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Lord Filkin: In considering these amendments, it is important that we make it clear that, in Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service have the supervisory role in all aspects of extradition law. There will, therefore, be no question of any police officer executing a warrant for the arrest of any person, whether a European arrest warrant or a warrant under Part 2, without instructions from the designated authority in Scotland, namely the Crown Office.

It has been agreed with NCIS that that organisation will not send warrants for execution direct to a Scottish police force; rather, it will send it to the Crown Office. In doing so, NCIS has accepted that Scottish law requires that a Procurator Fiscal give instruction to the police about the execution of an arrest warrant.

The only exception will be provisional arrest under Clause 5. Of course, the arresting police officers will be required to contact the central authority immediately the fugitive is arrested, as the actual warrant will have to be in the hands of the central authority for the fugitive's appearance in court. It is therefore at that stage that the question of search will arise.

In all cases other than Clause 5, therefore, police officers will be required to act directly under the instructions of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. That will include the questions of search.

The judicial safeguards in Scotland are even stronger than in the rest of the UK. Accordingly, to introduce the proposed further step is not in keeping with current procedure in Scottish criminal law. In provisional arrest cases, the police will be expected to consult the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, and, in common with the situation in domestic cases, will be guided by that service so far as concerns any search.

The proposed amendments would introduce a system that is required in the rest of the UK because there is no input/supervision by a lawyer in the execution of either an arrest or a search warrant. The importation of what is essentially an English and Welsh Police and Criminal Evidence Act requirement would not only be alien to Scotland's legal system, it would also, we suggest, be superfluous.

I am very pleased to have given what I hope is a full answer to the important probing on Scottish matters—yet again—that the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay, provides.

7.30 p.m.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: I am grateful to the Minister for the explanation. I will check with my

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noble friend Lady Carnegy whether that is how she understands the situation. Certainly, I am not aware of the role of the Crown Office in how it discharges its duties and supervises those matters. I am sure that the Minister has given us enough information to reach the right decision on what to do before Report. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

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Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

The Chairman of Committees: The Committee stands adjourned until Monday 8th September at 3.30 p.m.

        The Committee adjourned at twenty-nine minutes before eight o'clock.

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