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Lord Filkin moved Amendment No. 238A:

(i) a category 1 territory under law of the territory corresponding to Part 1 of this Act, or
(ii) "

The noble Lord said: I shall be brief in speaking to the amendment as I hope that no Member of the Committee will object to what we are trying to do. As the Bill is currently drafted, a person who is extradited to the United Kingdom from a category 2 country and then not put on trial or acquitted is entitled to be returned to the country from which he was extradited at public expense. This is very similar to Section 20 of the Extradition Act 1989. However, Clause 153 applies only to people who have been extradited from Part 2 countries. There is no corresponding provision in

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respect of extradition from Part 1 countries. One can speculate about what might have been the historical reasons for that in terms of the relative cost of travel, but we can see no good reason in principle why there should not be parity of treatment. We do not believe that the distinction between Part 1 and Part 2 countries in this respect can be justified. Accordingly, these amendments allow for people to be returned to Part 1 countries when they have been acquitted or not charged, at public expense. I hope that Members of the Committee will welcome this proposal.

Lord Lamont of Lerwick: If a person had been in a third country but was extradited, would he be returned to his home country—that is, this country? Supposing he was in Norway and was extradited to Germany, would he be returned to this country?

Lord Filkin: What an interesting question; I think I would be wise to reflect on it. My off-the-cuff response is that one would return him to whichever of the two he requested in those circumstances. However, it would be better if I reflected further on this point to see whether there is an underlying principle to guide us in those circumstances. I will write to the noble Lord accordingly.

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts: We support the amendments for the reasons the Minister has given. The only conceivable justification for treating Part 1 countries differently from Part 2 countries was geography. It was not so far away. By the time the Minister had added Iceland, it was going to be more expensive to get back from there. So we are quite happy with these amendments.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Filkin moved Amendment No. 238B:

    Page 81, line 4, leave out from "back" to end of line and insert ", free of charge and with as little delay as possible, to the territory from which he was extradited to the United Kingdom in respect of the offence."

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 153, as amended, agreed to.

Lord Davies of Oldham moved Amendment No. 238C:

    Before Clause 154, insert the following new clause—

(1) This section applies in relation to a person if—
(a) the Secretary of State has given an undertaking in connection with the person's extradition to the United Kingdom, and
(b) the undertaking includes terms that the person be kept in custody until the conclusion of any proceedings against him in the United Kingdom for an offence.
(2) A court, judge or justice of the peace may grant bail to the person in the proceedings only if the court, judge or justice of the peace considers that there are exceptional circumstances which justify it."

The noble Lord said: In moving Amendment No. 238C I shall also speak to Amendment No. 267ZA. I can be brief, as I think the Committee will see merit in them.

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As will be recalled from previous discussions, the Bill will allow us temporarily to extradite serving UK prisoners in order to stand trial abroad. One of the conditions we can impose is that the other country keeps the person in custody for the duration of his trial. Clearly, it would be quite unsatisfactory if we were temporarily to extradite someone who had been convicted of a very serious offence in the United Kingdom courts and been given a long sentence, only to see him granted bail abroad and then abscond.

However, that cuts both ways. If we are temporarily to extradite our serving prisoners, we may also want to seek the temporary extradition of those serving sentences in other countries. For exactly the same reasons, the countries concerned may want an assurance that we will keep the person in custody—

[The Sitting was suspended for a Division in the House from 6.13 to 6.23 p.m.]

Lord Davies of Oldham: The issue cuts both ways. If we are to extradite our prisoners temporarily, we may also want the temporary extradition of those serving in other countries. For the same reason, the countries concerned may want an assurance that we will keep the person in custody for the duration of his stay.

The Bill enables the Secretary of State to make the necessary undertakings to the country concerned, and the amendments are designed to give those undertakings some teeth. The amendments recognise that the questions of bail or remand in custody are the prerogative of the court, taking into account the individual circumstances of the case. The amendments provide that the person should not be given bail unless the court considers that there are exceptional circumstances that justify it.

