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Foreign national offenders - the perspective from the UK and EU


On 30 July 2015, the Ministry of Justice published its latest quarterly statistics on offender management in the UK. The report found there was a decrease in the foreign national population in custody, which was down 3% on the previous year, to 10,512. Although a relatively small drop, this will nevertheless be welcome news for the Government. Both the mismanagement of foreign offenders and the cost to the public pursue of housing them has generated considerable political controversy in recent years.

The status of foreign national offenders in the UK is a policy area that is to a large extent foreshadowed by developments at the European level.  Whilst criminal law remains the competence of Member States in the European Union, since the Lisbon Treaty came into force in December 2009, the European Commission, the Parliament and the Council of Ministers all have a say in some specific aspects related justice, freedom and security.

Drawing on the shared expertise of Dods’ consultants based in London and Brussels, this briefing document describes the political and policy environment around foreign offenders at both the UK and the EU level, describing recent legislative and political developments and providing an indication of the likely trajectory of policy into the near future. 

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