25th June 2012: On Thursday afternoon at the European Parliament in Brussels, Andrew Brons raised a number of issues following A Presentation by Michele Coninsx, the newly-elected President of Eurojust.
He asked the President of Eurojust:
"I am not, of course, the greatest enthusiast for the European Union in general or Eurojust in particular. However, that does not prevent me from attending meetings such as this nor of viewing matters objectively.
"You mentioned the European Arrest Warrant. In the United Kingdom the European Arrest Warrant is very controversial because, when the Warrant was introduced, the Magistrates Court and higher courts lost their power, enjoyed under previous extradition systems, to refuse to extradite on the grounds of insufficient evidence.
"I shall not go into that argument now because the EAW was not of your making. It is simply an instrument at your disposal.
"However, I should like to know whether or not Eurojust looks critically at evidence submitted by member states before an EAW is issued. In other words, does Eurojust provide a second examination of evidence, to reduce the likelihood of somebody being extradited without sufficient evidence. This might make up for, in some small way, for the critical examination of evidence that we lost, when the European Arrest Warrant was introduced."
Explanation and Response:
Andrew was trying to discover whether this institution, however much we might dislike it, might have had a beneficial side effect. He provided Miss Coninsx with an opportunity to defend her institution, even in the eyes of critics of the EU.
Andrew said that Miss Coninsx was charming and articulate and spoke in perfect English. However, she never used only one word where a hundred would do. This was clearly stressful for LIBE’s time-conscious President. Although there were few MEPs present, she had few questions to answer and she did attempt to address Andrew's question, she did not say expressly that Eurojust re-examined the evidence.
It appears therefore that the answer should have been a simple ‘No’. Eurojust did not, at all, compensate for the critical examination of evidence that was lost, when the European Arrest Warrant was issued.