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Noble Lords: Iceland.

Lord Filkin: I am so sorry; did I say Ireland? I meant Iceland. I am most grateful for that correction. All other extradition partners will be included in Part 2. All EU countries are expected to operate the European arrest warrant from 1st January 2004. If we fail to enact the EAW, it will be for other countries to decide whether to offer us the full benefits. In essence, the judgment will be with them, rather than with us, about whether the non-compliance is so material that, as a consequence, they do not wish to co-operate with us.

I turn to the essential debate about the clutch of amendments concerning positive or negative resolutions. I am grateful to the noble Lords, Lord Hodgson and Lord Goodhart, and others who have tabled amendments in that regard. The Bill as drafted provides that all such designations for both Parts 1 and 2 would be by negative resolution. As I have said, that

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provides for a greater level of scrutiny by Parliament than currently exists, because the 1989 Act provides that most orders are not subject to any form of parliamentary approval—the only exception being those orders that remove the prima facie evidential requirement.

As has been said, the Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform made firm and clear recommendations that orders designating extradition partners should be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. As has been noted, we signalled that our ears were open to hearing the arguments put for that on Second Reading and by the noble Lords, Lord Hogdson and Lord Goodhart, today. Accordingly, I can inform the Committee that we accept the advice of the Select Committee and the arguments made today on that point.

Noble Lords: Hear, hear.

Lord Filkin: I shall be tabling an amendment at a later date to provide that orders designating countries as extradition partners—be they in Part 1 or Part 2—should be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.

The Delegated Powers Committee also recommended that orders that remove the prima facie evidential requirements from Part 2 countries and that vary the period in which papers must be supplied following provisional arrest should be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. That is the effect of the amendments tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart.

I can confirm that the change that I have just announced will also give effect to those recommendations. Any order designating a country as a Part 2 extradition partner will also, if appropriate, contain provisions removing the prima facie requirement or setting a different period for the receipt of papers. So if the main order designating the country as a Part 2 extradition partner is subject to the affirmative resolution procedure, it follows that Parliament will also be required to debate whether the prima facie evidential requirement should apply or if a period of other than 40 days should be set for the receipt of full papers following provisional arrest.

I very much hope that the fact that we have made those changes goes a long way to meeting the concerns expressed.

Lord Goodhart: I am most grateful to the Minister; that certainly goes a long way. However, I seek clarification on one point. If a country should be designated as a Part 2 territory and then, subsequently, it is decided to dispense with the prima facie evidence rule for that country, where a separate Order in Council will be required, will that Order in Council also be subject to the affirmative procedure?

Lord Filkin: The answer, my instinct tells me, is yes. It would be illogical not to do so, given that they are different measures.

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However, the second of the amendments tabled by the noble Baroness, Amendment No. 261, would provide that all Orders in Council made under the Bill should be laid before Parliament in draft to be approved by a resolution in each House—in other words, any order-making power other than those to which I have referred. That goes considerably further than the Bill and the recommendations of the Delegated Powers Committee.

Indeed, apart from the specific recommendations to which I have referred and the one place at which the Delegated Powers Committee said that further explanation was required, which I shall happily give when we reach that point, the committee concluded that the Bill as drafted provides for the right level of parliamentary scrutiny. At paragraph 5 of its 18th report, the committee stated that, apart from the specific points to which I referred,


    "the delegations are appropriate and subject to an appropriate level of Parliamentary scrutiny".

That being so, I hope that the noble Baroness will accept that the changes that she seeks to make through Amendment No. 261 are unnecessary, although we have been glad to accept the thrust of argument made from both Opposition Front Benches on the central amendments before us.

I repeat my assurance that we will table a government amendment or amendments to provide for the designation orders to be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. In the light of that, I invite noble Lords not to press their amendments.

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts: I am extremely grateful to the Minister for responding so positively; I shall of course withdraw the amendment, pending the government amendments.

I hope that the Minister will not think that I am ungrateful, but he said quite a lot about Amendment No. 261 quite fast. I should like to read what he said in Hansard, but I am most grateful for what he said and I therefore beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

5 p.m.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns moved Amendment No. 3:


    Page 1, line 6, at end insert "and only applies to persons who have been charged with or convicted of terrorist offences"

The noble Baroness said: I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 6, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 63, 114, 117, 119, 121, 123, 124, 128, 130 to 133, 135, 130 and, just to put the final seal on it, clauses stand part from 1 to 67. As I am sure that the Committee would agree, that is an horrendous grouping, but I suggested it so that we can debate the issues in the Bill to which we on these Benches have the strongest objection. If we were able to vote in Committee and were not in Grand Committee, I would have separated out the amendments referring to terrorism from those which seek to delete Part 1 from the Bill.

