UK citizens are accustomed to high standards of legal protection at home and they should enjoy similar when they are elsewhere in the European Union, says the Lords Justice and Institutions EU Sub-Committee in its new report, published today.
With so many more people moving through EU countries, there is a higher likelihood of British citizens becoming caught up in the criminal justice systems of other EU Member States, either as defendants or victims. In their report, the Lords agree that the new ‘roadmaps’ of EU legislation, which will establish minimum rights for defendants and victims alike, are the best way to protect British people from any possible legal problems abroad.
Committee Chair, Lord Bowness, said:
“Significant EU law enforcement legislation such as the European Arrest Warrant now needs to be complemented by measures protecting European citizens.
“By establishing minimum legal rights for both defendants and victims, regardless of which EU Member State they are from, we can ensure that British citizens are guaranteed a high level of care and protection, regardless of where they might find themselves in trouble.
“However, we recognise that EU legislation could easily cause significant problems as Member States have such diverse national laws. To protect against this, we recommend that the minimum rights set at EU level should be firmly grounded in the European Court of Human Rights and other international law norms.”
The report, The European Union’s Policy on Criminal Procedure, is available from the Committee's webpage.