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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Panthers edge Vikings in thriller

first_imgRussell HedgesIt started out like it was going to be a Parkway cakewalk. It ended with fans of both the Panthers and the Airline Vikings on their feet at Preston Crownover Stadium, urging their respective teams on.Parkway’s undefeated season and a possible outright District 1-5A championship hung in the balance.The Panthers had jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter. But after that it was a toe-to-toe battle for Bossier City high school football supremacy.Players from both teams put it all on the line for four quarters. For a while in the fourth, the momentum was with Airline and an upset seemed possible.Jere Grice/Press-TribuneParkway’s Brodrick Jefferson caught seven passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns in the Panthers’ 30-23 victory over Airline Friday.With the score tied at 23, the Vikings stopped the Panthers on a fourth-and-3. Airline took over at the Parkway 46 and moved to the 27.On third-and-6, the Vikings came tantalizing close to completing a pass inside the 10. On fourth down, a 40-yard field goal attempt failed.It’s in these moments that big-time players make their presence felt. Parkway has two of the best in senior quarterback Brandon Harris and senior wide receiver Brodrick Jefferson.On third-and-10, Jefferson caught a pass from Harris, escaped a tackle and got a first down. A play later he ran 53 yards up the middle for an apparent touchdown that was erased by a penalty.Harris then broke loose to the Airline 22. On third- and-8 from the 20, he lofted a pass to the end zone. Jefferson went up and got it for the go-ahead score with 1:39 left.It wasn’t over until the Panthers recovered a fumble near midfield that allowed them to run out the clock.With the 30-23 victory, Parkway finished the regular season 9-0, the first undefeated season in school history. The Panthers won the outright District 1-5A title at 5-0. Airline, which could have earned a share of the title with a victory, finished 5-5 overall and 3-2 in district.“It’s an amazing feeling,” Parkway coach David Feaster said. “This is something that we’re going to have some perspective probably more as we grow and look back on it. But to have a perfect season like this, and to be in 5A when we have our perfect season.“It would’ve been one thing if we had gone back down to 4A, and beaten those guys and so forth. But to be in 5A, the largest classification, and have our kids play this well every week, is amazing.”Airline coach Bo Meeks was obviously disappointed in the loss, but he couldn’t have gotten a better effort from his players.He told his team after the game that they had become a “great football team.”“I could not be prouder of the effort of our guys tonight,” he said. “To fight back after being 14 down and being on the verge of winning against a team that everyone is talking about going to the Superdome. We were 2-4 and left for dead after Week 6. It’s just a testament to what these assistant coaches and players have done.”The Vikings put pressure on LSU signee Harris throughout the game, forcing him into some poor throws in the first half.But Harris still accounted for almost 400 yards total offense. He completed 14 of 29 passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed 15 times for 90 yards.Jefferson, who grabbed seven passes for 222 yards, caught an 87-yard touchdown pass on Parkway’s second series. Austin Roth was on the receiving end of a 17-yard score on the Panthers’ first drive.Avery Shoebridge kicked a 22-yard field goal with 3 seconds left in the half to give the Panthers a 17-15 lead. Demetrius McAtee also scored on a 1-yard run. William McKnight had a big catch that set up a touchdown.Trey Walker, Dante Williams, Marquis King and Matthew Harper had strong efforts on defense.Walker had 15 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. Williams had 12 tackles and an interception.King ended a promising Airline drive with an interception and had 13 tackles. Harper had four tackles for losses and recovered a fumble.Zac Scroggins also helped the cause with eight tackles.Airline had its share of stars, too.In his post-game speech, Meeks told junior quarterback Jacob James that he turned in a “warrior’s effort.”James scored touchdowns on runs of 17 and 6 yards. He also completed 18 of 26 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.James also had a two-point conversion run after his first TD, a 17-yard run.He hit Charlie Matthews on a 7-yard swing pass for a touchdown. Matthews is a defensive lineman who came in and lined up in the slot.Shuncee Thomas also had a big game, gaining 114 yards on 18 carries. A lot of the credit for that goes to Airline’s offensive line.Receivers Darian Germany, Cameron Taylor, Roderick Spurlock and D’Juan Byrd all had big catches.Tyrice Neal and Jawillis McClinton had interceptions.As emotional as the game was, both the Panthers and Vikings will have to put it behind them quickly and get ready for the playoffsRussell Hedges is the sports editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune. You can contact him by e-mail at [email protected] comPremier Diamond BoutiqueHong Kong’s first lab-grown diamond empirePremier Diamond Boutique|SponsoredSponsoredUndoInstant Voice TranslatorInstant Voice Translator (43 Languages) Takes Hong Kong By StormInstant Voice Translator|SponsoredSponsoredUndoPerfect-Dating.comAre You Ready to Meet Cool Guys in Tung Chung?Perfect-Dating.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndoStanChart by CNBC CatalystBlockchain Is Changing the Game for Trade Financing. 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Royals owner David Glass agrees to sell team to group of Kansas City investors led by John Sherman

