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Lord Filkin moved Amendment No. 230A:

"(1) This section applies if a document to be sent in connection with proceedings under this Part is sent by facsimile transmission.
(2) This Act has effect as if the document received by facsimile transmission were the document used to make the transmission.
(3) The document received by facsimile transmission may be received in evidence accordingly."

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 231 not moved.]

Clause 134, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 135 agreed to.

Clause 136 [Persons serving sentences outside territory where convicted]:

Lord Filkin moved Amendments Nos. 231A, 231B and 231C:

    Page 69, line 31, after "is" insert "alleged to be"

    Page 69, line 33, after "offence" insert "specified in the request"

    Page 70, line 14, at end insert—

"(e) section 84 has effect as if, in subsections (1)(c), (2)(c) and (3)(c), after "entitled" there were inserted "in the convicting territory";
(f) section 117(4) has effect as if "a category 2 territory" read "the convicting territory" and as if "the category 2 territory" in both places read "the convicting territory";
(g) section 138(1) has effect as if "a category 2 territory" read "the convicting territory";
(h) in section 138, subsections (2), (3), (4), (5) and (7) have effect as if "the category 2 territory" read "the convicting territory"."

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 136, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 137 and 138 agreed to.

Clause 139 [The appropriate judge]:

[Amendments Nos. 232 and 233 not moved.]

Clause 139 agreed to.

Clauses 140 to 145 agreed to.

Clause 146 [Dealing with person for other offences]:

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts moved Amendment No. 234:

    Page 77, line 9, leave out paragraph (d).

The noble Lord said: Part 3 of the Bill concerns extradition to the United Kingdom. Amendment No. 234 focuses on Clause 146, dealing with persons for other offences. As I understand it, the clause deals with the speciality issue as regards Part 3 of the Bill; that is to say, the United Kingdom's obligations under the speciality issue as regards persons extradited to this country. Clause 146(2) provides that a person may be dealt with for an offence committed before his extradition only if the offence falls under subsection

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(3) or the condition in subsection (4) is met. Under subsection (3), there is a list of seven categories of offences.

As we move to the detail of the amendment, I ask the Minister whether he could clear up the confusion on paragraph (b). I apologise that it is at short notice, so I shall understand if he wishes to write about the matter afterwards. As a non-lawyer, I find the ramifications of speciality difficult to think through, particularly given the intertwined and overlapping nature of much modern crime.

As I understand it, speciality rules are designed to prevent a country extraditing a person for one offence and then charging him for another, or possibly passing him on to a third country having obtained him. The example that I have in mind of where paragraphs (b) and (d) overlap is as follows: Mr X robs a bank in this country and goes to France. He is sought, detained and his extradition begins. But, to provide background information to their decision to grant extradition, the French authorities gain access to his bank account, which reveals that he had been trading in drugs before the bank robbery. Taking into account Clause 143(b), can he then be charged for the drug-related offences? On the one hand, they are very different offences from the bank robbery and occurred before the offence for which his extradition took place. But, as stated in paragraph (b), it would be,

    "an offence disclosed by the information provided to the category 1 territory in respect of that offence".

That will be an increasingly common problem as we deal with modern crimes where there is such an overlapping and intertwining of various offences. I would be grateful if the Minister could talk about the matter, as it is relevant to paragraph (d).

Paragraph (d) refers to,

    "an extradition offence in respect of which consent to the person being dealt with is treated as given on behalf of that territory".

The words "treated as given" have given us quite a lot of cause for concern. I find it difficult to see why it is "treated as given". It is either given or not given. Perhaps the Minister could give us an example of where "treated as given" would be different from "given". We believe that it may be a drafting error, left over from the former provisions for speciality that were removed on Report in another place. They allowed prior blanket statements of "presumed consent" to remove the speciality rule in respect of a territory.

The Government's amendments on Report in another place removed paragraph (d) from Clause 17, the speciality clause in Part 1. It had read:

    "an extradition offence in respect of which the appropriate judge is treated by section 53 as giving his consent to the person being dealt with".

That paragraph is almost identical to the paragraph (d) that our amendment would remove from Clause 146.

In the other place, the Minister, Mr Ainsworth, explaining why the Government wished to make the amendment to Clause 17 said:

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    "Government amendments Nos. 49, 51, 52 and 74 relate to the speciality waiver and further extradition to a category 1 territory. Under the Bill as drafted, the UK was able to adopt a higher position on speciality, which means that we could agree on a reciprocal basis with a part 1 extradition partner that they, and we, can, after extradition, presume our consent to the person being prosecuted for offences committed before extradition took place. However, grave concerns were expressed about this issue, and we listened to the worries expressed by members of the Standing Committee and of the Home Affairs Select Committee. We have therefore decided that the reference to the use of the higher position on speciality and re-extradition should be removed from the Bill, and these amendments achieve that aim".—[Official Report, Commons, 25/3/03; col. 186.]

We welcome that significant concession. However, we feel that the "presumed consent" concept will not have been completely removed from the Bill, unless the relevant change is made to Clause 146—the removal of paragraph (d)—and we get some idea of how subsection (3)(b) will operate. Our amendment would simply remove one paragraph from the clause. If the Government subscribe to the removal of paragraph (d) from Clause 17, they should support our attempts to finish off the job and remove paragraph (d) from Clause 146. I beg to move.

5.30 p.m.

