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Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts: I am grateful to the Minister for that explanation and for the letter that we were sent explaining these amendments. The letter stated that the amendments make no substantial difference. We obviously share the Minister's wish to shorten legislation wherever possible and two clauses for five seems a good exchange. We are content with the changes on the understanding—as he has stated and as was stated in the letter—that it is the drafting rather than the substance that is being altered.

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On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Davies of Oldham moved Amendment No. 248B:


    Before Clause 176, insert the following new clause—


"EXTRADITION TO BRITISH OVERSEAS TERRITORIES
(1) This section applies in relation to extradition—
(a) to a British overseas territory from a category 1 territory;
(b) to a British overseas territory from the United Kingdom;
(c) to a British overseas territory from a category 2 territory;
(d) to a British overseas territory from any of the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
(2) An Order in Council may provide for any provision of this Act applicable to extradition to the United Kingdom to apply to extradition in a case falling within subsection (1)(a) or (b).
(3) An Order in Council may provide for any provision of this Act applicable to extradition to the United Kingdom from a category 2 territory to apply to extradition in a case falling within subsection (1)(c) or (d).
(4) An Order in Council under this section may provide that the provision applied has effect with specified modifications."

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees: I am required to take the proposal to remove the next five clauses individually. If the Minister would indicate his wish that they should not stand part of the Bill, I shall proceed in that way. It may take rather a long time, but it requires the Minister to say that he wishes to delete the next five clauses.

Lord Davies of Oldham: Yes. I beg to move that the next five clauses of the Bill should be deleted.

Clause 176 negatived.

Clause 177 negatived.

Clause 178 negatived.

Clause 179 negatived.

Clause 180 negatived.

Clause 181 [Competing claims to extradition]:

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts moved Amendment No. 249:


    Page 97, line 36, leave out from beginning to third "a"

The noble Lord said: It will not take long to explain the thinking behind Amendment No. 249, which is tabled in my name and that of my noble friend Lady Anelay of St Johns. It has been grouped with the debate on Clause 181 stand part in the interests of not rehearsing the arguments twice over. Both Amendment No. 249 and the clause stand part debate focus on ensuring clarity of drafting in the interests of workability when the Bill becomes an Act.

Clause 181—"Competing claims to extradition"—deals, as one would expect, with the occasions when conflicting claims for extradition occur between category 1 and category 2 territories. Amendment No. 249 may at first sight seem somewhat pedantic but it is intended to draw the Government's attention to the different drafting adopted in the two paragraphs of subsection (1).

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We believe that the words in subsection (1)(a),


    "there is a Part 1 warrant in respect of a person",

are superfluous. The situation which is being addressed is where a certificate under Clause 2 and a certificate under Clause 69—that is, from a category 1 and category 2 territory respectively—come into conflict in relation to the extradition of the same person. As a certificate under Clause 2 cannot be issued unless there is a Part 1 warrant in existence—that is, a European arrest warrant—which has been presented to the relevant authority in this country from a category 1 territory, the existing phrase,


    "there is a Part 1 warrant in respect of a person",

is unnecessary; the fact is implicit in the provisions of the Bill. In the interests of tidier drafting and to make paragraph (a) correspond more closely to paragraph (b) in its wording, we believe that Amendment No. 249 should be adopted.

Let me now address our concerns about Clause 181 as a whole. We understand the necessity for including a clause in the Bill which addresses the problem of conflicting simultaneous requests from a category 1 and a category 2 territory. We have tabled the debate on clause stand part in order to probe the Minister and to give him a chance to explain the workability of the clause.

Subsection (2) gives a number of options to the Secretary of State in terms of how he should proceed when faced with two warrants. He may order proceedings on one of them, the warrant or the request—be it a Part 1 or a Part 2—to be deferred; he may order an extradition in respect of a warrant to be deferred until the request has been disposed of; and he may order an extradition in pursuance of a request to be deferred until the warrant has been disposed of. In other words, all options are open. This offers no advice or help to the Secretary of State; it merely states that all options are open to him.

However, subsection (3) sets out what the Secretary of State must take into account, and his decision must be based on the criteria set out in paragraphs (a) to (d) of that subsection. These include the relative seriousness of the offences; the place where each offence was committed; the date when the warrant was issued and the date when the request was received; and whether, in the case of each offence, the person is accused of its commission or is alleged to be unlawfully at large after conviction.

