Peers quiz Director of Public Prosecutions on 2014 opt-out decision

04 February 2013

The Lords joint inquiry into the UK’s possible opt-out from police and criminal justice measures in 2014 will hear from Keir Starmer QC, Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and law enforcement experts on Wednesday 6 February.

The inquiry is being conducted jointly by two of the Lords EU Sub-Committees – Home Affairs, Health and Education, chaired by Lord Hannay of Chiswick and Justice, Institutions and Consumer Protection, chaired by Lord Bowness.

At 11am, the Committees will first question Mr Starmer about issues including the effect of opting-out on UK prosecution and law enforcement agencies; the impact of the European Arrest Warrant on extradition to and from other Member States; and if there are any pre-Lisbon policing, crime and justice measures which have proved beneficial to prosecutors.

Following on, at 12pm, the Committees will hear from:

  • Commander Alan Gibson, Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO);
  • Aled Williams, former President of Eurojust;
  • William Hughes, former Director General of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA); and
  • Mike Kennedy, former President of Eurojust and former Chief Operating Officer at the CPS.

The Committees will explore with the witnesses issues including whether UK police and law enforcement agencies are using Eurojust and Europol effectively; the significance for cross-border cooperation if the opt-out were exercised and the ability for UK organisations to exchange information with other Member States; how the UK’s cooperation with non-EU countries regarding cross-border crime and extradition compares with its relationship with other Member States; and which measures are and are not in the UK’s best interests to opt back into.

The evidence sessions will begin at 11am on Wednesday 6 February in Committee Room 3.

The sessions will be webcast live at and are also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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