The House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Justice and Institutions has begun its inquiry into the EU's policy on criminal procedures. The Sub-Committee will be examining questions including whether the Commission's recent proposals for a "coherent and consistent EU criminal policy" take sufficient account of Member States' national judicial and criminal processes, and how pre-trial procedure, European Arrest Warrants, and the rights of defendants might be affected by the Commission's proposals.
The Sub-Committee will be hearing evidence from prominent academics and legal policy organisations such as the Law Society and Justice, the law reform and human rights organisation. Members of the public are able to attend these sessions or watch them live online via the Parliament TV website. Evidence taken at all public sessions is made available online via transcripts and videos.
Recent evidence sessions include the EU Select Committee's session on the Euro-area crisis ( PDF 136 KB) with Edward Carr, Foreign Editor for The Economist, and Charles Grant, Director of the Centre for European Reform; and the Sub-Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Development Policy's sessions as part of its inquiry into military capabilities available to the EU, including hearing evidence from US Ambassador Nicholas Burns.
The Sub-Committee on Internal Market, Energy and Transport has published its report into the European Rail Market, Tunnel Vision? Completing the European rail market. The report conducts a case study into the Channel Tunnel, and provides recommendations for the future development of the EU rail network. Stakeholders interested in receiving a hard copy of the report should contact the Sub-Committee Clerk.
Both the Sub-Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment and the Sub-Committee on Social Policies and Consumer Protection have conducted seminars with stakeholder groups to further explore the Sub-Committees' work and recent reports. The seminar conducted by the Agriculture and Fisheries Sub-Committee focused on its inquiry into innovation in EU agriculture. The seminar conducted by the Social Policies Sub-Committee follows up on its inquiry into the European Social Fund. It is hoped that the EU Committees will continue to be able to conduct such seminars to increase stakeholder engagement with the Committees' work.
At the beginning of November, the Select Committee hosted the regular informal Tripartite meeting with members of the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee and UK MEPs. This month, the Sub-Committee for Home Affairs conducted several visits as part of its inquiry into the EU Drug Strategy, taking evidence from the Commissioner for Justice in Brussels and the Director of the Portuguese national drug policy in Lisbon.
The details of the work of each Sub-Committee are available in our December Newsletter and on their individual web-pages.