RESPONSE BY THE CRIMINAL BAR ASSOCIATION TO THE FINAL REPORT OF by armedman1

VIEWS: 0 PAGES: 4

									                            Table Item 2

RESPONSE BY THE CRIMINAL BAR ASSOCIATION TO THE
 FINAL REPORT OF EUROPEAN CONVENTION WORKING
                   PARTY X [10]




 1. INTRODUCTION

 The CBA have already responded to the proposals by the European

 Commission’s Committee of Experts ‘Corpus Juris’ and the Green

 Paper on Criminal Law Protection of the Financial Interests of the

 European Community. In view of the identity of a number of the

 issues and considerations in those papers and the Report of Working

 Party X [hereafter WP], our response to the Green Paper is attached.

 We note the contents of the Introduction and the key objectives of the

 EU as set out in agendas agreed at Tampere and Nice. As to the first of

 the ‘golden rules’, we are cautious about endorsing such an objective

 in view of the potential implications of a ‘common legal framework’.

 The extent and detail of the framework imposed on member states and

 its interaction with national systems is a matter of considerable

 concern to us.

 2. LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURES.

 We have no comment on the First Pillar measures as to asylum,

 immigration, border management nor co-operation in civil matters.
Police and Judicial cooperation on criminal matters.

Whilst these reforms are essentially political matters and have

apparently been agreed at Tampere, we remain concerned about the

workability of mutual recognition. We are also not persuaded that

individuals’ rights and freedoms will be adequately protected.

Approximation in certain areas of substantive criminal law.

We agree with this proposal, subject to consideration of crime

definitions in any particular case. There is already a high degree of

correlation of such definitions.

However, the adoption of minimum rules on the constituent

elements of certain offences to be included in the Treaty, appears to

go further and may involve a degree of uniformity which is

incompatible with national systems and to that extent, objectionable.

The same reservations may be expressed in relation to similar

proposals for criminal procedure. We repeat our view that if such

rules are to interact with national systems there may be real difficulties

in their operation and furthermore there may be valid concerns that the

rights and protections enjoyed by litigants before national courts

would be adversely affected.

We are content to endorse what is said on the topics of police and

judicial cooperation and measures on crime prevention.
Whether such matters as crime definitions and rules of criminal

procedure should be decided by qualified majority voting is, again,

essentially a political matter. However if it is adopted, our concerns as

to the introduction of such measures are reinforced, notwithstanding

the preservation of the unanimity rule in certain cases.



STRENGTHENING OPERATIONAL COLLABORATION

We have in the past endorsed increased and strengthened cross-border

cooperation and measures to achieve this e.g. the development of

Union bodies. In particular we support the proposals in relation to

Europol and Eurojust. We consider the development of Eurojust

could effect a significant advance in those areas which are not

functioning effectively and in respect of which EU-wide substantive

reforms are proposed.

The WP’s view as to the jurisdiction of the European Court goes

hand-in-hand with the proposals for law reform. It is by no means

clear how the extended jurisdiction would coexist with those of the

national courts and how their respective jurisdictions would be

exercised. For example, there may be real difficulties in a party

exercising his rights in proceedings before a national court in relation

to an EU measure within the competence of the European Court. It is
just as well that the WP recommends reform of the Court to cope with

the increased workload.



Andrew Trollope Q.C.

187 Fleet Street

EC4A 2AT

14th March 2003.

								
To top