MEPs on the European Parliament LIBE committee yesterday approved a report by Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford calling for major changes to the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), including the introduction of a human rights’ clause to prevent miscarriages of justice and a proportionality test to prevent the warrant being used for petty crimes.
The report calls for the European Commission to come forward with legislative proposals to reform the EAW at the EU level.
Sarah Ludford said:
“I’m delighted that reform of the European Arrest Warrant is now one step closer after my report was approved by the LIBE committee. The warrant needs to be used not only effectively but proportionately, with guarantees that safeguards are respected and human rights are not abused in the process. This will help prevent miscarriages of justice in the future.”
“My report seeks to achieve this reform with EU-wide support, rather than ad hoc and uncoordinated action by individual member states which would fail to deliver real justice for European citizens.”
“The Euro-warrant will remain a crucial crime-fighting tool, delivering swift justice compared to previous long and cumbersome extradition procedures, ensuring that criminals cannot escape the long arm of the law by crossing into another European country. With the reforms I and my MEP colleagues are calling for – and we expect the Commission to act on – all our citizens will be able to have full confidence in its fairness as well as its effectiveness.”
Notes to Editors
The report will be voted on by all MEPs in plenary in February.
A list of case studies of miscarriages of justice arising through use of the European Arrest Warrant can be found on the Fair Trials international website here.
London bomber Hussain Osman and school teacher Jeremy Forrest are among those who have been brought to justice to the UK thanks to the EAW.