I understand the reasons for those paragraphs, but does the Minister consider that the list of criteria is exhaustive? Surely other factors should be taken into account. Is there any reason why there should not, or could not, be a new paragraph which might include "any other factor which is deemed relevant"?

The European arrest warrant seems to support such a non-exhaustive approach in terms of the criteria on which the Secretary of State should make his decision. Article 16 of the framework decision—entitled "Decision in the event of multiple requests"—states:


    "If two or more Member States have issued European arrest warrants for the same person, the decision on which the European arrest warrants shall be executed shall be taken by the executing

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    judicial authority with due consideration of all the circumstances and especially the relative seriousness and place of the offences, the respective dates of the European arrest warrants and whether the warrant has been issued for the purposes of prosecution or for execution of a custodial sentence or detention order".

I note here that it refers to a consideration of "all the circumstances". This might include, for instance, considering the date of the alleged offence, which is not currently mentioned in the Bill. This perhaps should also be considered when deciding between two requests.

The clause relies on the discretion of the Secretary of State to come to the decision he thinks best in relation to two conflicting extradition requests. We want to ensure that the clause is workable in order that the Secretary of State may reach his decision with the best possible ease.

The noble Lord, Lord Filkin, has on frequent occasions —during the Second Reading debate and thereafter—referred to the delays in the current procedure caused by potential judicial reviews of the Secretary of State's discretion. I should be grateful for the Minister's reassurance that he feels this clause has been sufficiently well drafted in the light of the difficulties experienced by the Home Secretary under the present regime when faced with conflicting simultaneous requests. It would be helpful to the Committee if he could explain how often such requests occur and how, if at all, the clause has been redrafted from the corresponding provisions in the existing Acts. I beg to move.

Lord Filkin: As the Committee knows, Clause 181 is concerned with the important area of competing claims to extradition. We discussed this matter in some detail earlier when we considered an amendment tabled by the noble Earl, Lord Mar and Kellie.

The Bill deals with competing requests in three separate places. Where there are two Part 1 requests in respect of the same person, it falls to the district judge to decide which one should be given priority. That is set out in Clause 43. Where there are two Part 2 requests in respect of the same person, it falls to the Secretary of State to decide which one should be given priority. That is set out in Clause 124. Clause 181, which we are currently considering, is concerned with the third possible combination—that is, where we receive a Part 1 and a Part 2 request in respect of the same person. In that case, it is the Secretary of State who decides which one should be given priority.

The noble Lord is right that in each of the three situations that I have described the factors which must be decided between the two requests are the same: the relative seriousness of the offences; the place where the offence occurred or was alleged to have occurred; the dates when the request was made; and whether the person is accused of the offences or is alleged to be unlawfully at large after conviction of them. For completeness, in Scottish cases, Scottish Ministers perform the function of the Secretary of State.

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At first, we believed that the amendment was seeking to remove the reference to a Part 1 warrant in subsection (1)(a) of Clause 181. We tended to jump to the slightly paranoid assumption that that was part of the effort to remove Part 1 from the Bill. But we understand the Opposition's position on that and no doubt we shall return to the matter at another time and place.

I turn to the first point in relation to the drafting. I believe I would be wise not to seek to engage in debate on this issue now but, instead, to say that, in essence, we believe that subsection (1)(a) corresponds to the wording in subsection (1)(b) in respect of a request for a certificate for a person not yet extradited. But we are happy to consider whether the drafting can be improved and we shall take it away with an open mind to see whether that would be helpful.

I turn to the point concerning criteria and whether there is a need to add to them. The criteria in Clause 181(3) are not exhaustive and the Secretary of State can consider any matter. The clause simply requires that he must consider the matters listed in paragraphs (a) to (d). It does not prohibit him from considering other matters.

To the question of how often competing requests occur, the answer is: very rarely. We should be happy to go back and carry out research if further details would be helpful. In fact, there is nothing in current legislation under the Extradition Act 1989. Therefore, these are new provisions, which seek to lay down some clearer and tighter rules of process. I hope that, with the undertaking that I gave to consider the drafting, my response has been helpful.


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