I suggest that the provisions apply only to those who serve sentences abroad who have been temporarily extradited to the UK. In every other case, the normal bail rules apply. I remind Members of the Committee that, for the first time, we are creating a presumption in favour of bail in extradition cases. I commend the amendments to the Committee. I beg to move.

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts: We find these sensible amendments, but there are a few issues on which we would appreciate a little more detail. There appears to be no mention in the framework decision of any provision for withholding bail at the request of the issuing country in circumstances involving the extradition of someone already serving a sentence. In fact, there is not much about bail anywhere in the framework decision. Perhaps the Minister could explain how that would fit in, as it presumably provided the basis on which the Government decided to include the provision in the Bill.

Do other countries have similar provisions in their domestic legislation? Otherwise, we are in another one-way street, where they are doing the bare minimum and we are not doing the bare minimum but rushing ahead of our colleagues to provide them with things that we will not get back. Will the Minister explain

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whether there is anything in the present extradition procedure under the existing Act that provides for these situations? I presume that there is not.

The noble Baroness, Lady Scotland, wrote a very helpful letter, but it contained a strange anomaly. It said in one paragraph that the Secretary of State could give an undertaking that a person would be detained. Later on it said that, as the Minister pointed out, the courts decide about bail and not the Secretary of State. I am not sure how the Secretary of State is going to give an undertaking when it is not in his power to enforce it.

Bearing in mind that exceptional circumstances exist, it would be helpful for the Minister to give the Committee an example of the Government's intentions. I hate vague words such as "exceptional circumstances", and it would be helpful to have an example.

As the noble Lord, Lord Filkin, will be aware, we are struggling our way through the Criminal Justice Bill. We are finishing Part 2 dealing with bail, so it would be interesting to see how that ties in with the Government's intentions, given that the provisions for the granting of bail are being quite radically changed.

In principle, we believe the amendments to be sensible, but it would be helpful to have some background information before we reach a final conclusion.

Lord Goodhart: We also believe the amendments to be sensible, and we are happy to support them.

6.30 p.m.

Lord Davies of Oldham: I am grateful to Members of the Committee for the broad measure of support, although the noble Lord, Lord Hodgson, has asked me some precise questions on which I may have to write to him in due course, if I cannot think on my feet sufficiently.

The noble Lord will recognise that the principle on which we are working is quite clear. We want to ensure that when we are involved in the issue of extradition we can expect certain undertakings to be met with regard to the category in question—namely, those serving sentences. We therefore expect and anticipate that we need to meet the same requirements for people who are from other countries in our prisons.

The issue is not covered by the framework decision, so we are free to make our own decisions. The noble Lord referred to other aspects of the criminal justice system and the other Bill. We are in a position to make our decisions according to our own judgments. Other countries have different bail rules, and not all of them have the same presumption in bail as us, so there are discrepancies. The noble Lord is right to point out that we cannot achieve in every circumstance the concept of total reciprocity. There is nothing in existing legislation about temporary surrender so there is no equivalent of these provisions at present.

As regards whether the Secretary of State can give an undertaking which may not prove to be 100 per cent valid, that would be for the Government to decide, but

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the amendments should ensure that the undertaking is normally honoured. Under the Part 2 framework the Secretary of State has a crucial role to play.

The question of exceptional circumstances would be a matter for the court to decide. I suppose the most obvious example is a prisoner falling seriously ill and the place in which he is detained not being adequate to meet his needs. In a spirit of humanity we would have to ensure that different arrangements were made. That would be an exceptional circumstance. It would not happen very often. Therefore, we need to make provision for exceptional circumstances. If we made the matter absolutely cut and dried, we could find ourselves applying the law in a way which conflicted with basic concepts of humanity. I hope that the noble Lord is satisfied with that explanation.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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