What is coming down the line and how it relates to us all; especially in the light of the Dublin Court judges decision to abide by a European Arrest Warrant which undermined the very system upon which justice has historically been based; is a frightening loss of liberty at the discretion of the State apparatus. In effect this case marks the backdoor arrival of the loss of the premise of “innocent until proven guilty”
This is an older article based on the British system but it is equally relevant for Ireland in Europe. This is what the EU, and might I remind you the USA and Canada are also heading this way and there is talk in Australia / New Zealand too because of the crazy false terrorism laws that have been implemented. It talks about when this might happen. Well I can update it now that the Dublin case on April 2nd just brought it into effect. Lisbon Treaty will copper fasten it if it gets through
How much more are you lot going to need before you get off your arses and say something ?
Britain has a unique system of parliamentary democracy backed by our Common Law. The latter has been adopted, in various forms, by other English speaking nations, notably the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Rep. Ireland and Malta. Our legal system is unique in that it embodies our concept of the individual’s freedom (Power of the People as embodied in our Common Law) and makes our laws quite different to those of our friends in Continental Europe. These ancient rights are now under imminent threat from Brussels under a proposal known as ‘Corpus Juris’ (“CJ”).
How our law differs from that of Continental Europe
1. Our Common Law, as far back as 1215 with Magna Carta, states that a citizen can only be judged by his peers (Section 39). These rights protect the individual against arbitrary conviction and imprisonment. Our Common Law recognises several vital rights to the citizen:
· The right of Habeas Corpus (that the accused must be taken to a public court within a very short period of time, usually 24 hours, and the accusers must produce their evidence then and there).
· The right to Trial by Jury at which jurors can in fact even disregard the law if they think it would give an unjust conviction. The jurors are thus ‘sovereign’.
· If found innocent, the accused cannot be tried again on the same charge (‘double jeopardy’).
· In other words our process is 1) suspicion, 2) investigation, 3) arrest, 4) charge.
2. Under the Continental system, known as the Inquisitorial System (often loosely referred to as the Napoleonic system) things are quite different:
· In Europe the sequence of events is 1) suspicion, 2) arrest, 3) investigation and 4) charge. In other words the citizen can be arrested and imprisoned without anyone having to produce any evidence against him. There is therefore:
· No Habeas Corpus so one can be imprisoned for very long periods (weeks, months, occasionally years) without any evidence being produced against you.
· No right to Trial by Jury as their system involves judgements being made by a career judiciary who are the judges and prosecutors and who are, to all intents and purposes, ‘colleagues’ (a quite separate body of lawyers makes the defence and are often treated as inferiors).
· In most instances the accused can be tried a second time for the same offence, since the prosecution has the right of appeal against acquittal..
What is Corpus Juris?
In April 1997 a seminar was held in San Sebastian, Spain, to discuss a proposal for the ‘Criminal protection of the financial interests of the European Union’ (CJ) under the auspices of the Directorate General XX of the European Commission. Subsequently there have been numerous attempts at denying that the European Commission has been involved in these proposals and that the meeting was just a non related discussion group. “The objectives of the seminar were twofold: to seek to call the attention of jurists in general to the need for effective protection of the Community budget, particularly in connection with fraud against subsidies: and to make known the contents of the CJ for protection of these financial interests, which has been conceived as the embryo of a future European Criminal Code“
The proposals aim to:
· Introduce a “single legal area” within the European Union.
· Introduce a European Public Prosecutor (“EPP”) with national public prosecutors being “under a duty to assist” him or her (Article 18.5).
· There will be a “Judge of Freedoms” whose function is ostensibly to protect t
he citizen’s rights, which however do not include the right to demand that evidence be produced. This means, of course, that an enforceable arrest warrants can be granted without there actually being any evidence at all, since there is no right to verify it at that stage..
· A European Warrant of arrest shall be issued by a national judge on “instructions” of the EPP, and any police force in any member State can be required to enforce it.
· A suspect can be imprisoned without charge for 6 months, renewable for a further 3 months without any limit to the number of renewals.
· The ‘trial’ shall be heard by professional judges, specifically without “simple jurors” or “even lay magistrates” (a clear and specific reference to the British trial system where the crucial decisions are taken by ordinary people)
· An accused can be retried on the same charge if found innocent (i.e. the prosecution can appeal against an acquittal).
Can it be imposed on Britain?
· Speaking for the government in Parliament Kate Hoey MP stated that CJ proposals would infringe on civil liberties and could not be introduced into Britain as the government would veto any such move.
