Nobody in Britain seems to have noticed, but the first European Public Prosecutor has already been appointed. Her name is Laura Codruţa Kövesi, she hails from Romania, and her CV says she studied law at an ancient University in Transylvania.
Her office is expected to start its operation in November 2020. At that time the UK will still be under all EU rules and laws, within the transition period.
Now the UK Parliament decided to opt out of the EPP’s jurisdiction a while ago, but as long as we remain within the European Arrest Warrant scheme, she will be empowered to have anyone in the UK arrested and transported forcibly abroad, producing no evidence. This power of the EPP to issue valid EAWs against anyone in the UK is confirmed by the learned Counsel’s Opinion of Jonathan Fisher QC, which may be read here.
The European Public Prosecutor’s Office is the centrepiece of the EU’s “Corpus Juris” project for an embryo single uniform criminal code for all Europe, which was first unveiled at a seminar in Spain in 1997, which I attended. The Corpus Juris project was examined by a select committee of the House of Lords, chaired by Lord Hope of Craighead, which rejected it firmly (Session 1998-99, 9th Report, HL Paper 62). Brussels then put it at the back of the fridge. Now that they will no longer have to face the UK and its objections, it is likely that Corpus Juris will be taken out again and dusted off. The EPP will need a handbook to regulate her activities, and Corpus Juris was designed precisely for the purpose. The idea of a “European Warrant for Arrest” was first put forward in Corpus Juris. The EAW is in fact the first step towards its implementation. The fact that no evidence need be produced for a long time after arrest and imprisonment makes it an ideal tool for political tyranny, as a means of getting inconvenient politicians or journalists out of the way.
Boris might be well-advised to amend the Extradition Act 2003, which enables EAWs to be applied in the UK, before November.
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