March 2010

Open letter to Home Secretary Alan Johnson MP: Control Orders

 

This open letter to Home Secretary Alan Johnson MP urging him not to renew the control order provisions of the Prevetion of Terrorism Act 2005 was sent by the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC).

Dear Home Secretary,

Open letter to Home Secretary Alan Johnson MP: Control Orders

This open letter to Home Secretary Alan Johnson MP urging him not to renew the control order provisions of the Prevetion of Terrorism Act 2005 was sent by the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC).

Dear Home Secretary

Kurdish MPs' arrest in Belgium unwelcome

Sarah Ludford at a cross-party press conference in the European Parliament about the Kurdish arrests.

Sarah Ludford at a cross-party press conference in the European Parliament about the Kurdish arrests.

US Congress panel 'Armenian genocide' vote wrong

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford the party's European justice & human rights spokeswoman and vice-chair of the European Parliament delegation to the United States has strongly criticised the vote by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives to label the treatment of Armenians in 1915 as 'genocide'. She said:

"Both the US and the EU have backed the welcome moves to set up a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia to try and establish the truth about the tragic and large-scale wartime deaths almost a century ago. It makes no sense for outsiders in Europe or America to wade in with hobnail boots and prejudge the outcome of that sensitive exercise."

Letters to FT and Telegraph: London's black cabs and customer service

The Editor

Financial Times

Dear Sir

You report that taxi regulator John Mason at Transport for London is considering mandatory classes on customer service for London's (in)famous black cab drivers ('London's black cab drivers face lessons in when to turn off the constant rabbit' March 6th).

I think Mr Mason is bringing forward April Fool's Day! The charmingly idiosyncratic nature of London cabbies' pronouncements on life the universe and politicians are to be treasured. If not they are usually easily silenced either with a mere request or by not rising to the bait!

European court endorsement of local Cypriot property solution welcome

Reacting to the European Court of Human Rights' ruling that the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) in North Cyprus is a valid forum for settlement of property claims from Greek Cypriot 1974 refugees Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford said:

"The Strasbourg court's endorsement of the IPC in north Cyprus as an 'accessible and effective framework of redress' for claims to restitution or compensation is welcome and constructive. I hope that this will give confidence to Greek Cypriots to use the channel of the IPC instead of going down the legally contentious 'Orams case' route of seeking to enforce Republic of Cyprus property judgements in UK or other EU courts."

Sarah speaks to the European Parliament about counterterrorism

During the last decade international cooperation on counterterrorism has been made more difficult because of human rights concerns including in the practices of the US Administration.

We had hoped to put that behind us with the Obama Administration. Sadly we learn that unfair military commissions and indefinite detention without trial will carry on even if Guantánamo is closed.

These departures from international and domestic legal norms make transatlantic data sharing projects even more problematic than they would otherwise be.

MEPs slash red tape for 9 out of 10 London firms

The European Parliament has voted in favour of exempting struggling small businesses from producing onerous annual accounts. The amendment to EU company law would vastly reduce red tape for the smallest firms which are 90% of the total number of businesses in the capital.

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford said:

"This will give small businesses the breathing space they need in a tough economic environment."

"Two million businesses in the UK have fewer than 10 employees with 9 out of 10 London firms falling into that category. This slashing of red tape and costs will boost London's economy and help create jobs."

"EU governments must now endorse this proposal. The Brown government needs to work with LibDems to lighten the bureaucratic burden."

Anti-counterfeit agreement raises civil liberties alarm

The European Parliament has raised serious concerns about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) being negotiated between the EU US and others. This is designed to fight global infringement of intellectual property rights counterfeiting and piracy but may in the process harm individual internet users' data protection and access rights.

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford said:

"Fighting rip-off unsafe goods such as fake medicines and car parts or major commercial copyright and trademark infringements is absolutely valid and essential. But the agreement risks lumping together the most trivial file-sharing by Joe Bloggs with the international criminal black market."

Letter to the Daily Telegraph: interpretation and translation for defendants in the EU

Your man in Brussels reports that "Britons arrested in Europe to be denied translator" (March 13th). Not if I can help it and I can!

The proposed EU legislation on interpretation and translation rights for defendants abroad needs to be agreed by MEPs as well as by EU governments. As the European Parliament's lead negotiator on the measure I can be relied on to drive a hard bargain. My published amendments cover all the key weaknesses in the Member State text and demonstrate that I aim for a much higher standard of guarantees.

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