|Vol.7, No.40, 1.11.01, p8
A CIVIL liberties group has put forward a seven-point action plan to 'counter' the security clamp-down in the wake of the current international crisis.
Fair Trials Abroad says it fears people's basic legal rights will be flouted in the wake of terror strikes on the US.
The UK-based campaign group has voiced particular concern about the proposed Union-wide arrest warrant and new extradition procedures.
It has called for a commitment to provide lawyers and translators for all foreign nationals arrested in member states; a system of inter-state bail, called Eurobail, to counterbalance the effect of the EU arrest warrant and a wide-ranging review of judicial standards in EU criminal courts.
The group, which deals with around 100 cases per year, has dubbed its plan "Tampering Tampere", a reference to the Finnish summit in 1999 which produced a range of radical measures designed to aid interstate law enforcement.
It will formally launch its campaign in Brussels later this month in the run-up to the Laeken EU summit (14-15 December) and wants its proposals introduced within 12 months.
The campaign is backed by British Liberal MEP Graham Watson, chairman of the Parliament's citizens rights committee. The group's director, Stephen Jakobi, said: "There is no doubt that terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats to the very principles on which the EU is founded and which we must constantly uphold." However, we believe there is a genuine danger to these principles. The hastily-arranged EU summit held in the wake of the terrible events of 11 September called for the acceleration of the Tampere programme so that its priority measures would be ready for signature at next month's Laeken summit. "It is a matter of some concern to us that in the haste to secure effective measures against terrorism basic legal rights will be obscured. This is particularly so in allegations of terrorist offences.
Jakobi said the ideas Fair Trials Abroad was putting forward were a mixture of short- and long-term goals, some of which will be ready for implementation within a year.
A civil liberties group has put forward a seven-point action plan to 'counter' the security clamp-down in the wake of the current international crisis.
|Justice and Home Affairs, Values and Beliefs