Justice in the Balance
The European Union has vastly expanded the powers of its central judicial system. Using the crisis of the September 11 terrorist attacks in America as the pretext for protecting Europe against indiscriminate acts of violence, EU ministers in Brussels are setting in place a pan-European system of law and order. It is being constructed under the umbrella of the European Court of Justice (ecj).
What does this judicial jostling mean? What is happening to the court system in Europe, and how will it ultimately affect you?
The Boys in Brussels
Brussels, the EU’s headquarters, is overrun with bureaucrats filling the political arteries of what author Bernard Connolly has termed “the rotten heart of Europe.” Much of what they do relates to the creation of legislation designed to convert the once-sovereign nations of Europe into a federation.
Their latest efforts involve expanding their own judicial power. “[T]he Belgians [EU bureaucrats] are saying more or less openly that they are exploiting the events of September 11 to achieve the result they desire, that of creating a single European judicial and criminal system” (European Foundation Intelligence Digest, Dec. 12, 2001; emphasis mine throughout). This system will have a startling impact on the judicial system of, in particular, the United Kingdom.
Understand that continental European law is based upon Roman law, with the tenet of “guilty until proven innocent.” This is the opposite of British law (upon which both Commonwealth and U.S. law are based), founded upon the principle of “innocent until proven guilty.”
The chill winds of legal change are sweeping across Europe, leaving little warmth for concerned member states, especially the United Kingdom.
European Court of Justice
“The great innovation of the European Communities in comparison with previous attempts at European unification lies in the fact that the Community uses only the rule of law to achieve that end” (www.curia.eu.int). The lasting peace and success of the EU, say its custodians, “must be achieved and maintained through legal means …. The Court of Justice, as the judicial institution of the Community, is the backbone of that system of safeguards” (ibid.). Since it was established in 1952, Europe’s court has presided over 8,600 cases.
The European Court of Justice was established to oversee and ensure enforcement of treaties signed by member states. The ecj is Europe’s high court, trumping the authority of member courts and delegating controlled power to its member states. If a state signs a treaty, the ecj ensures that the state implements all facets. “The Court has also contributed in decisive fashion to defining the European Community as a community governed by the rule of law by laying down two essential rules: 1) the direct effect of Community law in the member states; and 2) the primacy of Community law over national law” (ibid.). This simply means that the laws created by Brussels bureaucrats and administered by the ecj will supercede the sovereign laws of member nations.
Citizens of the EU now rely on the provisions of treaties signed by the EU when they stand before their national courts. If a national law differs from a European Community law, they have the legal right to challenge its validity and have the national law disapplied.
On February 26, the European Communities (Amendment) Act 2002 received Royal Assent before being presented to the British Parliament as a fait accompli. The act amended several key areas of the Treaty of Nice, particularly in the area of increasing decision-making powers. One such area is “the Protocol on the Statute of the Court of Justice.” This created changes in enabling power to amend the definition of treaties, giving the ecj jurisdiction over cooperation in foreign and security policy between Community police judiciaries.
This act has the unprecedented potential to take foreign and security policy in Britain out of the hands of Parliament and vest it in the hands of the Brussels-based Eurocrats!
The recent Treaty of Nice was a watershed. It overhauled the ecj, making it easier to push through future reforms. The ecj rules on all constitutional matters and serious issues of principle affecting the fusion of member state law into one common federal European law. Theecj is the undisputed final judge of European Community law. In signing the ongoing EU treaties, member states have ceded the power of their national courts to the Luxembourg-basedecj.
British law relies on precedent, that is, previous decisions by judges, to establish a consistency in the application of law over a long period of time. By contrast, EU law is revolutionary, bound by no custom or practice of adhering to established, historical precedents: “Hence the Continental unease about the way the ecj almost invented a precedent system in its early cases” (Prospect, Jan. 24).
Britain—Caught in the Dragnet
Through a string of treaties, the EU has steadily acquired power via functional transfers of member-state power to EU institutions.
