Wednesday 5 November 2014

Letter to the Daily Telegraph: The need for the UK to opt in to the EAW

Steve Peers

The following is the text of a letter published in today's Daily Telegraph, and the subject of a  front page story in that paper (see also the web version), as well as the Guardian and BBC News websites. The vote in Parliament is scheduled for Monday 10th November. 

If you are a UK practitioner, academic, politician or NGO or and would like to add your name to this list of signatories, please tweet me at @StevePeers or e-mail me at  

For more details of the argument for opting back in, see the previous post on this blog. 

Dear Sir,

Parliament will soon face a crucial vote on the Government’s proposal to opt into certain EU measures. A key concern is the European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

Without the EAW other EU members may be unable speedily to extradite suspects like Hussain Osman or Jeremy Forrest to Britain - both in jail after use of the EAW. Unsurprisingly, the Association of Chief Police Officers believes we cannot afford to lose it.

Britain also risks becoming a safe haven for fugitives from justice – a handful of them British citizens, but the vast majority foreign nationals wanted for crimes elsewhere in Europe.

At home, recent statutory changes should help prevent extradition to long pre-trial detention overseas, and curb EAW use for trivial offences. Overseas, Britain can only lead reform of Europe’s criminal justice co-operation by being part of the system.

There is no credible alternative to the EAW. Other EU members will be reluctant to adopt new laws if we reject a system that works. Resort to international law on extradition would be slow and ineffective.

A vote to opt in will be a vote for security and for fair and effective criminal justice. 


from the Legal Profession

Rt Hon Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers KG
Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE QC
Rt Hon Sir Henry Brooke CMG
Rt Hon Sir David Edward KCMG QC FRSE
Rt Hon Sir Anthony Hooper
Rt Hon Sir Francis Jacobs KCMG QC
Rt Hon Sir David Latham
Rt Hon Sir Konrad Schiemann
Andrew Caplen, President of The Law Society of England & Wales
Alistair Morris, President of The Law Society of Scotland
Evanna Fruithof, Consultant to The Bar Council
Jonathan Cooper OBE, Doughty Street Chambers
Richard Clayton QC, 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square
Tom de la Mare QC, Blackstone Chambers
Helen Malcolm QC, Three Raymond Buildings
Professor Philippe Sands QC, Matrix Chambers

from Law Enforcement and Civil Society

Lord Blair of Boughton QPM
Lord Harris of Haringey
Baroness Ludford, former Member of the European Parliament
Rt Hon Lord Roper
Rt Hon Charles Clarke
Andrea Coomber, Director of JUSTICE
Charles Grant, Director of the Centre for European Reform
William F Hughes CBE QPM, former SOCA Director General
Michael Kennedy CBE, former President of Eurojust, former COO at CPS
Peter Neyroud CBE QPM, former Chief Constable

from the Legal Academy

Professor John Spencer QC, Cambridge University
Professor Estella Baker, De Montfort University
Professor Patrick J Birkinshaw, Hull University
Professor Paul Craig, Oxford University
Professor Brice Dickson, Queen’s University Belfast
Professor Piet Eeckhout, University College London
Professor Angus Johnston, Oxford University
Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas, Queen Mary University of London
Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex
Nicola Padfield, Cambridge University
Dr Cian Murphy, King’s College London
Dr Veronika Fikfak, Cambridge University
Dr Alicia Hinarejos, Cambridge University
Dr Rebecca Williams, Oxford University
Hugo Brady, London School of Economics

Further signatories:

Fergus Randolph QC, Brick Court Chambers
Paul Garlick QC
Roger Smith, former chair of Justice
Daniel Sternberg, barrister
Carl Gardner, blogger, Head of Legal
Klentiana Mahmutaj, barrister
Thomas Garner, Gherson Solicitors
Shoaib M Khan, human rights lawyer
Charlie Edwards, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies
Camino Mortera, Centre for European Reform
Dr Marianne Wade, University of Birmingham
Theodora Christou, Queen Mary, University of London
Professor James Chalmers, Glasgow University
Dr Egle Dagilyte, Bucks New University
Professor Tamara Hervey, University of Sheffield
Professor Ed Cape, University of the West of England
John Flood, Visiting Professor, University of Westminster
Dr Paul James Caldwell, University of Sheffield
Professor Geoff Gilbert, University of Essex
Matilde Ventrella, University of Wolverhampton
Dr Richard Ball, University of the West of England
Professor Jo Shaw, University of Edinburgh 
Colm O'Cinneide, University College London 
Professor Geert van Calster, King's College London and barrister
Dr Sara Drake, Cardiff University
Josephine van Zeben, Oxford University
Alison Young, Oxford University
Dr Barbara Havelkova, Oxford University
Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Oxford University
Professor Julie Dickson, Oxford University 
Dr Maria Fletcher, University of Glasgow
Helena Wray, University of Middlesex
Professor Laurent Pech, University of Middlesex 
Dr Noreen O'Meara, University of Surrey
Dr Mario Mendez, Queen Mary University of London
Claude Moraes, Member of the European Parliament 

Barnard & Peers: chapter 25 

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