This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
European Judicial Network
The 22nd meeting of the European Judicial Network. comprising legal professionals from throughout Europe and beyond, is meeting in Edinburgh today.
The Network was formed as a way of encouraging co-operation between distinct legal jurisdictions.
Welcoming the delegates, Scotland's Lord Advocate Colin Boyd QC said:
"I do not need to remind you of the importance of international co-operation in the fight against crime. Criminals are sophisticated individuals who will exploit any opportunity to make a profit from their illegal activity without any regard to the welfare or safety of others. It is our responsibility as upholders and defenders of the rule of law to effectively and efficiently investigate and prosecute these criminals in an arena that is no longer domestic.
"The success of the European Judicial Network has been to provide a forum to exchange ideas, experience and best practice in this area. More importantly it has provided a mechanism for resolving blockages in judicial co-operation."
Over 125 prosecutors, law enforcement and judicial personnel are attending the conference to discuss key issues such as the European Evidence Warrant and the response to terrorism.
Delegates come from all 25 member states of the EU and they are joined by representatives of the applicant states and observers from countries such as the US.
Also on the agenda for discussion is the success of the European Arrest Warrant, which has drastically reduced the time it takes for a suspect to be surrendered to another Member State.
Scotland has had recent experience of the efficiency of the EAW, with a warrant issued for one UK national accused of drugs crimes. He was arrested in Spain just four days after a European Arrest Warrant had been issued for him.
Christopher Bailiff failed to appear for trial in relation to drugs charges. The European Arrest Warrant was craved from the Sheriff at Edinburgh on the afternoon of Friday June 24 and issued that night. Bailiff was arrested in Spain on the warrant on Tuesday June 28.
He consented to his extradition and returned to Scotland less than a month later. Bailiff subsequently pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of drugs, and was sentenced on Thursday December 1 to five years in prison.