Forensic biometric sharing within the EU (Prüm) is a specialist form of cooperation. Nevertheless research into this activity and the context in which it occurs places some of the implications of Brexit into sharp relief: a) Brexit (in any form) will not result in a major reduction in the need for effective criminal justice and security cooperation. The UK will still receive millions of foreign citizens a year and a very small proportion of them will be serious criminals who present major threats. The challenge is to identify this small group within the generally law-abiding and tax-paying crowd. b) The effectiveness, continued extension and form of such cooperation will also have a major impact on the safety and rights of UK citizens abroad, whether they are in the diaspora or simply travelling for work or holidays. c) The value of individual criminal justice and security cooperation agreements (however good) will only be realised fully within a comprehensive framework (e.g. with access to the European Arrest Warrant (EAW)) that is underpinned institutionally (e.g. by Europol and Eurojust) and subject to parliamentary and legal scrutiny. d) UK global economic and political status was significantly reduced on 23rd June and a badly handled Brexit will further diminish this country’s influence. There will be little or no scope for UK bespoke arrangements for police and judicial cooperation or scientific standardisation. e) The resilience of both UK science and technology, and our criminal justice system – including responses to transnational cybercrime - are likely to be weakened significantly if British forensic scientists are no longer influential within EU collaborative scientific research, professional working groups and standardisation decisions. Opting-out of the EU arrangements, such as Prüm, the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) and EAW, to which the UK belongs only after recent Protocol 36 reviews by criminal justice professionals, government and Parliament would be inexplicable and may prove to be reckless.
|Place of Publication
|Published - 29 Nov 2016