Author Archives: Jonathan Marks

Jonathan Marks writes…muddled thinking over the EAW threatens our security

Yesterday in the House of Lords we discussed a report from the European Union Committee entitled ‘Brexit: Judicial Oversight of the European Arrest Warrant’. I regard this as a warm-up to the debates we will be having over the course of the Withdrawal Bill when we return from recess.

I rose to agree with the Prime Minister. Well, when she was Home Secretary in 2014 she recognised that losing the European arrest warrant would turn the UK into “a honeypot for all Europe’s criminals on the run from justice”. It seems that in the intervening period she has suffered some sort of memory loss and is now toying with the idea of pulling out of all of the most important crime-fighting tools we have with our European partners.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 3 Comments

Jonathan Marks writes: Criminal Justice and Courts Bill comes to the Lords  

JusticeThe Lib Dems should be proud that under the Coalition Government crime is falling and fast – in 2013 there was a drop in offences overall of 15%, including a drop in violent crime of 12%, continuing a trend that has been continuous for more than five years.  Crime is now at its lowest level for more than 30 years.

This Bill marks the Coalition Government’s commitment to keep the pressure on to drive down crime.  There is much in it that is good.

The Lib Dems have led the way on a number of key issues. The hard work of Paul Burstow, and Lib Dem Care Minister Norman Lamb, has ensured that wilful neglect by care workers will become a new offence. This is a vital step to ensuring that some of the horrific treatment of patients and those in care that we saw at Mid-Staffordshire Hospital and the Winterbourne Care Home never happens again.

Thanks to the Lib Dems the Bill also makes progress in tackling police corruption by ensuring that police officers have special powers and responsibilities and they must not abuse them corruptly or improperly.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , and | 3 Comments

Conference policy motion: let the cameras into court

Since 1925 and the dawn of public broadcasting, with the exception of a short pilot experiment in the Court of Appeal, Britain’s court doors have been firmly shut to cameras, TV and radio. That is why newspaper court reports carry those sketches by court sketch artists which depict judges, lawyers and witnesses in action, but in a thoroughly artificial way. Even Paul McCartney’s solicitor getting her hair wet at the hand of Heather Mills was covered in this archaic fashion.

Now we have nothing against Court sketch artists, but there can be no justification in the television age …

Posted in Conference | 32 Comments
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