Students Staff

06 November 2014

Essex lawyers urge MPs to keep European Arrest Warrant in letter to The Telegraph

Two University of Essex professors are among dozens of legal experts to warn that the UK risks becoming a haven for foreign criminals, if it opts out of the European Arrest Warrant, in a letter to The Telegraph today.

Professor Steve Peers

Professor Steve Peers

Professors Steve Peers and Geoff Gilbert, of Essex’s School of Law, are among 40 of Britain’s most senior legal figures who have warned MPs that “there is no credible alternative” to the European Arrest Warrant.

Writing on the EU Law Analysis blog earlier this week, Professor Peers warned that “having less stringent extradition laws in the UK than the rest of the EU would risk turning the UK into a sort of ‘Costa del Crime.”

Urging MPs to back the Warrant, Professor Peers wrote that “alarmist press coverage has fuelled a widely held belief that ‘Brussels’ is planning to impose on Europe a single, common uniform system of criminal justice. This quite simply is not the case.”

In the letter to The Telegraph, legal figures - including former President of the Supreme Court Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers and Sir Henry Brooke, a former Lord Justice of Appeal – warn that opting out of the Warrant would prevent the extradition to Britain of extremists like Hussain Osman who was convicted after the failed 21 July 2005 London bombing.

Professor Peers said: “The ‘in/out’ option that has emerged in domestic politics is crude and dangerous.”

He added: “The European Arrest Warrant is by no means perfect and reflection, review and reform should never be off the agenda. On balance we believe it to be a positive force and as such it is preferable to be ‘in’ it – with a chance to shape it – than ‘out’ of it.”

MPs are due to vote on the matter next week. Despite a back-bench rebellion by scores of Conservatives, it is likely to pass with the support of Labour and Liberal Democrats.


More information

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Steve Peers, please contact the University of Essex Communications Office, telephone: 01206 873529 or email:

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