Ludford: Europeans must be protected from Prism snooping

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEPLiberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford, ALDE group shadow rapporteur on the update of EU data protection law, is demanding that an ‘anti-FISA’ clause be reintroduced in the text of the proposed new Regulation.

She wants to ensure that EU customers are shielded from US National Security Agency data-mining authorised by the Patriot Act and the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, such as the recently revealed ‘PRISM’ programme. Sarah Ludford said:

“MEPs including me have been pushing the European Commission for years about how the EU can safeguard Europeans against these intrusive powers, but we have been given the brush-off.” Continue reading

Ludford: Eurosceptics crazy to dismiss EU legal ‘scoreboard’

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEPCommenting on the publication of the first EU ‘Justice Scoreboard’ assessing the effectiveness of national legal systems in EU countries in civil and commercial law, Lib Dem European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford said:
 
“Even for Eurosceptics it’s crazy to rubbish this exercise since they’re still supposedly in favour of EU trade. British firms operating in Europe require predictable, speedy and transparent justice that upholds the rules of the Single Market. Surely even Tories want to make sure contracts are honoured and businesses can invest with confidence in Europe?” Continue reading

Duff/ Ludford: European patent will boost UK businesses

Andrew Duff MEPLiberal Democrat MEPs have warmly welcomed today’s green light for the long-awaited deal on a unitary European Patent.

The European Parliament has voted to accept a hard-fought compromise package which has taken nearly forty years to negotiate. Two states,SpainandItaly, have declined to take part on the grounds that their languages are not included in the patent filing process.

Andrew Duff MEP, who represents the important cluster of science research in the East of England, commented: Continue reading

Ludford: Assessing European complicity in the CIA rendition programme is overdue

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sarah ludford.jpgFive years from the European Parliament’s report into alleged European  collusion with CIA ‘extraordinary rendition’ (kidnap and secret illegal detention) developed as part of Bush “war on terror”, the Civil Liberties committee voted today on an update report. This addresses the extent to which Member States, Council and Commission have complied with their obligations to carry out full inquiries to ascertain and secure accountability for complicity in human rights abuses

UK Liberal Democrat justice and home affairs spokesperson and the author of the opinion on behalf of the Foreign Affairs committee Sarah Ludford commented: “There has been little progress in national inquiries into rendition allegations and those that have taken place have been far from full and independent. While investigations may only be capable of completion once the US fully cooperates in disclosing information on rendition practices, Member States  must not invoke spurious claims of ‘state secrecy’ to keep transgressions hidden. Continue reading

Ludford: EU law set to assist justice for Britons abroad

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEPThe European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee has adopted its position for negotiations with the EU Council of Ministers on a new law designed to guarantee all criminal suspects the right to have a lawyer before questioning and during proceedings, although it does not cover legal aid.

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford commented:

“In the UK the right to have a lawyer present during police questioning is now firmly ingrained in our legal system, not least because of bad experience of people being ‘fitted up’. Unfortunately, this right is not always respected in all EU countries.” Continue reading

Ludford: EU must clamp down on torture goods trade

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEPLiberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has called for tougher EU laws on the trade in instruments used in torture, repression and the death penalty, including drugs used in executions.

An Amnesty International report today, marking this week’s International Day against Torture, shows that torture instruments such as electric-shock belts are being marketed by EU companies while spiked batons are being promoted for sale in the EU and the sale of thumbscrews and leg irons is not banned.

The report follows a successful campaign last year – which Sarah co-led – to close loopholes under which ‘dual-use’ pharmaceuticals which do have a legitimate medicinal use were in fact being exported for illegitimate use as paralytic agents in executions. Continue reading