Examination of Witnesses(Questions 120-130)|
TUESDAY 29 OCTOBER 2002
120. You can certainly see a problem from the
Lord Chancellor's point of view.
(Mr Nicholls) Yes. One way you could do itand
I had not thought any of this through, and I apologiseis
to permit a case to go to the High Court with leave. In other
words, you would have to get leave from the magistrate; if refused,
leave to the High Court, and it could be dealt with on paper.
Chairman: We will reflect on that. In
conclusion, if there were one change you wanted to see to this
Bill, what would it be?
121. Drop it.
(Mr Nicholls) I would like to see, going back to the
older legislation, a prima facie case; I would want the
rules in relation to evidence seriously relaxed; I would want
dual criminality; and I would want the "too many bites of
the cherry" eliminated. But that is, I accept, unfashionable.
122. Ms Alegre?
(Ms Alegre) If I am allowed only one, then the seven
day discretion after withdrawal of the warrant.
123. That seems to me to be a relatively minor
(Ms Alegre) Presumably you are being kept another
seven days on the basis that something else might turn up in order
not to release you, which is arbitrary detention.
124. You are allowed more than one point.
(Ms Alegre) The second point I would say would be
the declaration on speciality, but I would not want the UK to
make a declaration that consent was presumed to have been given
for proceedings on other bases. Thirdly, I would say the issue
of retrospective effect, the article 7 point that we raised earlier,
that the European Arrest Warrant provisions should only be applied
from a specific date and not continued back into the past indefinitely.
A final one would be on the death penalty, that I think there
should be an absolute bar in category 1 cases.
125. Mr Crossman?
(Mr Crossman) I have nothing further to add.
126. On dual criminality, would an amendment
saying, "We will not extradite unless the offence is a crime
in our country" do?
(Ms Alegre) It would not implement the European Arrest
Warrant. That is what the Bill is intended to do.
127. They are not very likely to go along with
(Ms Alegre) It would not be implementing what I think
the intention is.
128. Another way would be a strictly limited
list of offences or grades of offences which are highly likely
to be offences in EU countries. I suppose that means pruning the
list, does it not?
(Ms Alegre) That would amount to the same. It is impossible
to tell what the law is in what will be 25 countries.
129. You are saying it is not likely to be resolvable,
(Ms Alegre) Not if the arrest warrant is to be implemented.
130. I think it is the Government's intention
that it should be implemented!
(Ms Alegre) Yes.
Chairman: We will reflect on those points
and certainly propose some amendments in due course. Mr Nicholls,
Mr Crossman and Ms Alegre, I am extremely grateful to you for
coming. You have been extremely helpful in illuminating what is
a area of darkness for most people. Thank you very much.