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Thursday, 7 October 2010

Lobby your MP - Britain must not become safe haven for war criminals

Following the issuing of an arrest warrant for Tzipi Livni last December, and the threat of arrest warrants against other Israelis accused of war crimes, the Conservative government responded to Israeli government pressure and made an election pledge to change the law on Universal Jurisdiction. 

In July, the Ministry of Justice announced that proposals would be brought forward to change the current legislation to give the Director of Public Prosecutions power over issuing private arrest warrants against alleged international criminals who visit Britain. 

Currently, for a magistrate to issue an arrest  warrant, serious  evidence must be presented against the person concerned. The proposed  change adds a political dimension to a legal decision and introduces a  source of delay when urgent action may be required to stop a suspect  escaping justice. Britain has a duty to seek out and prosecute those  responsible for war crimes – tell your MP not to allow Britain to become  a safe haven for war criminals. 

There are two things you can do today: 
  1. Check if your MP has signed EDM 108 Law and Human Rights – if not, ask them to*
  1. Arrange a meeting with your MP in your constituency at their next surgery in October – find out who your MP is and how to contact them via: http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/  (Look out for a briefing paper on PSC website next week).
*note: parliamentary convention means ministers do not sign EDM’s.

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