· The House of Lords is the only public body in Britain to have reviewed CJ in detail (See House of Lords, 9th and 19th Reports, 1998/99 session). Some of the findings were:
1. They interviewed two EU representatives who stated that CJ could, and will, be introduced under Article 280 of the Amsterdam Treaty (pages 84 and 85, 9th Report). Article 280 provides for Qualified Majority Voting so Britain will have no veto.
2. Advice from the Law Societies of both England and Scotland stated that CJ was unacceptable
3. In the second House of Lords report on page 73, Jack Straw, Home Secretary, stated that he was unaware of any proposals for the introduction of Justice & Home Affairs measures by Qualified Majority Voting – presumably he never read the earlier report !!!
When may CJ be introduced?
· Basically at any time now that the new European Commission has been established.
· In March 1999 the European Parliament “welcomed CJ” in principle with support from all Britain’s MEPs bar two Labour MEPs. Subsequently the Conservative MEPs claimed that they had voted the wrong way by mistake! Presumably the Labour and LibDem MEPs meant to support the CJ proposals, although Tony Blair has not yet been asked why his MEPs all flouted his government’s stated policy which is to reject CJ. One of the motions approved stated that CJ could be applied to ‘serious crimes’, undefined of course, opening the door to CJ being applied to areas outside EU fraud.
· On 11 Sept 99, the ‘Wise Men’, who had previously revealed fraud in the European Commission, recommended that CJ be introduced in a three step programme – clearly designed to sugar the pill so that the UK will swallow it:
1. Step 1: should just apply to the European Commission and its employees
2. Step 2: establish a Prosecutor’s office in each member state to work with the national police & courts
3. Step 3: link the central and peripheral offices and establish a European Prosecutor’s office after holding an Intergovernmental Conference which would clearly be to ratify the introduction of CJ
· Mrs Diemut Theato, a German MEP, has asked for the introduction of a European Public Prosecutor to be part of the package of EU Treaty changes discussed in this year’s Inter-Governmental Conference.
Can CJ be stopped?
On the face of it – probably not. CJ can be brought in regardless of whether we adopt the Euro or not. Britain would have to leave the EU to be sure of avoiding it.
In the short term, we have seen a compromise proposal from Britain which would introduce the concept of ‘mutual recognition’ of every EU country’s legal decisions by criminal courts. This proposal would remove our Habeas Corpus safeguards and we would accept that a judge in another EU country could order the arrest of a UK citizen on UK soil under their laws, without having to produce any evidence (in fact this situation already exists in the case of extradition within the EU) or any formality whatsoever (it is still possible to produce arguments to resist extradition requests. This last possibility will be eliminated)
As with so much legislation from the EU, CJ is following a well worn path: a secretive start to the proposal, then disclosure by a whistle blower, then government and often EU denials (“it is only a discussion paper” – “nothing to worry about” – “we can stop it anyway”), followed by its introduction into legislation by stealth; and then, when the full horror is revealed, a shr
ug of the shoulders (“well, it is too late now to do anything”)
Initially it may well look innocuous, indeed even desirable. After all, who is going to stand up and say that fraud with the European Commission itself should not be tackled? Once the principle has been accepted then it will be much easier for them to apply it as an overall EU Code of Criminal Law. If CJ is imposed and Britain refuses to accept then the issue will go before the European Court of Justice which surely will uphold the majority decision to introduce it under Article 280 of the Amsterdam Treaty. (The intention to use this device is confirmed in pp 84-85 of the House of Lords Report, HL 62, HMSP 1999)
For more information
Keep up-to-date by following CJ developments in the press (so far Daily Telegraph and Private Eye) and websites such as
Democracy Movement (Richmond) – www.ukdemocracy.co.uk
Corpus Juris is the EU-wide system of criminal justice that you will be living under if the EU gets its way. The EU envisions the territory of the member states of the Union as a single legal area with delegated prosecutors based in all the member states. You will have no say over their selection or how they operate and if you are British the protections you once had from unlawful arrest, detention without trial, and prosecutorial persecution during trial will be lost.
The implications for our legal system and individual rights are immense. The EU’s own official book,Corpus Juris, makes this astoundingly clear: “What we propose is a set of penal rules. . .designed to ensure. . .a more efficient means of repression” (CJ, Page 40). The prosecutorial rules and powers are repressive:
CORPUS JURIS PROSECUTORIAL POWERS
1) “Powers of investigation of the European Public Prosecutor (EPP) “will include g) To make requests for a person’s remand in custody. . .for a period of up to 6 months, renewable for 3 months, where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the accused has committed one of the offences defined above, or good reasons for believing it necessary to stop him committing such an offence. . .” (Page 90, Article 20).
