Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Lord Whitty: My Lords, the SRA still has to make some very key decisions that will become more evident within the next few months, as it produces its strategic plan. It is not self-evidently clear that, starting from now, electrification of itself is a positive benefit. Over 50 per cent of France's railways and the whole of its high-speed lines are already electrified. Therefore, that system could be improved at relatively small marginal cost. However, we are not in the same situation.

International Criminal Court Bill [H.L.]

9.25 p.m.

Consideration of amendments on Report resumed.

Clause 3 [Request for provisional arrest]:

[Amendments Nos. 7 and 8 not moved.]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 9:


The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 9, I wish to speak also to Amendment No. 10. In Committee the Government were happy to accept Amendment No. 12 which was moved by the noble Lord, Lord Howell of Guildford. We did so because we believed, as did the noble Lord, that it was right that equivalent procedures for applying for a provisional arrest warrant should operate in Scotland and in England and Wales. We are grateful to the noble Lord and the Law Society of Scotland for noticing the original discrepancy.

On further reflection, however, we have, with regret, concluded that fully to meet that objective a further improvement of the wording of Clause 3(3) is required. As subsection (3) now stands, the role given to the procurator fiscal is not consistent with Scottish procedure and could give rise to practical difficulties. Nor is it consistent with the procedure in place for England and Wales under subsection (2).

Amendments Nos. 9 and 10 therefore would bring subsection (3) more closely in line with subsection (2). The procurator fiscal would state before the court, when applying for a provisional warrant, that the

8 Mar 2001 : Column 405

request has been made on grounds of urgency by the ICC for the arrest of a person, and that the person is in, or on his way, to Scotland. He would thus carry a similar procedural function to that performed by the constable before a court in England and Wales.

I do not believe that there is any difference in aim between the amendment made in Committee and the new wording the Government suggest. I therefore trust that it will receive the support of the House. I beg to move.

Lord Howell of Guildford: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness for these amendments with which obviously we agree and for accepting the amendment that I moved earlier. I suppose I could argue that if they had been accepted earlier that might have saved trouble. However, we are now where we want to be. Therefore, I record my gratitude that these amendments and changes have been made.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 10:


    Page 2, line 44, leave out from beginning to second ("officer") in line 45 and insert ("an appropriate judicial").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 5 [Proceedings for delivery order]:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 11:


    Page 4, leave out line 14 and insert--


("(5A) Whether or not it makes a delivery order, the competent court may of its own motion, and shall on the application of the person arrested, determine--
(a) whether the person was lawfully arrested in pursuance of the warrant, and
(b) whether his rights have been respected.
(5B) In making a determination under subsection (5A) the court shall apply the principles which would be applied on an application for judicial review.
(6) If the court determines--").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 11, I wish to speak also to Amendments Nos. 12, 13 and 17.

In Committee the Government agreed to reconsider the procedure set out in the Bill for determining whether a person's rights had been respected. The noble Lord, Lord Lester, argued that as the Bill stood it would not be open for the court to determine that a person's rights had been respected. He argued cogently that on an application for habeas corpus the court could only determine the legality of a person's detention, and he did not believe that there was sufficient provision for a determination with regard to the person's rights. The noble Lord, Lord Avebury, also asked how allegations that a person's rights had not been respected might be brought before the court.

The Government have listened. Although there is already provision for this in Clause 5(6) and Clause 12(4)(b), we agree that the matter could be made clearer. We have accordingly tabled Amendments Nos. 11, 12 and 13 which I trust will sufficiently answer

8 Mar 2001 : Column 406

the noble Lords' concerns while at the same time maintaining a swift and effective delivery process unencumbered by allowing both full judicial review and habeas corpus applications.

Amendment No. 11 clarifies the procedure by which the courts are to make a determination of whether the person's rights have been respected. In making its determination the court is to apply the principles applied by the court upon an application for judicial review. If a determination is made that a person's rights have not been respected, or the person has not been lawfully arrested, it will notify the Secretary of State who will then notify the ICC.

