Letter from the Chairman to Bob Ainsworth
MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Home Office
The draft Decision was considered by Sub-Committee
E (Law and Institutions) at its meeting on 15 May. The Committee
was grateful for your Explanatory Memorandum in which you set
out the potential problems arising from this Spanish Presidency
The Committee notes that the draft Decision
is "scheduled for agreement" at the Justice and Home
Affairs Council. That seems to be highly ambitious. We agree with
the Government that the proposal raises a number of concerns.
These need proper and careful consideration and we would support
you in seeking clarification of the issues described in paragraph
12 of your Explanatory Memorandum (ie. "jurisdiction"
requirement for involvement of two or more Member States, the
ability for States to deny access to information in defined circumstances,
consistency with the Europol Convention, and no premature release
of evidence. Substantial amendment of the text may well be needed.
The Committee decided to retain the document
under scrutiny and would be grateful to be kept informed of developments.
16 May 2002