Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Harmonised EU Criminal Laws

Lennie Briscoe said... Gavin, whats your take on the headline in todays "The Times"? "Europe wins the power to jail citizens" . In short Brussels has been given powers to fine or imprison British people for breaking certain EU laws even if the government or parliament are opposed. i.e. harmonised criminal law across Europe..

Lennie my take is, "Oh, my god!". It is bad enough that our Government meddles with the criminal justice system with crackpot ideas that are not thought through or costed properly, but for the EU to suddenly decide that they have the power to create criminal offences and then enforce punishment of those offences without our approval is crazy. I would like to know how the EU thinks it is going to enforce these new laws without the help of our legal system. It is all well and good the EU taking the United Kingdom to Court and punishing them financially for failing to enforce EU laws but I cannot see how our Courts are suddenly going to bend over to accommodate EU law.

This is an interesting development that I expect will receive harsh political criticism and invoke a fierce debate over the next few weeks. I am confident that the Courts all the way up to the House of Lords will do what they can to limit this decision by finding some way to ignore it.


Anonymous said...

I think its pretty mad for a number of reasons. As you say, it's unenforceable each country has full rights to control its own law. Its also a pain as many more types of offence will be appealed up the ladder the European court?

The only good thing might be that the fallout from the failed policies of this ridiculous government would be mitigated by European law thought out by more sane governments. Obviously when we have a good government we will need to opt out of this rubbish.

Anonymous said...

An excellent analysis here

Gavin said...

That was very helpful, thanks

Anonymous said...

I would like to point out the extremely obvious - in order to jail someone, you first of all have to catch and arrest them, which requires the use of our police forces. All the government needs to do is instruct them not to arrest people the EU wants to jail!