Dear European Union

Please fuck right off.

Proposals, to be agreed by Baroness Scotland QC, the Attorney-General, at a meeting of EU justice ministers next week, enshrine "procedural" guidelines setting out the circumstances for quick extradition of people convicted in their absence.

A draft text, seen by The Daily Telegraph, notes that existing rules do not "deal consistently with the issue of judgments rendered in absentia". "This diversity complicates the work of the practitioner and hampers judicial co-operation," it states.

Human rights and civil liberties campaigners fear the new EU rules breach a fundamental principle of British justice: that defendants must have their day in court to defend themselves.

Britain does not convict people or hold trials in their absence but many EU countries, including Belgium, France, Spain Greece and Italy, do so on a regular basis.

No, not having this. It may be true that our Continental cousins are quite happy to bang someone up without hearing their side of the story, without even informing them that a trial is taking place. We do not do this and there is no way we should start to do so…nor allow and facilitate the banging up of Britons by said Continental cousins.

One of the first duties of the State is to protect the rights of the citizenry, this is an obvious breach of said rights.

Bugger off.

10 thoughts on “Dear European Union”

  1. At the end of the piece it said that there would be an automatic right to a retrial, but that FTI isn’t happy. Why not?

    Tim adds: Perhaps, because while you wait for a retrial, you are in fact in the position of having been found guilty and are banged up in jail? No bail, that sort of thing?

  2. “One of the first duties of the State is to protect the rights of the citizenry,”: such as the right to use your own NHS in priority over an illegal immigrant, perhaps?

  3. “Perhaps, because while you wait for a retrial, you are in fact in the position of having been found guilty and are banged up in jail? No bail, that sort of thing?”

    We have people who spend a lot of time banged up in jail for months (even 18 months) waiting for a trial. Craig “Lister” Charles famously so. We can have people on bail once a retrial is secured, too. Is this impossible on the Continent? I don’t know.

    It’s difficult to compare the (what seems to me) weirdo Roman legal system of the Continent and our Anglo-Saxon system. Something that is exploited by New Labour (“On the Continent suspects can be held for months, so why worry about this little old 42 days”). So there are going to be weird interactions when it comes to interfacing two disparate systems.

    What I’d like to know (and my earlier question wasn’t rhetorical) is what is the problem with a retrial, where in this country there would be remand. Alas an answer filtered through the lens of a “let’s get the punters frothy” Telegraph journalist isn’t going to help: so many issues that get me riled turn out to be more complex and nuanced on closer inspection. After ten years of New Labour, I’m running low on rile juice, so I have to use it sparingly.

  4. “One of the first duties of the State is to protect the rights of the citizenry, this is an obvious breach of said rights.”

    I can understand being upset by this latest development, but let’s face it: the EU IS our government AND ‘State’ now, and the UK’s provincial assembly (aka ‘Parliament’) can no more defy such edicts than a US state can defy their central government.

    On consideration, actually, US states have far more authority, and can successfully stand against their central government, than the EU’s provincial governments can Brussels’.

    Welcome to the latest European empire; like all its predecessors, it’s centralizing, unfree and intolerant of dissent.

    Tim adds: US States have extradition between them….no fast track stuff.

  5. “Welcome to the latest European empire; like all its predecessors, it’s centralizing, unfree and intolerant of dissent.”

    So that would be failing in the first duty of a state: to protect the rights of the citizenry.

  6. But the EU is not at present a state, which is why there will be no referendum. Brown has signed the “treaty/costitution” so if he gets away with it, then there will be a EU state with all that implies……. code Napolean, the EUro and forget elections. R.I.P England.

  7. “Proposals, to be agreed by Baroness Scotland QC…”

    It would be nice if our Government grew some balls and said to the EU; no, you’re wrong. And they are wrong. Being held on remand is still being innocent until proven guilty, being aware of the charges and being able to mount a defence. Agreeing the right to a retrial is accepting that guilty until proven innocent is okay. It is not. It never will be.

  8. I once found out I had been found guilty of an offence by a court in Arlon, Belgium. I discovered this when a friednly journalist phoned me up and told me.
    Given that I live in Brussels they might have mentioned it to me. The charge was related to bring Belgian journnalism into disrepute. I don’t know the particulars, all I know is that I spent several years paying off the fine that was handed down.

  9. “It’s difficult to compare the (what seems to me) weirdo Roman legal system of the Continent and our Anglo-Saxon system. ” Oh, a Roman and an Anglo-Saxon system have rubbed along together here since 1707.

  10. The trouble is its obvious just by looking at Baroness Scotland that despite her name, she is not British.
    She does not have a background of being brought up in Britain in a British family environment with British parents and British grandparents- Parents and grandparents who fought in the wars, who lost relatives and friends in those wars. She just cannot get it so surrendering to Europe is no problem for her.

    But mention of her name brings one point to mind. Is this agreement binding in Scotland with its separate legal system. The Attorney Gereral has now power in Scotland- that’s the function of the Lord Advocate.

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