UK right not to adopt EU justice measure, Lords committee says

first_imgEuropean Union laws setting minimum rights for defendants and victims are in the interests of British citizens, but the government was right not to sign up to a Lisbon treaty proposal guaranteeing suspects access to a lawyer, a committee of peers has said. The Lords Justice and Institutions EU sub-committee reported this week: ‘There are legitimate concerns that EU citizens who find themselves involved in the criminal justice system of another member state, either as defendants or victims of crime, are disadvantaged.’ British citizens, who are ‘accustomed to high standards of legal protection at home’, may find themselves with fewer rights than they would expect in their own country, the report says. The report follows the committee’s enquiry into the growing body of EU criminal justice legislation and its likely effect on British citizens, during which it heard evidence from the Law Society and the Bar Council. It found: ‘There is a widespread perception that the development of cross-border law enforcement measures has not been matched by balancing measures to ensure the rights of those defendants and victims involved.’ To date, it said, the EU legislative effort has prioritised law enforcement, with a focus on facilitating mutual recognition – so that decisions made by the judicial authorities of member states are given effect by the judicial authorities of another. The committee welcomed the 2009 Lisbon treaty, which put in place ‘road maps’ of planned legislation to secure defendants and victims rights, It says such road maps are the best way to protect British people from possible legal problems abroad and recommends that the government take a positive approach to opting in to such EU legislation. However, it accepts that there are problems in incorporating the rules into the UK’s criminal law systems and agrees with the government that the proposal for access to a lawyer in the current road map proposal would be ‘too disruptive for the UK criminal justice systems’, supporting its decision not to opt in. But the committee hopes the outcome of the negotiations on the directive would be legislation that the UK could opt in to. It concludes that the government should continue to look favourably in principle at opting in to further road map legislation, bearing in mind particularly the influence that the UK can have in raising standards across the EU. But it recommends that, before the European Commission expands its criminal justice policy, the road map legislation should be put in place and its impact assessed. Committee chair Lord Bowness said: ‘Significant EU law enforcement legislation such as the European arrest warrant now needs to be complemented by measures protecting European citizens. ‘By establishing minimum legal rights for both defendants and victims, regardless of which EU member state they are from, we can ensure that British citizens are guaranteed a high level of care and protection, regardless of where they might find themselves in trouble,’ he said. ‘However, we recognise that EU legislation could easily cause significant problems as member states have such diverse national laws. To protect against this, we recommend that the minimum rights set at EU level should be firmly grounded in the European Court of Human Rights and other international law norms.’ A Law Society spokeswoman said the Society supports the principle of improving procedural rights provision in criminal proceedings across the EU and supports the current initiative for a directive on the right of access to a lawyer. Head of policy at Fair Trials International Catherine Heard, said: ‘We are delighted that this report sees a clear need for safeguards to be built into EU law for basic rights like access to an interpreter and a lawyer, which are fundamental to a fair trial but are sadly under-protected in many EU countries. ‘This report echoes what Fair Trials International has been saying for years – prosecution measures like the European arrest warrant have been prioritised, at the expense of these crucial defence rights.’ She added ‘The UK must work with its EU partners to get these safeguards right, or more cases of injustice will follow.’last_img read more

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Watford player’s future ‘increasingly in the air’ – Hornets want €15m,…

