The Rule Of Law

I don’t give a fuck whether or not Mamoun Darkazanli is a terrorist backer. The Spanish say he is; he says he isn’t. But that’s not the point.

The European Arrest Warrant (like the UK’s recent extradition treaty with the US) allows the defendant to be extradited purely on the basis that they’re accused of a crime, rather than on the basis of evidence that they have a decent case to answer. In other words, I could be arrested under Greek blasphemy law and deported to Greece if prosecutors claimed I said ‘fuck God’, or under US antiterror law and then extraordinarily rendered to Guantanamo Bay if they claimed I said ‘Al Qaeda are great, you should join’. The extradition hearing in my home country would have no right to ask whether there was any evidence I’d actually said these things.

So great respect to the German Federal Constitutional Court for finding that the legislation that enables the European Arrest Warrant is unconstitutional; I wish the UK had some kind of constitutional court that could do the same.

In an ideal world, the Germans would now abandon the scheme, the EU would dump it since it doesn’t work without the Union’s largest member, Tony and Charlie The Safety Elephant would see the light and dump the similar treaty with the US, and the fierce beating civil liberties have needlessly taken in recent years would ease up a little.

(yes, in practice, the Germans are likely to change the relevant enabling law and/or the constitution so that the Arrest Warrant can come back into play. But one can dream…)

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