April 13, 2012

Legal Affairs rapporteur overlooks ACTA is inherently dangerous

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The European Digital Rights initiative published Marielle Gallo MEP’s (EPP, France) draft European Parliament Legal Affairs committee opinion on ACTA yesterday. She proposes the committee to support ACTA.

As the rapporteur rightly points out, with ACTA, the proportionality has to come from horizontal safeguards, the implementation and the European Court of Justice.

But, as many noted, ACTA’s civil, border and criminal measures themselves are often disproportional and go beyond current EU law. See the FFII note on the Legal Service’s Opinion on ACTA.

ACTA requires rewriting during implementation. Without a perfect implementation – which IP maximalists in Commission, Council and Parliament will try to prevent, we will face many years of legal uncertainty, until the European Court of Justice has finally sorted things out – if that ever happens.

In countries with less strong legal traditions and fundamental rights protection, the situation will be worse. With ACTA, we do not export the rule of law, but the opposite. ACTA is not inherently safe, but inherently dangerous.

The Legal Affairs Committee should invite the Committee on International Trade, as the committee responsible, to propose that Parliament withholds its consent to ACTA.

See also: EDRi: ACTA revival – MEP Gallo proposes meaningless compromise