From a press briefing that I now get:
Recognition of court rulings: EU approves proposal to try Britons in their absence in foreign courts (The Times, p. 11): "British citizens could be convicted in their absence by foreign courts for traffic, credit card or other criminal offences under plans approved in principle by the European Parliament…Philip Bradbourn, the Conservative justice and home affairs spokesman in the European Parliament, said: “This initiative would enable courts to pass judgments in absentia. It goes against one of the most fundamental corner-stones of British justice – that the accused has a right to defend himself at trial. If other EU countries want to go ahead with this proposal that’s their choice, but the British Government should have no part [of it].” …The European Criminal Bar Association opposed the plans, saying that they were “by their very nature a violation of the fundamental procedural rights of the accused”…The Parliament said in a statement: “The EU wants to create a common area for justice, which requires the mutual recognition of criminal law judgments by member states.”" (Frances Gibb)
Well, that’s that then, isn’t it?
The end of it all. No longer need your accuser face you, no longer must it be possible for you to defend yourself against any charges.
You can be tried at the other end of the continent without your ever knowing about it and then banged up.
Tried witout a jury, tried without defense. And all so that we can stop Germany from invading France again.
Not really all that good a deal really, is it?
"Mutual recognition of criminal law judgements"?
Yes, that really does mean what it says. A Greek court ties you in absentia for plane spotting, gives you 13 years or whatever and the British police must hunt you down and hand you over.
Yes, Magna Carta did indeed die in vain.