Lord Davies of Oldham: As I shall explain in a moment, I shall be all sweetness and light with regard to paragraph (d), but, unfortunately, before that, I must say that the noble Lord has introduced a problem with paragraph (b) on which I can be neither sweet nor light. "Light" would suggest that I knew what I was talking about, and I cannot be "sweet" unless I understand the issue sufficiently.

We are not sure that paragraph (b) covers the case that the noble Lord gave in his illustration. We know that paragraph (b) is concerned, for example, with a case in which a person is extradited for murder and the charge is then reduced to manslaughter. It is a different offence, but it is covered by the same facts. That is what paragraph (b) is there for. I will have to write to the noble Lord on the other matter that he raised. I have not got the wit to interpret it and produce a satisfactory answer at the moment.

I can give a satisfactory answer to the issue to which the amendment refers—paragraph (d). In common parlance, the noble Lord has got us bang to rights. We have made an error, as he has rightly and generously acknowledged. We made concessions in the other place, and we re-drafted the Bill. We got it right throughout the Bill and interpreted the concessions and that change accurately. In that one instance, we did not, so I congratulate the noble Lord on spotting it with his eagle eye. He will save the Government considerable embarrassment. I am not sure that that was intentional, but we both gain. I thank him for that and, accordingly, will consider the amendment and re-draft the Bill bearing in mind his point. I shall write to the noble Lord on the specific matter raised in respect of paragraph (b).

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts: I am grateful to the Minister. I understand that the point on Clause 146(3)(b) was a fast ball slightly short of a length. I

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look forward to receiving the Minister's letter in due course. In the mean time, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 146 agreed to.

Clause 147 agreed to.

Clause 148 [Extradition offences]:

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts moved Amendment No. 235:

    Page 78, line 24, at end insert "or, if the conduct constituted an offence under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, any sentence of imprisonment or detention has been imposed in the United Kingdom in respect of that conduct"

The noble Lord said: Amendments Nos. 235 and 236 stand in my name, that of my noble friend Lady Anelay of St Johns and that of the noble Baroness, Lady Gould of Potternewton, who will speak to the amendment in a minute or two. It is a subject about which the noble Baroness has a great deal of experience.

We tabled the amendments to get clarification from the Government of their attitude to the extradition of persons who have committed offences under the Female Genital Mutilation Bill, if it is enacted. The Bill is a Private Member's Bill and is currently in the other place. I understand that it has the support of the Government and is due for consideration on Report in another place tomorrow, Friday 11th July.

The Female Genital Mutilation Bill relates to some truly awful conduct. The House of Commons Library has produced a long research paper, but I can do no better than to quote from the Explanatory Notes prepared by the Home Office, with the consent of the Member in charge of the Bill in another place, Ann Clwyd:

    "Female genital mutilation (FGM) involves procedures which include the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons. The practice is medically unnecessary, extremely painful and has serious health consequences, both at the time when the mutilation is carried out, and in later life. FGM is a criminal offence in the UK under the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985. The Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Bill repeals and re-enacts the provisions of the 1985 Act and gives them extra-territorial effect as was recommended by an All Party Parliamentary Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health reporting in 2000. It also increases the maximum penalty, on conviction on indictment, for FGM from 5 to 14 years' imprisonment".

I shall not elaborate on the Bill's provisions, but I commend to the Committee the speeches that were made in another place on 21st March, when the Bill received an unopposed Second Reading and support from all parts of that House. I trust that, when it reaches your Lordships' House, it will receive a similar level of support.

The House of Commons research paper reveals that FGM is most frequently practised among the populations of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan and Nigeria. There are two important facts that bring us to the Extradition Bill. First, there are believed to be between 3,000 and 4,000 new cases each year in this country, involving families who may or may not remain here. Secondly, there is a

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tendency for families to travel to their country of origin to inflict FGM on their daughters. Those two facts explain the relevance of the matter to this Committee.

The amendments explore the issue of extradition back to the United Kingdom—hence the discussion in Part 3—under the provisions of the Extradition Bill of persons who will have been convicted of crimes under the Female Genital Mutilation Bill, assuming that it is enacted. The FGM Bill as I said, would confer extraterritorial jurisdiction on the UK courts in relation to acts of female genital mutilation done abroad by United Kingdom nationals or permanent United Kingdom residents. That would mean that, under Clause 148(2) of the Extradition Bill, persons who took part in acts of female genital mutilation abroad could be extradited to face trial in this country. It would be interesting to hear from the Minister how the Government intend to approach the provisions in practice. Do they envisage making extradition requests in such circumstances?

Finally, I ought to say something about the effect of the amendments. They would create an exception to the requirement under subsections (4) and (5) of Clause 148 that, for conduct to constitute an extradition offence for which a person could be extradited back to the United Kingdom, a sentence of at least four months' imprisonment must have been imposed. The amendments would allow a person convicted of an offence under the Female Genital Mutilation Bill to be extradited if any custodial sentence had been imposed. Do the Government expect that, with the increase in the maximum penalty under the FGM Bill from five to 14 years' imprisonment, sentences of less than four months will routinely be imposed by the courts for such offences? In that case, the changes proposed by the amendments might need to be re-considered.

We accept that it would not be right to create such an exception for one category of offence only. To that extent, the amendments are before the Committee today simply so that the Government's position on the matter can be made clear. I would be grateful for the Minister's comments on how the Government intend to proceed on the extradition of persons who have committed such appalling acts. I beg to move.

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