Brussels: In swift reaction to an Italian court's acquittal of Amanda Knox and Raffael Sollecito, convicted in a widely publicized 2009 case for the rape and murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher, the European Commission, sitting in emergency session, announced Directive 2011-4934, a sweeping series of measures intended to protect students in the European Union from violence.
The law, to be known as "Meredith's Directive", consists of 2,317 pages and so could not be fully studied as of this writing. What is known is that the measure consists of generally non-controversial regulations which polling suggests to be popular among a European public surprised by the acquittal of Knox and Sollecito. Surveys showed highest favor in the United Kingdom and Italy, whose citizens followed the Kercher case most closely.
"If this Directive will save one British child from meeting the fate of Meredith Kercher, it has fulfilled its purpose," said British Prime Minister David Cameron in a statement issued from Number 10 Downing Street. "By criminalizing possession of knives, scissors, and needles above two inches in length, we show that Britain and Europe stand side by side in our determination to protect children from the menace of stabbing weapons."
Italian and British newspapers editorialized in favor of Meredith's Directive: L'Osservatore Romano wrote in an unsigned editorial, "Only an imbecile could disfavor an edict so excellent, so manly, so redolent of the smell of spicy sea urchins, as Meredith's Directive! It boggles the mind that some small few, no doubt Gypsies one and all, could weep and moan for the fate of a Criminal American Gangster Siren such as Knox, who massacred her loving friend. Henceforth all such foreign temptresses shall be interned, for their own protection, in guest hostels reserved for students of the arts of deception and lies!"
The Daily Mail, discussing a tax impost redistributing 95% of fees earned by privately retained defense attorneys to the new European Centre for Prevention of Stabbing, was more concise:
Passage of Meredith's Directive was not assured. Sources close to the Commission informed us of some resistance by the French, who were placated by assurance that the provision for mandatory "chemical castration" of accused rape suspects could be waived by judicial or Commission finding that the treatment would be "against principles of European harmony" in special cases.
Related complaints by Germany that the Directive's Europe-wide prohibition on speech tending to suggest that accused murderers, or rapists, were innocent would burden that nation's thriving ScheisserRapeUndNekrophiliaVideo industry were mitigated by an amendment specifically exempting makers and consumers of ScheisserRapeUndNekrophiliaVideos, and the provision of 650 million Euros for construction of the Karl Blumenfeld Institute for the Study of ScheisserRapeUndNekrophilaVideos, to be headquartered in Stuttgart.
Prior to press time we attempted to contact various European libertarian think tanks and non-governmental organizations for comment on Meredith's Directive, but none could be found.