first_imgAfter Watford’s relegation to the Championship, you’re likely to hear numerous rumours about the future of their players. Reports have already indicated that the Hornets will oversee an overhaul and get rid of numerous players, with the Pozzo family determined to focus on youth instead.Thus, the speculation will be plentiful, and one player who you’ll definitely hear about is striker Luis Suárez.The Colombian has spent the season on loan at Real Zaragoza and impressed, scoring 19 goals in all competitions and earning himself plenty of praise, and attention, around Europe.There’s been months and months of speculation about his future as a result, with clubs in Spain and Italy competing for him and Watford seemingly trying to figure out what to do.Embed from Getty ImagesSport Aragon cover the situation today and state that the player’s future is ‘increasingly in the air’ after Watford’s relegation.Them dropping down a division has increased the chances of Suárez leaving Vicarage Road this summer and, while it’s not yet clear where he’ll go, Real Zaragoza remain an option.If they are promoted to La Liga, one of Suarez’s options would be to stay at his current club for a second loan spell.His situation at Watford is ‘complicated’ at present. He has two years left on his current deal, and they have offered him a new one, but that is ‘paralysed’.If he refuses to sign that deal, his departure will be ‘immediate’, on either loan or in a permanent deal, and he has ‘no shortage of offers’.Watford will only sell for €15m, which is a price that Napoli and Lazio, and even a club in Turkey have already offered for him.Suárez, for his part, is keen to play in the top flight in Spain or Italy, which indicates he will look to Vicarage Road at some point this summer.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksTrending Today聽多多 Hearmore.asia1969年前出生的香港居民現可免費試戴頂尖的歐洲助聽器聽多多 Hearmore.asiaUndoRaid: Shadow Legends | Free DownloadEven Non-Gamers Are Obsessed With This RPG Game (It’s Worth Installing!)Raid: Shadow Legends | Free DownloadUndoCoworking Space | Search AdsThe cost of shared office in Hong Kong might surprise youCoworking Space | Search AdsUndo熱門話題小心會長過頭…網友推爆:「真的長得超誇張!」熱門話題UndoStanChart by CNBC CatalystDigitization in Banks Is No Longer About Efficiency, but Business Resilience. Don’t Get Left Behind.StanChart by CNBC CatalystUndoDating.comTop Successful Single Men in Tung ChungDating.comUndoCNN with DBS BankThe New Role Banks Are PlayingCNN with DBS BankUndoLoans | Search AdsNeed a loan? Search hereLoans | Search AdsUndoKeto减肥1個簡單的妙招一夜「融化」腹部贅肉(今晚試試)Keto减肥Undolast_img read more

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Art of flower arranging meets holiday decor

first_imgHoliday decorations in the U.S. are often symmetrical: Two candles on either side of the mantel, a round wreath in the center of the door, a centerpiece with matching sprigs of holly and pine on each side. The ancient Japanese art of ikebana, or flower arranging, can provide festive sparkle and color, too, with a much more modern feel.“The three basic tenets are line, movement and open space,” said Eileen Kay, a retired elementary-school teacher in Boulder, Colorado, who has been studying ikebana for years. “Most people go to the store and buy a bunch of flowers. But there’s no line. The line could be a piece of ivy, a ribbon, anything that lends itself to visual flow.”Mastering ikebana requires years of training, and there are many methods of approaching the art. The Sogetsu school of flower arranging, one of the largest and most accessible, teaches that anyone can arrange ikebana and with almost anything.Even for the uninitiated, a few basic tools and principles are sufficient to begin experimenting at home with this different aesthetic — just in time for holiday decor.“The biggest difference between Western arrangements and ikebana is asymmetry,” said Kimi Quinn, a Sogetsu-certified practitioner who has been designing ikebana arrangements in the U.S. and Japan for over 20 years. “Ikebana is about capturing the universe and nature. Nothing in the natural world is symmetrical.”In ikebana, the empty space between branches is as important as the branches themselves.“It’s like that Zen question asking about the sound of one hand clapping. The answer is silence. Space,” Quinn said.Many ikebana arrangements mix and match tall tree branches and much smaller flowers with no perfectly vertical or horizontal lines, plenty of space in between and, if a low dish is used, the water often in view.To begin, all that’s needed is a heavy pin board (kenzan) or a block of flower-arranging sponge, available at craft and floral-supply stores, and a low salad bowl or platter. The container should be filled with just enough water to barely cover the pin board or sponge.You might start with a decorative branch for a long defining line, a medium flower or branch and a shorter flower, and a large leaf or some other small flower to help cover the pin board.For the holidays, bare branches painted silver, gold or white are a good choice, as are pine, holly or even red roses.In general, “the longest stem should be twice as long as the container is wide,” Quinn said. “The medium stem should be around three-quarters the length of the longer branch, and the shorter stem should be around half the length of the medium stem.”Before arranging the stems and branches, trim excess foliage, and trim the stems while they are submerged in water. They should be clipped at an angle for tree branches and straight across for flower stems, Quinn said.“You don’t just stick them straight down into the pin board,” she said. “You angle them in different directions, some backward and others forward, to give some depth and perspective. Pay attention to the curve of the lines, and the spaces between the lines.”Think about the beauty of the natural forms, and allow your personality and feeling to come through, Quinn said.Ikebana displays typically last only three to five days.“It’s so sad when they go because I’ve put so much heart into them,” Quinn said. “But appreciating that fleeting beauty is really the essence of what it’s all about.”Online resources:www.ikenoboamerica.com (Ikenobo Ikebana Society of Japan, one of the oldest ikebana societies, with branches across North America)www.ikebanahq.org (Ikebana International, based in Japan, with chapters and events around the world)www.sogetsu.or.jp (The Sogetsu school of Ikebana offers classes, books and supplies)www.ziji.com (sells supplies for ikebana flower arrangements)last_img read more

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