Leaving the Eu: Security, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:38 pm on 18th January 2017.

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Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill Chair, Justice Committee 2:38 pm, 18th January 2017

I accept that that is a significant issue, but the two amendments achieved two things. First, they removed any risk of extradition before commencement of proceedings; and, secondly, they introduced in the UK a proportionality filter. It would be better if all other countries that use the European arrest warrant had a proportionality filter, too. From the evidence we heard from Professor Wilson of the Northumbria University’s centre for evidence and criminal justice studies, it seems that even Poland, which has resisted a proportionality filter in the past, is now moving in that direction. The situation is improving there.

The fact that we have those two important safeguards is significant, and it is also important that the European arrest warrant system is a court-driven system, which is subject to judicial supervision rather than being an executive act of extradition. That is why it would be undesirable for us to lose the advantage of the European arrest warrant and have to fall back to the 1957 extradition convention, which was a purely administrative act, carried out through diplomatic channels, without the protection of court intervention or review. It was also much more cumbersome.