State sovereignty is dead
The Tundra Tabloids is going to find it mighty hard to celebrate Finnish Independence day come Dec 6, we have signed away our state rights, and no longer have a government that answers directly to the people. We have been stripped of our sovereignty and it all happened without a fight or a whimper, there were no blows struck or boycotts threatened, no massive letter writing campaigns with talk radio all a buzz with state rights vs. Brussels darker intentions.
Our Finnish democracy has become no more than a mere rubber stamp for faceless people in a bureaucracy that exists to serve its own self interests, and totally unaswerable to the average Finnish citizen, and it all happened without a shot being fired. Those of who warned, were only to be ignored as miscontents, spoil-joys and “rabble rousers”. Welcome to the Orwellian nightmare of Brussels, you’ve all earned it. KGS
Can you imagine being tried in this country for something that is not a crime here? If this sounds like something Kafka might have dreamt up, it is actually a proposal before EU interior ministers that will soon be enshrined in UK law. It is the sort of legislation that, were it going through Parliament, would be exciting a good deal of comment and debate; but because it is being promulgated in the councils of Europe, hardly anyone knows it is happening.
The initiative, known as the Transfer of Criminal Proceedings, is the latest in a succession of pan-European reforms designed to speed up extradition, prosecution and conviction of criminals. You might think that is no bad thing – except that how a country organises its system of criminal law and sanction is the very essence of nationhood.
This is no longer about mutual co-operation to ensure the bad guys don’t escape justice by hopping from one EU country to another; this is about putting in place the trappings of a single jurisdiction.
As the European scrutiny committee of the House of Commons noted in its report on the proposed reform: “[This] is both novel and far-reaching: it gives national courts competence to try a criminal offence that is not prescribed by UK law or, put another way, that the Government has not proposed nor Parliament agreed should be a crime. Instead, jurisdiction comes from the EU Member State that is transferring the proceedings.” For instance, someone accused of holocaust denial, a crime in Germany and Austria, could be tried for it in an English court even though it is not an offence here.
This is indeed novel and far-reaching. It is also the shape of things to come. Another huge programme of reform is about to take place in this area and much of it is to be agreed in the coming weeks. It involves common access to crime databases, common asylum and immigration policies, new human rights laws and an extension of legislation for the protection of children and vulnerable people (as though we have not had enough of all of these already).
Much of this is being done with UK acquiescence, even if there are some aspects of the reform programme with which the Government disagrees. Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, emphasises that “it is essential that the differences in Member States’ justice systems are respected and the Government will seek to ensure that this continues in the coming years”. It is hard to believe that a British minister even needs to make such a thing clear given the differences between the inquisitorial system that operates on the continent and the adversarial one here.
Read it all here.