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I am against the European Arrest Warrant (EAW).  There is a great system that respects sovereignty called extradition (I know something about extradition  – one of my scholarly legal articles is about how to stop “snatching” or rendition where there is a treaty in place!) and it has centuries of refinement through precedent, statute and common law judicial decisions.

But the EU doesn’t want that:  It wants to establish a superstate without the consent of the governed.  And it wants the powers of a state – including arrest.  And the list of crimes is scary.  It includes (from the EU website [emphasis added]):

2. The following offences, if they are punishable in the issuing Member State by a custodial sentence or a detention order for a maximum period of at least three years and as they are defined by the law of the issuing Member State, shall, under the terms of this Framework Decision and without verification of the double criminality of the act, give rise to surrender pursuant to a European arrest warrant:

– participation in a criminal organisation,

– terrorism,

– trafficking in human beings,

– sexual exploitation of children and child pornography,

– illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances,

– illicit trafficking in weapons, munitions and explosives,

– corruption,

– fraud, including that affecting the financial interests of the European Communities within the meaning of the Convention of 26 July 1995 on the protection of the European Communities’ financial interests,

– laundering of the proceeds of crime,

– counterfeiting currency, including of the euro,

– computer-related crime,

– environmental crime, including illicit trafficking in endangered animal species and in endangered plant species and varieties,

– facilitation of unauthorised entry and residence,

– murder, grievous bodily injury,

– illicit trade in human organs and tissue,

– kidnapping, illegal restraint and hostage-taking,

– racism and xenophobia,

– organised or armed robbery,

– illicit trafficking in cultural goods, including antiques and works of art,

– swindling,

– racketeering and extortion,

– counterfeiting and piracy of products,

– forgery of administrative documents and trafficking therein,

– forgery of means of payment,

– illicit trafficking in hormonal substances and other growth promoters,

– illicit trafficking in nuclear or radioactive materials,

– trafficking in stolen vehicles,

– rape,

– arson,

– crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court,

– unlawful seizure of aircraft/ships,

– sabotage.

These three could cause a problem for Great Britain (and even indirectly for the USA).

Environmental crimes – this could include “global warming denial”.  Here are a few calls for trials for so-called deniers:

From the US Senate Committee for Public Works:

A U.S. based environmental magazine that both former Vice President Al Gore ( ) and PBS newsman Bill Moyers, for his October 11th global warming edition of “Moyers on America” titled “Is God Green?”

( ) have deemed respectable enough to grant one-on-one interviews to promote their projects, is now advocating Nuremberg-style war crimes trials for skeptics of human caused catastrophic global warming.

Grist Magazine’s staff writer David Roberts called for the Nuremberg-style trials for the “bastards” who were members of what he termed the global warming “denial industry.”

Roberts wrote in the online publication on September 19, 2006, “When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg.” ( )

Here’s an American professor who suggests that funding climate change “denial” could be  criminal negligence and cites an Italian incident about a earthquake:

We have good reason to consider the funding of climate denial to be criminally and morally negligent. The charge of criminal and moral negligence ought to extend to all activities of the climate deniers who receive funding as part of a sustained campaign to undermine the public’s understanding of scientific consensus.

So if a EU nation were to enact a statute criminalizing climate change “denial”, the European Arrest Warrant could be used to arrest and bring back a UK national to stand trial – in a nation that might not have the legal protections the UK will have.  (In fact, Senator Inhofe could be ARRESTED if he visited Great Britain if there is such a statute in another EU nation!)

That leads us to the International Criminal Court and how British (and US) soldiers could be ARRESTED on alleged “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” through the EAW.  Here is a Bill Clinton official (David J. Scheffer, Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues) who admits that it is possible that our troops could be tried by the ICC:

Foreign officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations tried to assure us in Rome that procedural safeguards built into the treaty–many sought successfully by the United States–meant that there would be no plausible risk to U.S. soldiers. We could not share in such an optimistic view of the infallibility of an untried institution….

We hope that other governments will recognize the benefits of potential American participation in the Rome treaty and correct its flawed provisions. The United States can make the critical difference in the ability and willingness of reluctant governments to cooperate with the court, but not if the court places at risk those who shoulder the responsibility for international peace and security.

So a UK or US solider suspected of war crimes could be ARRESTED under the EAW if there were some sort of crime (Both Belgium and Spain have claimed universal jurisdiction over human rights and Spain actually detained in the UK former Chilean leader Pinochet.  Remember the EU law does not require an actual violation of the ICC but mere crimes “…within the jurisdiction…” of the Court.) and be transferred to the other nation for trial.

The EAW is dangerous.  Not just to Britain.  But to the US.  It must be stopped.  So should the EU.  Don’t count on this administration to do it.  Is Ambassador John Bolton running for President yet?





About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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