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and Hungary are undermining the rule of law with "European
According to analyses published
earlier this month by the website Verfassungsblog, the
Bulgarian and Hungarian governments are undermining the rule
of law and the independence of the judiciary whilst obtaining
nominal approval for their actions from institutions such as
the European Commission, the European Court of Human Rights and
the Council of Europe's Venice Commission (formally known as
the European Commission for Democracy through Law).
agrees to publish policy on biometric data retention in court
case settlement (Irish
Legal News, link):
"The PSNI will publish
a formal public policy on its retention of biometric data after
settling a case brought by the Northern Ireland Human Rights
The NIHRC issued judicial
review proceedings against the PSNI in December 2017 on behalf
of an individual who wanted them to erase fingerprints and DNA
retained after the individual was arrested in 2009."
passport card holders to be fingerprinted under new EU rules
New EU rules
on national identity cards and travel documents will "compel
Ireland to introduce fingerprinting" of all holders of the
Irish passport card, according to a document
circulated by the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU (pdf).
crisis: latest news from across Europe (3-9.1.19) including:
- Sea Watch
and Sea Eye allowed to disembark in Malta
- Man dies
in Moria camp on Lesvos, Greece and Oxfam condemns conditions
- Italian mayors
oppose Salvini's migration decree
- UN report
on conditions faced by migrants and refugees in Libya
Observatory: Creation of a centralised Justice & Home Affairs
database The Observatory has
been updated with new documents.
Schengen Information System rules in force: deportation decisions
to be included, new types of police check permitted
At the end of December three
new Regulations governing the Schengen Information System II
(SIS II), the EU's largest database and information system for
law enforcement and migration purposes, came into force.
UN report: Desperate
and Dangerous: Report on the human rights situation of migrants
and refugees in Libya
Ireland's hidden borders (Verso, link):
"This [racial profiling
at the borders between the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland
and mainland UK] is likely to become worse after Brexit, for
a larger number of people, whatever solution is reached about
the border... Operation Gull targets communities of colour, violates
the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement, and has no place Ireland.
Its time for Gull to go."
to coordinate hacking authorities in Member States (link):
"European police should
access computers and telephones with Trojan programs. Europol
is now building up a "decryption platform in The Hague.
The European Union wants to
support the Member States in intercepting telecommunications.
Investigators should be able to penetrate private computers or
mobile phones to install software to read encrypted messages.
This was confirmed by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior
(MOI) in response to a question by a Left Party Member of Parliament.
The focus is on the police agency Europol, which has been commissioned
to set up a decryption platform.
See also: Statewatch Analysis:
agrees rules for remote computer access by police forces
the concept of unconscious bias (IRR News, link):
"To mark the anniversary
of the death of A. Sivanandan, the IRR examines how useful his
ideas are for unravelling the recent turn in the UK to the concept
of unconscious bias.
...it effectively exonerates
governments, institutions, organisations, even individuals, for
it is unconscious, inevitable. But it can be remedied
through retraining and therapy for the individual. Unconscious
bias (UB) is the child of neoliberalism."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (18-12.18-2-1-19) including:
UNHCR (31.12.18): 112,852 refugees arrived in the
EU by sea and 6,782 by land
When governments turn against volunteers
- the case of AYS
"Its an Act of Murder: How Europe Out sources
Suffering as Migrants Drown
Brexit Withdrawal Agreement: Overview and First Observations (EU Law Analysis, link) by Professor
"The recently agreed
withdrawal agreement may turn out to be dead on arrival,
or at some point not long after. Nevertheless, if the agreement
is ratified, it is the basis on which the UK would leave the
EU unless the two sides agree to amendments to the text.
