Table Item 2 RESPONSE BY THE CRIMINAL BAR ASSOCIATION TO THE FINAL REPORT OF EUROPEAN CONVENTION WORKING PARTY X  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.
Pages to are hidden for
"RESPONSE BY THE CRIMINAL BAR ASSOCIATION TO THE FINAL REPORT OF "Please download to view full document