11th July 2012: This was the third contribution from Andrew Brons to the debate in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) on The Priorities of the Cyprus Presidency of the Council*.
"The Minister for Justice (Mr. Loucas Louca) referred to the need for suspects in criminal cases to have access to legal advice and legal aid.
"I agree wholeheartedly. However, he continued to say that he supported the use of the European Arrest Warrant.
"Would it not be preferable to revert to the system that we had before its introduction in which the courts (in the country from which extradition was sought) could refuse to extradite unless and until there was evidence of a case to answer. It might save a lot of money in the long term."
* The Council is the body comprising one representative of each member state government. It shares legislative power with the Parliament. The Presidency of the Council 'rotates' every six months with a different country occupying the Presidency. Cyprus has been President of the Council since 1st July 2012 and it will hold that position until 31st December 2012.