A look at how the Ian Bailey case could change the rules on sovereign jurisdiction *

Irish Times
28.06.2010
By CAROL COULTER

Warrant allows investigation in two or more EU states, conference told

A PERSON could be investigated across two or more jurisdictions for the same offence under the European Arrest Warrant process, a conference in Trinity College has heard.

Prof Dermot Walsh of the University of Limerick told TCD law school’s conference on criminal law at the weekend, that a prosecution blocked due to procedural or evidential difficulties in the state where the offence was committed could be pursued in another state where the rules were different. This opened up the danger of forum shopping, he said.

This was illustrated by the case of the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, he said. If Ian Bailey is surrendered to the French authorities, the European warrant will have functioned as an instrument through which the law enforcement authorities in one member state can pursue the prosecution of a criminal offence in another.

This will undermine what might broadly be described as sovereign jurisdiction over domestic crime and the criminal process,” he said. “It will loosen the knot that has traditionally tied the investigation and prosecution of a crime to the domestic law enforcement authorities in the jurisdiction where the crime was committed.

“Should the EAW develop along these lines, it will open up the prospect of forum shopping. Where the prosecution of a suspect for a crime committed in one jurisdiction is hampered because of [its] procedural, evidential or even definitional standards, the EAW may facilitate the prosecution of that individual in another jurisdiction where the standards are lower.”

Full article

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