This means that the EPP can incarcerate someone for months without charge merely because he thinks they might have committed an offence or might commit an offence. It appears that there is no limit to the number of 3-month extensions. This practise was outlawed in Britain more than 300 years ago as part of the Habeus Corpus Act (1689) which is now incorporated into Britain’s Bail Acts.
2) “A European warrant for arrest, issued on the instructions of the EPP by a national judge, is valid across the whole territory; any person arrested thus may be transferred to the territory of a state where he is required to be” during the preparatory stage or at trial (Page 106 b).
You could wind up imprisoned in Greece, Spain, Italy Poland – anywhere in the EU. You would be exiled from your country and isolated from your family and friends. You would find it difficult even to arrange your defence, and as there is no habeas corpus in the EU, you could lie in jail for a very long time.
3) “The Courts must consist of professional judges. . .and not simple jurors or lay magistrates” (Page 114, Article 26.1).
There are no jurors, simple or otherwise. Your rights, held since Magna Carta, to be judged by your peers have been eliminated
. Lay magistracy has been exterminated. The genius of our Common Law, which involves the community in administering criminal justice at first instance through the magistrates and later through the jury, has been deliberately destroyed. In an age when the concept of local community is often described as important, it is absurd and wrong that it should be removed from the administration of law.
4) “For the rules on jurisdiction. . .the choice is made by the EPP (the prosecutor). . .in the interests of the efficient administration of justice” (Page 118).
Once again the prosecutor calls the shots, and the criterion is the “administration” of justice, not justice itself.
5) “In the case of partial or total acquittal appeal is also open to the EPP as a prosecuting party” (Page 120 article 27.2 )
The meaning of this is plain – the accused can be tried twice for the same offence thus creating the state of “double jeopardy” which has been banned in Britain for centuries.
6) “Section 6 of the EC Human Rights constitutes an excellent model for the rights which should be granted to the accused;. . .however case law has not yet decided whether being held in custody makes a person an ‘accused ‘ person. . .” (Page 126).
In this Kafkaesque mode of thinking, anybody can be locked up without becoming an accused person and, since the person has not been accused, he or she will have none of the protections afforded by the human rights legislation or the protections already provided by our Common Law.
7) “We do not propose to open up the possibility to other victims. . .such as consumers or other businesses” (Page 130).
Reading the whole page it is clear that the right to be a civil party in a criminal case is limited to the European Commission. No individuals or businesses have any right to be a civil party.
8) “Anglo-Saxon practises” that rule some evidence is inadmissible (such as that obtained under hearsay) will be watered down to reduce protections to the accused (Page 134). “Hence the need to provide for a ‘European Deposition’ and to make it clear that, in English law, this constitutes a new exception to the hearsay rule” (Page 136).
Later on the same page there are arrangements for an accountant appointed by the Court to give evidence on documents without the whole document being presented and thus being open to challenge by the defence. There is therefore no protection against a) material being quoted out of context or b) material helpful to the defence being omitted. The accountant is appointed by the Court from a list proposed by the prosecutor. The idea that all the evidence against a person, who may be you or me, cannot be examined by our counsel evokes Soviet tyranny.
9) “The judgement must be given publicly, but access to the court may be denied to the Press and public during all or part of the proceedings” (Page 142 Article 34.3).
This is claimed to be for the protection of the accused, but it could easily be used to cover up abuses of power by the authorities.
The implications of Corpus Juris are far-reaching, yet it is almost unknown even to legal professionals. The government has played it down, and it is apparently too dry a subject to attract the attention of the media. If Britain comes under the rule of Corpus Juris, it will be the most backward step in human rights in this country that we have ever known.
Prepared by David Rowlands
UK Independence Party, Bwthyn Hir, Llanerfyl, WELSHPOOL SY21 0HA
OUR Common Law IS OUR BIRTHRIGHT
DO NOT ALLOW THE GOVERNMENT
TO TAKE IT AWAY
PLEASE PASS THIS SOS ON
All quotations in this report are from the EU’s official book Corpus Juris (ISBN 27178/33447) unless otherwise stated.
All quotations from Corpus Juris (ISBN 2-7178-3344-7)
Other useful sources: The Lords Select Committee Report (May 1999), House of Commons Library.
This is an inportant statement as to how everything is achieved through stealth by back door means
The Rome-based criminologist-cum-jurist, Torquil Dick-Erikson observed:
“This issue is dead important, because once the EU gets its hands on Justice and Home Affairs, it acquires the power to put people in prison, i.e. it at last becomes a STATE. It won’t really need a constitution at that point any more.”
It can be found in this very good article