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PRESS RELEASE

Date: 5th July 2016
Title: European Arrest Warrant protects the interest of businesses

This article was written by Richard Gibbs, a barrister at No5
Chambers. Richard specialises in fraud and Proceeds of
Crime Act (POCA) proceedings. He has defended and
prosecuted large frauds in the Crown Court in proceedings
stemming from incidents of commercial and benefit fraud. He
regularly appears on behalf of the Department of Business,
Innovation and Skills, local authorities and trading standards
in regulatory matters.

Award winning No5 Chambers is one of the UK’s largest barristers’ chambers with its
head office in Birmingham and further offices in London, Bristol and Leicester. It boasts
more than 240 members including 33 Queens Counsel. No5 Chambers is a member of
the International Trade Council. Visit their website at www.no5.com

A leading barrister is calling for some laws to be enshrined in principles set out by EU
law, to help protect international trade from being affected by inevitable changes after
an exit from the European Union.

Once the UK decides to formally withdraw from the EU, the Government would have to
choose whether to change present laws derived from the EU or to retain them.
Richard Gibbs, a barrister at No5 Chambers, says that a simple act of parliament would
honour the commitments of the European Arrest Warrant by protecting the provisions in
domestic law.

The European Arrest Warrant (EAW), introduced in 2004, is an effective example of EU
criminal justice measures used to help make the extradition of people wanted for
serious crimes faster and less complicated.

This not only protects the interests of the public but is essential for businesses when
shielding themselves from crimes such as fraud.

The environment in which businesses function, in Britain and in Europe, is essentially
going to change as new laws are established.
Richard Gibbs warns that any changes to laws such as the EAW raises a question mark
for businesses wanting to conduct international trade deals with the UK and the EU.

He said: “The essence of all trade is the enforcement of contract, and the fact that
contractual agreements can be imposed, with people ultimately made to honour these
commitments in court. Whether that be in a civil court or a criminal court, the final
sanction for any trade disagreement is a court hearing.

“Changes to the EAW could potentially impact the ability to enforce contracts across the
UK and the EU, which would increase organisations’ exposure to risk when carrying out
cross border trade agreements.

“We need to worry about the overarching picture. Whether we love them or loathe them,
there is a need, in a globalised economy or world, for some form of agreement for how
cross border disputes are dealt with.”

The EAW can be issued by any relevant national authority for offences carrying a
maximum penalty of at least a year in prison.

Since Britain’s adoption of the European justice and home affairs measure set by the
Treaty of Lisbon in 2007, substantial numbers of foreign criminals have been removed
from the UK, whilst Britain also gets to extradite those wanted for trial.

The EAW acts as an important safeguard, not only for individuals but also for
businesses. It is often used to gather information about what transactions had been
agreed, what money has been transferred and what commitments had been entered
into.

Businesses from outside the EU as well as inside will want assurances that contractual
agreements can be enforced, otherwise criminals could simply hide abroad as was
seen in the Costa del Sol in the 1960s.

Richard explains: “A change to EAWs could be very complicated and, in real terms,
have an effect on a lot of businesses.

“For instance, if you have been defrauded you won’t be able to claim on your insurance
until you’ve got a crime number, and you won’t be able to get a crime number until the
police are satisfied that it has been reported and it could be investigated. How likely are
the police to investigate something if they know they aren’t going to be able to get the
suspect back?

“In the interim we need to make it clear that we would honour those commitments. That
may mean enshrining the provisions in domestic law, which is a simple act of
parliament to transfer that from the EU to the UK.”

This press release was distributed by the International Trade Council.
International Trade Council Member news does not necessarily represent the views of the
Trade Council nor the Council's employees. For more information on the International Trade
council please visit http://www.tradecouncil.org or drop by on Twitter at
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