Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Home Secretary's statements today

Mrs May made the right decision over Gary McKinnon, but on rather dodgy grounds. She clumsily avoided her shadow's direct question as to whether the Home Office had obtained independent medical advice on Mr McKinnon's condition. She explicitly relied on the medical evidence put forward by the defence, which suggests that other factors dominated her thinking. Today's decision does not address the underlying flaw in the extradition treaty with the US, that it is asymmetric in its operation.

Mrs May also shaded the views which she put forward yesterday over the European Arrest Warrant. It is good news that the government is actually going to talk to the Commission about Tory objections to it. One hopes that she will also talk to fellow EU justice ministers (it is the council of ministers after all who ultimately makes EU decisions), where she will probably find much support over one of the quibbles she raised today, that the EAW sweeps up very trivial offences.

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