Briefing Document / Jan. 27, 2010

UK Universal Jurisdiction group warns Parliamentarians about proposed reform of arrest warrant procedure

Global Witness, together with Amnesty International UK, FIDH, Human Rights Watch, Justice and REDRESS, submitted a briefing paper to the Parliament, prompted by the proposed reform of the current arrest warrant procedure.

The organizations that have prepared the briefing paper are gravely concerned that any changes to existing law and procedure will undermine the capacity of victims of serious international crimes to hold accountable alleged perpetrators who come within the UK's jurisdiction by making all arrest decisions in such cases subject to political considerations rather than being based on the legal merits. Suspects may therefore find a safe haven in the UK, and the already considerable barriers to bringing such suspects to justice will be heightened.

Instead of making it more difficult to arrest with a view to prosecuting such suspects, the UK should be seeking to enhance its capacity to do so, and mooted legislative changes are a step entirely in the wrong direction.


Briefing Paper to Parliamentarians