated Prosecutor in each member state (art. 18.3). And the national prosecutors will be “under a duty to assist him” (art. 18,5).  And if there are riots and resistance to the imposition of these alien laws, the EGF will be available to suppress them. It will also be available to do the bidding of the European Prosecutor, should the local enforcement agencies prove recalcitrant. It will look like, feel like, and be like…  a military occupation by a hostile armed foreign force.

The above scenario looks and sounds quite incredible to any British person. Unlike our continental friends, we have not seen anything like it, on our own shores, for hundreds of years. Yet it could so easily turn true. The documentary evidence of this plan is all there.

British Justice, and your personal freedom, under threat from the EU

 

(c) by Torquil Dick-Erikson, 2016

Continental Europe has a completely different system of criminal justice from the English-speaking nations.

Back in 1215, when we had Magna Carta, they got the Holy Inquisition.

Magna Carta limited and constrained the arbitrary power of the State authority over individuals. The Inquisition extended and deepened it.

After the French revolution in 1789, when Napoleon took over and conquered most of Europe, he did not reject the Inquisitorial method. He adopted it and adapted it, re-directing it from service of the Church to service of the State. His codes underlie continental criminal procedures to this day.

In 1997 the EU devised a plan for a single system of criminal justice for the whole of Europe, including the British Isles. Their embryo criminal code is named “Corpus Juris”.  It is based on Napoleonic-inquisitorial principles. It calls for the abolition of Trial by Jury (article 26.1), Habeas Corpus (art. 20.3.g), and the protection against double jeopardy, allowing Prosecutors to appeal against an acquittal even if no new and compelling evidence has come to light (art. 27.2). Citizens will therefore be liable to arbitrary arrest on no evidence and lengthy imprisonment (months, or even longer) with no right to a public hearing during this time. And then a verdict given by case-hardened professional career judges who are colleagues of the prosecutor, but not of the defender who belongs to a completely different career category.

So far this project has not gone forward, owing largely to British opposition – a promise by Kate Hoey, Home Office Minister, to Parliament in December 1998 to veto it if it were ever formally put forward (a promise that Blair did not dare to disown), and a weighty Report by the House of Lords in 1999, rejecting it.

However the project has not been abandoned. The European Arrest Warrant is the first step towards its full implementation. The European Public Prosecutor is being established, and despite a UK opt-out, our reconfirmation of the EAW means he will have power to have Britons arrested in Britain (see Counsel’s Opinion by Jonathan Fisher QC, linked below). And once Brussels feels that we have been irrevocably locked into the EU project, they will give us the full nine yards of it.

A victory of the IN side in the forthcoming referendum is all they are waiting for.

 

You can learn more here:

Read the essay “Magna Carta and Europe” on the official, govt-sponsored, Magna Carta celebratory website:

http://www.magnacarta800th.com/articles/magna-carta-europe-yesterday-today

and the following submission to the House of Lords at the time of the debate on whether to reconfirm the European Arrest Warrant or not:

http://campaignforanindependentbritain.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SeriousRisks.pdf

The full text of Jonathan Fisher QC’s Counsel’s Opinion on the EAW (confirming it is basically at variance with Habeas Corpus) can be read here:

http://campaignforanindependentbritain.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/OpinionJonathanFisherQC7.10-O14-1.pdf

Note: The text of my submission to the House of Lords and the Counsel’s Opinion on the EAW were previously hosted on The Freedom Association’s website, and linked to that site from here, A while ago, the Freedom Association took down these pages, without notifying me, for reasons which were not explained. So the links given here were dud. Apologies to any readers who tried to click on them. Luckily the Campaign for an Independent Britain is kindly hosting them now. The above links are therefore live and will take you to the texts if you click on them. There is more here, if you are interested:

http://campaignforanindependentbritain.org.uk/author/torquil-dick-erikson/

and also here (the ukipdaily website is not an official organ of ukip, but an open forum where ukip members and others may discuss news and views) :

http://www.ukipdaily.com/author/torquil_dick-erikson/