first_img Royals owner in discussions to sell team to Kansas City native John Sherman for $1 billion, report says “A native of this area, John has made a huge impact in our business community and is so passionate about baseball that he purchased an ownership stake in the Cleveland Indians three years ago to begin his relationship with this great game. We are truly blessed to have someone of John’s stature and business acumen available to us from the metropolitan area to take the reins of this organization going forward.”The Glass family bought the Royals in 2000 for $96 million. Sherman is a part owner of the Indians but will give up his stake in Cleveland to take over the Royals.“The decision to sell the Royals was difficult for our family. Our goal, which I firmly believe we’ve achieved, was to have someone local, who truly loved the game of baseball and who would be a great steward for this franchise going forward. In John Sherman we have found everything we were looking for in taking ownership of this franchise,” Glass said. “John Sherman and his group far exceeded our hope for the next caretaker of Royals baseball. His love for Kansas City and the game of baseball is well documented as are his philanthropic endeavors in the surrounding communities. Related News The Glass family has agreed to sell the Royals.Kansas City announced Friday, David Glass and his family will sell the team to a group of Kansas City investors led by entrepreneur John Sherman. According to ESPN, the sale will be for more than $1 billion.“I am enormously grateful to David and the Glass Family for this extraordinary opportunity, and am humbled by the chance to team up with a distinguished group of local investors to carry forward and build on this rich Kansas City Royals legacy,” Sherman in a statement. “Our goal will be threefold: to compete for a championship on behalf of our fans; to honor their passion, their experience and their unwavering commitment; and to carry their hopes and dreams forward in this great Kansas City region we all love — for decades to come.”Sherman and his investment group will become the third owners of the Royals joining Ewing Kauffman, who ran the team from its inception in 1969, and Glass.last_img read more

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Washington County Helping Kick Off State’s Bicentennial Friday

first_imgOn Friday, the state of Indiana turns 199 years old and Washington County will be helping celebrate with activities on the Courthouse lawn beginning at 1p.The anniversary marks the day President James Madison signed an act admitting Indiana as the 19th state of the Union.This Bicentennial Flag will be flown at the Washington County Courthouse over the next year. This year, the date also marks the beginning of Indiana’s bicentennial festivities.Washington County Auditor Randall Bills is helping keep the local committee going after the death of John Fultz. “John was involved in a little bit of everything and he was spearheading this. He was in poor health but still had a passion for doing this,” said Bills, who has been working with a local committee to organize the event on Friday that will include the reading of a proclamation acknowledging Dec. 11 as Indiana Statehood Day and the official kickoff of the bicentennial.The flag of the bicentennial celebrations will be flown outside the courthouse throughout 2016.Indiana will have its own Statehood Day Celebration at noon Friday at theIndiana Statehouse.Aside from flags and proclamations, Washington County is planning its part in the statewide celebrations, sharing the history of its cities and towns, lauding local community events and participating in a 92-county torch relay.Of the programs planned by the state, the Bicentennial Legacy Events will do the most to help Washington County boost awareness of the activities and events that will take place here,Bills said.Events such as Goshen First Fridays, the Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival and theElkhart County 4-H Fair will be promoted throughout the state, which Coyne said will highlight the county’s tourism offerings.The 92-county Torch Relay will start Sept. 9, and torchbearers will make their way through the state up until Oct. 14. Washington will host the torch on the 17th stop — the torch starts off in Corydon and winds through Southern Indiana and comes from Jackson County down 135 into Salem and then moves on into Floyd and Clark County.Bills said organizers are still looking for torchbearers to represent the county. Nominations from the public are being accepted through Dec. 31, and Bills said he encourages residents to nominate anyone who has demonstrated public service, excellence in their profession and acts of heroism or volunteer service.Youth/Education, Historical/Celebration, Conservation andNomination forms can be picked up at City Hall and filled out online at http://www.in.gov/ibc/torchrelay/last_img read more

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