These functional transfers of power have raised the eyebrows of too few. In Britain, the squeaky wheel of the EU, people fear that changes in beliefs, standards and judicial institutions—forced upon them with a European taste and flavor—will rapidly erode their national sovereignty.
“The fear is not entirely misplaced. Decisions of the [ecj] and the European Court of Human Rights (part of the Council of Europe which applies the European Convention on Human Rights from Strasbourg) have imposed many policy changes on unwilling British governments” (ibid.).
A recent case in point involved a British trade union seeking to force the British government to change British law to conform to a maximum working hours provision of European Community law. British law allows for employees to volunteer to work extra hours beyond the norm if they wish. The trade union claimed that British employers were abusing this facet of British sovereign law. They appealed to the ecj to force Britain to comply with the European Community law which imposes a maximum of 48 hours per week on European employers. The ecj ruled in favor of the British trade union and against the British government. Britain may well face the prospect of being now forced, under its treaty obligations with the EU, to change its sovereign law to comply with European Community law in this instance.
The dangerous reality for member states is that all powers turned over to EU institutions are permanently subject to European Community law and therefore removed from the ambit of national legislation. For Britain, this could mean that the future status of Northern Ireland, for instance, will be decided by the European Court of Justice.
The implications of nearly a decade of pro-Euro political fervor will, at its end, leave a ghastly mark upon the British public psyche. The German-led EU’s hypnotic policy of transferring power through treaties over the past 50 years has been far more effective and damaging to Britain than Hitler’s all-out attack upon that island nation during World War ii.
“It’s going to become more evident when people realize that Magna Carta has been ditched, and people’s rights to trial by jury have been eroded essentially under the corpus jurus proposals of the European Courts, Commission and Parliament” (Adrian Hilton, The Principality and Power of Europe).
Britain is standing on a legal precipice. After being dragged into the European Economic Community in the 1970s through the political shenanigans of Edward Heath, and now ensnared in the EU treaty web by socialist-centrist Prime Minister Blair, the United Kingdom is simply risking the loss of its national identity!
“They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad” (Hab. 1:15). Many member states have either voluntarily or by political force fallen into the dragnet of the EU (Rev. 17:13).
The second-longest-serving British Minister of Parliament, noted lecturer and author Sir Richard Body, expresses the seriousness of the situation for Britain: “Before we allow ourselves to be dragged any further down a European road whose direction was set by the idealists of the 1950s, almost half a century ago, we should rub our eyes, wake up, and recognize what kind of a world we are really going to be living in a few years from now” (The Breakdown of Europe).
So blind is the so-called United Kingdom to the aspirations of the hegemonic German-led European combine that it is losing control of its immigration procedures. By right of treaty, EU citizens may work, reside and vote in Britain. In addition to this particular reduction of national sovereign control (over who may enter and work within the UK), the visa controls of citizens of non-EU countries seeking entry to member states will soon be administered from Brussels. That means those who wish to travel to the UK from the U.S. or countries in the Commonwealth of Nations will have to gain permission from the EU first!
Future Legal System
Events within Europe are moving at lightning speed! Watch Bible prophecy unfold as the EU continues to massage legal and judicial powers into the mold of a pan-European system of law and order under central control. Watch too as Europe extends its judicial powers to the area of religion to ensure that the Continental mother church is ensconced as the state religion of the EU. Already, Sunday is legislated as the official day of rest for EU member nations.
But this Romish system is destined to have a brief tenure. Europe’s legal and federalist judicial machinations are temporary instruments of correction that will dominate the U.S., Britain and its Commonwealth of Nations for a short time (Isa. 10:5-6). This corrupt, inquisitorial legal and judicial system, implemented by the end-time “holy” Roman Empire that is now forming, will soon be replaced.
God’s own government, based upon His supreme law, will cover the Earth as the waters cover the ocean beds (Isa. 11:9). At that time, God promises the nations of Israel that He will “put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jer. 31:33).