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Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted

Dewy eyed Atlanticists should take note. The US is capable of operating as unfairly in trade and in law as any European. Canadians tire of their neighbour's ability to ignore trading agreements - both in the spirit and in the letter.

When it comes to fairness, David Davis is right. British is Best.

We should fight to save these three from the unratified and unjust Treaty with the US, as we should fight to free ourselves from the Nice Treaty and to stop the EU Constitution.

Victims of European injustice are rarely reported. Could David Davis ask the government how many Britons are in prison inside the EU who have not yet had a trial, and how long they've been held.

As soon as we hand over jurisdiction to others, it gets used to their wider purposes. Terrorism has been used far more in Europe to push through unjust laws. EU officials can come here to arrest British citizens, and keep them incarcerated for up to four years whether guilty or innocent of any crime. There is no presumption of innocence as we we have in the UK.

Perhaps Mr Davis will give us his opinion on the EU Arrest Warrant. I do not see or hear any protestations from the Conservatives regarding that jackboot policy (as mentioned by William @ 0914). I wonder why not? Do you?

The USA is acting within the terms that it has been granted, as has been tested by all our courts.

The culprit is the idiot Blair who once again has bent us over for the USA without the common decency of a...

As Mark says, the culprit - yet again - is Blair. Another of his laws of unintended consequences (I hope a list is being compiled). A pity in retrospect that DC did not press Blair on this at PMQs. Ming Campbell came out of that rather well.

Grieve has a habit of doing this. He's a likeable chap, decent, makes populist statements, invariably incisive, but offers to resolution to the inherent difficulties, and then drops the topic when it's dead. Let's face it, he wants David Davis' job badly.

Without vouching for the accuracy of these figures, I have been told this morning that there are currently 739 British citizens languishing in continental jails, 233 in Spain alone. Some British lorry drivers have spent 18 months or more imprisoned without charge, and there have been several notorious cases where the suspect has been released after that kind of protracted detention without any charges having been laid against him at any stage.

The US is among the countries covered by Part 2 of the Extradition Act 2003, while the EU Arrest Warrant is covered by Part 1 of the very same Act but receives no mention at all from David Davis or yesterday from Boris Johnson.

Home Office information on the Part 1 operating procedure is here:


There is no need for the extraditing authority in the other EU member state to present any prima facie evidence of guilt, so of course there is no opportunity for the suspect to challenge the case against him in a British court, and in effect he is presumed guilty of the "conduct" of which he is accused.

They should be tried for what exactly, I might be wrong but I don't recall that they have been charged for any crime in the UK.

As I have posted elsewhere on this Forum, this is a most disgraceful case and is a flagrant abuse of these men's Human Rights. Our Government needs to get some steel in its spine and tell the US Authorities that this extradition "ain't going to happen".

The situation is utterly outrageous. Blair has a legal background - he should know better. Reid - does he really think this is fair? One does not have to be a Legal Expert, Polictician or even learned person to know this is wrong.

With regard to Cranmer's (10.14) post: interestingly his comments are not really on the subject to hand instead, more of an attack on Dominic Grieve!

As a Beaconsfield resident and member of the Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Assocition, I can vouch that Dominic Grieve is a first class Constituency Member of Parliament and has received much recognition for his Parliamentary skills not only from his local Association but also from his Peers and other outside Bodies.

I am sure he would just "laugh off" someone having, what is so clearly, a jibe at him.

"When it comes to fairness, David Davis is right. British is Best."

Um, as a American heavily involved in the criminal justice system (I'm a state prosecutor), I'm honestly curious as to why you think this. The treaty terms may themselves be unfair, or your own statute implementing it be unfair, but if you're saying criminal procedure in the UK is "more fair" than here in the US, then I must beg to differ. There are vastly more procedural protections for defendants here and, moreover, without a written constitution, successive UK governments have swept aside many of the very common-law rights we based those protections upon.

"They should be tried for what exactly, I might be wrong but I don't recall that they have been charged for any crime in the UK."

Do you understand the concept of concurrent jurisdiction? Here's a more straightforward example to illustrate: let's say I'm standing in the US, and I shoot across the border and kill someone in Canada. It would be a violation of both countries' laws, both countries (and/or the respective state or province thereof) would have jurisdiction to prosecute, and in their own courts of course. They would each also have absolute discretion not to prosecute, but that choice alone wouldn't foreclose one from seeking extradition from the other.

I remember campaigning in 1997 & meeting business voters who were outraged at the thought that a Conservative government might have been prepared to hang businesspeople out to dry in relation to Arms for Iraq. This was directed at Alan Clark in particular. Regardless of the rights & wrongs of what went on then, they had formed the clear impression that our party would cut business loose to suit its own purposes. It was a damaging perception.

The same is now true of New Labour. The NatWest 3 are being sacrificed because of this government's incompetence in standing up for British interests. It is an outrageous state of affairs.

Regarding UK citizens held in European States - The European Convention states Article 6 Right to a Fair Trial:
"1 In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law........
2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law."

I wonder how the long term detention or operation of civil codes actually fit within the ECHR?

The US justice system is as fair as the UK's - the issue here is if the Attorney General was right not to prosecute in the UK and reasons for this decision. It would be fairer to prosecute in UK in terms of assuming innocence as it would obviate the possible punishment inflicted by extradition and detention or forced stay in a foreign country. That is why there should be an arraignment and evidence of a case presented (in line with US Bill of Rights where UK court takes the place of a Grand Jury).

There is also the assymetrical enforcement of a treaty which has not been agreed by both parties.

"That is why there should be an arraignment and evidence of a case presented (in line with US Bill of Rights where UK court takes the place of a Grand Jury)."

Well, I suppose that's a credible argument with respect to this particular case, where you're talking about a federal court. But most of the states don't use grand-jury indictment except for capital cases (if they have the death penalty). Under the doctrine of selective incorporation, not all of the Bill of Rights applies to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, only protections that are "fundamental." The grand jury isn't one of those: as long as there's some kind of procedural safeguards, the states can charge crimes in other ways, and they mostly do.

UK court takes the place of a Grand Jury)."

England abolish grad juries in the 1920s and you cannot make The High Court a junior division of the US judicial system since whatever The High Court does then proceeds to The Appeal Court outside any US jurisdiction.

The Attorney General put Abu Hamza on trial BECAUSE the US moved to extradite him under the same Treaty now being used to extradite these bankers.......................how strange that England decided to try Abu Hamza so the Americans could not

If Grieve is that fussed, why doesn't he move that these guys be called to the Bar of the House.

That would found proceedings in the UK, Parliament being a court of law, and kill the extradition stone dead.

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