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Let me turn briefly to clause stand part and why so many amendments are grouped together. I made it clear on Second Reading that we believe that Part 1 should not be in the Bill and that Part 2 is sufficient and appropriate to cover extradition to all countries. If, as they have said so far, the Government refuse to accept our objection to Part 1 and excise it, our next best preference would be to have Part 1 confined only to terrorism offences.

In seeking guidance on how to group the amendments, I talked to people at the Public Bill Office. I was advised that the only way in which we could signal our intent to remove Part 1 altogether was to object to all the clauses in Part 1 standing part and then to say that if Clause 1 were carried on Report, we would consider the other clauses to be consequential. We would not be too surprised if the Government did not agree with us on that understanding of consequential. Noble Lords will be relieved to hear that I have no intention of speaking to every clause from Clause 2 to Clause 67 at this stage. I want to get out of this room alive.

I should make it clear that every noble Lord has the right, as we progress through our debates on the Bill, to speak at clause stand part in its place in the Bill. By grouping them together, I am not pre-empting the right of noble Lords to make their points on each clause at the relevant stage. I should also point out that I am not encouraging everybody to take a lot more time. I shall certainly not speak to clause stand part on each and every occasion—perhaps on the odd occasion. I shall try to limit myself carefully. However, I certainly do not want noble Lords to think that I am trying to stifle debate.

We object to Part 1 for the reasons that my noble friend Lord Hodgson explained earlier. The debate we had on Amendment No. 1 means that I do not have to go through a lot of detailed arguments that I would otherwise have had to address. I shall simply say that our main objection to Part 1 is that we believe it makes inroads into the civil liberties of British citizens that are unacceptable and unnecessary. It makes fundamental changes and goes too far by eroding the principle of dual criminality at the same time as it removes the backstop power of the Executive to prevent extradition where it would be unjust to allow it to go ahead.

We have always supported measures to improve co-operation with other countries to fight crime, and we will continue to do so. But we oppose the Government's proposals to harmonise our judicial processes with those of other countries in the EU.

The Minister commented earlier that he thought that my noble friend Lord Hodgson might be talking about corpus juris in Amendment No. 1. That was never the intention—corpus juris is contained in Amendment No. 3.

Although the Government say that they have chosen this route as the only alternative to harmonisation, we believe that, because of the way in which the Bill has been drafted, they are achieving the

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very harmonisation they say they are trying to avoid. We believe this goes far beyond the mutual recognition they say they are proposing.

Part 1 creates powers to arrest and deport British citizens for activities that are not defined in English law. The list of offences is in practice nothing of the sort—it is a general descriptive list to which Ministers can add at some future date without the need for parliamentary approval. We will naturally debate that matter in detail later.

This is not streamlining extradition—it is putting it into an EU straitjacket, stripping away the safeguards that we believe are necessary. We can consider those in detail over the next few days of debate in Grand Committee. For today's debate, I thought I should refer only to the most pressing matters.

I turn to the amendments that seek to limit the operation of Part 1 to terrorism offences. We define terrorism using the Government's own words in Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2000. We ensure by our amendment that we cover both those who have been charged with and convicted of terrorism offences.

If we are unpersuaded by the Government's answer that we should not proceed and then take these matters forward to the House on Report, we would of course separate out our amendments regarding the excision of Part 1 from the Bill as against those that would confine Part 1 to terrorism.

The argument we have put forward on confining Part 1 to terrorism is that there may be justification for surrendering the safeguards that we believe are otherwise necessary to underpin extradition procedures in Part 1 simply because of the unique threat of terrorism. That alone might be enough to allow us to give up those important safeguards.

I thank the noble Lord, Lord Filkin, for writing to noble Lords between Second Reading and Committee. I was pleased to see him refer in that letter to,


    "the unique threat that terrorism presents".

He rejects my stance because he says we have to fight against other serious crimes too. I agree with him wholeheartedly—of course we have to fight against all other serious crimes. But where I part company from him is in my belief that they can be fought quite properly with the weapons available in Part 2. Nothing the Government have said so far during the course of our proceedings persuades me that this is wrong.

At Second Reading, the Minister said, at col. 856 of the Official Report, that he expects a Part 1 case to take three months. He repeated that in his response today to a question put by my noble friend Lord Lamont. The Minister also said, at col. 857, that a normal Part 2 case will take six months. Even with my feeble maths, it looks as though we are being asked to sacrifice the civil liberties being excised from Part 1 for the sake of three months. I believe that so far the Government have not given a cogent reason for following that line, and that is unacceptable. I beg to move.


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