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UK to opt-out of EU crime measures 11/07/2013 The UK is to opt out of EU policing and criminal justice measures, the Government announced this week

UK to opt-out of EU crime measures

The UK is to opt out of EU policing and criminal justice measures, the Government announced this week. Instead it will rejoin only thirty-five measures that it believes will help the UK combat cross-border crime.

“For reasons of policy, principle and pragmatism, I believe that it is in the national interest to exercise the United Kingdom’s opt-out and rejoin a much smaller set of measures which help us to co-operate with our European neighbours in the fight against serious and organised crime,” said Home Secretary Theresa May, in a statement to Parliament.

“I also believe the government must strike the right balance between supporting law enforcement and protecting our traditional liberties. What I have outlined today will achieve both of those goals,” she added.

As part of this Mrs May is proposing to amend the rules relating to extradition requests. In particular she proposes:

  • Amending the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill to ensure an arrest warrant can be refused for minor crimes
  • Using the European Investigation Order instead of the EAW so that police forces and prosecutors share evidence without requiring the extradition of a suspect at the investigative stage; and
  • Addressing lengthy and avoidable pre-trial detention by amending the UK Extradition Act so that a person in the UK can only be extradited under the EAW when the requesting State has made a decision to charge – and also to try – that individual, unless that person’s presence is required in that jurisdiction for those decisions to be made.

The Government will also seek to rejoin the current Europol directive and Eurojust, which helps to co-ordinate action to tackle serious cross-border crime. It will not, however, participate in the establishment of any European Public Prosecutor.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0

 

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