Since the agreement is both
complex and legalistic, but also the subject of intense political
debate, theres a need for a summary and explanation of
the text for non-lawyers. This blog post aims to do that by outlining
the structure of the agreement and the main content of each part
of it in turn. It does not aim to be exhaustive, but only to
give a broad indication of what the agreement entails."
police are testing facial recognition on Christmas shoppers in
London this week - Pick up some last minute presents and have
your face scanned by algorithms (The Verge, link):
"Facial recognition technology
continues to be trialled by police forces in the UK despite warnings
of high error rates. In the latest test, the technology is being
used to scan the faces of Christmas shoppers in London, with
police hoping to spot wanted criminals."
Live Facial Recognition trial (Met Police, link) and see: Live
Facial Recognition, (LFR) MPS Legal Mandate (pdf) and
Police Service Privacy Impact Assessment (pdf)
sentence for Spanish activist is "decisive" for decriminalising
solidarity with migrants and refugees
The lawyer for a Spanish trade
unionist given a suspended sentence of 17 months' imprisonment
for trying to help a Kurdish refugee leave Greece has said the
ruling is a "positive step" and "decisive to decriminalise
solidarity" with migrants and refugees.
crisis: latest news from across Europe (10-17.12.18) including:
- EU: Asylum: reducing rights
- First footage of push-backs
on the Croatian-Bosnian border
- Investigations and prosecutions
for crimes of solidarity escalate in 2018
EU security budgets: working documents shed light on Member State
concerns and priorities
From 2021 onwards, the EU will
have a number of multi-billion euro budgets for internal security,
border security and asylum and migration policy at its disposal.
These budgets will likely be larger than any previous funds in
these areas, but there has been little transparency over the
discussions on the proposals in the Council. The documents provided
here, obtained by Statewatch through an access to documents
request to the Council, shed some light on different Member States'
issued by the People's Summit for a Global Pact of Solidarity
with Migrants and Refugees
"The People's Summit
for a Global Pact of Solidarity with Migrants and Refugees...
announce our proposal to agree upon an International Pact of
Solidarity and Unity of Action for the Full Rights of All Migrants
and Refugees, women and men, based on the following considerations..."
POLAND: COP 24: Climate
group: 14 activists banned by conference host Poland
An environmental group said Monday that at least 14 foreigners
have been detained or deported by Poland's Border Guard since
last week's start of the United Nations climate conference in
the south of the country."
UN Special Rapporteurs raise concerns over proposed Regulation
on online terrorist content (pdf):
"...we raise these matters
of general concern. In particular, we wish to express our views
regarding the overly broad definition of terrorist content in
the Proposal that may encompass legitimate expression protected
under international human rights law."
by Aidan White (President of the Ethical Journalism Network)
at the launch of Statewatch's Library & Archive on the value
of preserving written history
At the launch of Statewatch's Library
& Archive on Thursday 22 November 2018 Aidan emphasised the
importance of preserving history in its original written form
- which cannot be digitally manipulated into fake news and views.
And to ensure accountability so that past struggles can inform
the present and the future. For as Orwell wrote in 1984:
Who controls the past
controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
for researchers: Statewatch Analyses: 1999-ongoing
Borderline: The EU's New Border Surveillance Initiatives:
Assessing the Costs and Fundamental Rights Implications of EUROSUR
and the "Smart Borders" Proposals (pdf) A study by the
Heinrich Böll Foundation. Written by Dr. Ben Hayes and Mathias
Vermeulen: "Unable to tackle the root of the problem,
the member states are upgrading the Unions external borders.
Such a highly parochial approach taken to a massive scale threatens
some of the EUs fundamental values - under the pretence
that ones own interests are at stake. Such an approach
borders on the inhumane."
How the EU works and justice and home
affairs decision-making (pdf)
20th Anniversary Conference, June 2011: Statewatch
'policy laundering' and the FATF - legalising surveillance, regulating
(pdf) by Ben Hayes
to EU decision-making and justice and home affairs after the
(pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex,
with additional material by Tony Bunyan
Neoconopticon: the EU security-industrial
(pdf) by Ben Hayes
The Shape of Things to Come (pdf) by Tony Bunyan
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