Amendment No. 12 provides that the determination is to be made by way of a declaration in England and Wales or by a declarator in Scotland, and makes it clear that the competent court may not grant any other relief. Amendment No. 13 is a consequential amendment.

Amendment No. 17 is also a consequential amendment. It makes a minor amendment to Clause 12(4) so that in the event of an application for habeas corpus the higher court can make a declaration using the same procedure as the competent court, whether or not it decides to set aside the delivery order.

I hope that these amendments meet the concerns expressed in Committee. I beg to move.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill: My Lords, the amendments meet all our concerns. They are well constructed. They are carefully tailored. They will ensure a proper dovetailing between the remedies that can be provided by the national court and what needs to be done with the International Criminal Court. We are gratified as well as grateful.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendments Nos. 12 and 13:


    Page 4, line 17, at end insert--


("it shall make a declaration or declarator to that effect, but may not grant any other relief.
(6A)"). Page 4, line 19, leave out ("that fact") and insert ("any declaration or declarator under subsection (6)").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 7 [Consent to surrender]:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 14:


    Page 5, line 27, after ("bail") insert ("in England and Wales").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving the amendment, I speak also to Amendments Nos. 18, 23 and 24. We are grateful to the Law Society of Scotland for highlighting the issues.

As noble Lords will be aware, bail arrangements in Scotland differ in significant ways from practice in England and Wales. In particular there is no mechanism in Scottish practice or procedure for remand into the custody of a constable and no mechanism for the police to deal with a prisoner so remanded. Further, bail with a condition to surrender

8 Mar 2001 : Column 407

to a police station is not normal for a bail order in Scotland which in essence requires the accused to reappear in court.

For this reason, and after careful consideration, we have concluded that the provisions in Clause 7(5)(b) and Clause 13(5)(b) which provide for notification to be given to the officer in charge of the police station at which a person is required to surrender to custody should apply to England and Wales only. That is the purpose of Amendments Nos. 14 and 18.

The Scottish Executive has considered whether any alternative provision is required for Scotland but it has concluded, in view of the different bail arrangements operating there, that no such notification requirement is necessary. In view of the different bail arrangements pertaining to Scotland, we also consider that Clause 17, which essentially deals with various cases where a person on bail may be committed to the custody of a constable, should not apply to Scotland.

Amendment No. 23 would limit, therefore, the whole of Clause 17 to England and Wales. Amendment No. 24 is a consequential amendment only. These are technical amendments which, along with other changes proposed to Clause 16, are designed to bring the arrangements for bail fully into line with current practice in Scotland. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 11 [Procedure where court makes order]:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 15:


    Page 7, line 21, leave out ("in ordinary language").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving the amendment, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 16.

During Committee stage, the Government agreed to reconsider the provisions of Clause 11(1)(b) with respect to the language in which the court shall inform a person of his rights to seek a review of a delivery order. In Committee, amendments were tabled by the noble Lords, Lord Lester and Lord Avebury, the noble Lords, Lord Howell and Lord Kingsland, and the noble Earl, Lord Attlee. The purpose of each of those amendments was to ensure that a non-English speaker would be informed of his rights in his own language. The noble Lord, Lord Lester, also stressed the importance of reflecting the rights provided to an accused in the ICC Statute.

Although the amendments tabled would have fulfilled that intention, we were concerned that they failed to make provision for the original intention of this aspect of Clause 11: that a person is spoken to in non-technical language that they can comprehend. We agreed to look again at the issue to see whether wording could be found that answered both objectives.

Amendment No. 16 ensures that a person is spoken to in non-technical terms in a language that they speak and understand. The amendment draws and expands

8 Mar 2001 : Column 408

on the wording of the statute to ensure that each of those distinct considerations is covered. The phrase,


    "which appears to the court",

is included to avoid lengthy legal arguments over whether it can be proven that a person fully understands the language. I hope that we can also thereby meet the concern expressed by the noble Lord, Lord Clinton-Davis, in Committee about including the word "fully" in the Bill. I hope that the amendments correctly reflect the will of the Committee. I beg to move.


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page