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Earl Howe: If I may, in the two minutes available to me, I should like to thank the Minister very much for his constructive response. I thank all noble Lords who have taken part in this extremely useful debate. I agree with the Minister that it is the future that is important. I also agree that transition is not easy. I think, though, that he will have gained a sense from the contributions this

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evening that, without too much more effort, the transition could have been made a lot easier than it has turned out to be.

The commission is to be applauded in many ways, not least for taking what I acknowledge is an innovative approach to supporting the patients' forums. The voluntary sector has a great deal to offer the patient and public involvement system, just as it has been an intrinsic part of the CHC system, although its role will now be more as a provider than an impartial contributor. Nevertheless, it is an imaginative idea.

The commission has, however, to be set up properly. I think that the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, was absolutely right. Those who support the forums must have local knowledge. While the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, might be accused of being a fuddy-duddy, I had great sympathy with what he said about the committee structure. The fact is that having one person serving a number of patients' forums is a recipe for muddled accountability and potentially for conflict of interests. I think that that has to be guarded against and, if I may respectfully suggest, at one remove to the commission. I hesitate to criticise the commission openly in the House when it has no means of answering back directly, but it does have to pay close attention to the decisions that Parliament took. The noble Lord, Lord Hunt, was right to highlight that, especially its own relationship with the forums once they begin. The forums are independent entities. They are not to be line managed, nor are they local branches of the commission.

I am sure that I speak for all of us here in wishing the patients' forums well, and indeed the commission, as they go about their important task. I beg leave to withdraw the Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Patients' Forums (Functions) Regulations 2003

Earl Howe had given notice of his intention to move, That an Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty praying that the regulations, laid before the House on 14th August, be annulled (S.I. 2003/2124).

Motion not moved.

Extradition Bill

8.33 p.m.

Consideration of amendments on Report resumed.

Clause 4 [Person arrested under Part 1 warrant]:

The Deputy Speaker (Lord Lyell): My Lords, if Amendment No. 29 is agreed to, I will not be able to call Amendments Nos. 30 to 32.

Lord Dholakia moved Amendment No. 29:

    Page 3, line 30, leave out subsection (2) and insert—

"(2) A copy of the warrant must be given to the person as soon as practicable after his arrest."

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The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 29, which is in the name of my noble friend Lord Goodhart, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 33, 194, 198, 204 and 208, all of which are in this group.

In Grand Committee we explained that our amendment was intended to ensure that the arrested individual was always given a copy of the warrant—not the original, obviously, but a copy—either on arrest or as soon as practicable thereafter. For the arrested person the warrant contains vital information including why he or she is being arrested and the grounds on which extradition is sought. We argued that the warrant should be provided automatically to the arrested individual. Arrested persons should not have to ask to see it.

I therefore welcome the Government's Amendment No. 30 which provides that the arrested person is not required to ask to see the warrant. However, I hope that the Government will go a little further on the matter. We would still prefer that the arrested person should be entitled to be given a copy of the warrant and to keep it.

The European arrest warrant annexed to the framework decision will contain a great deal of vital information for the arrested person. That is a step in the right direction and further meets the obligation relating to the framework.

This matter is very much about the rights of the individual. If there are circumstances in which a person's rights are affected, we must ensure that that individual has all the information which he or she can use to defend themselves. The automatic availability of warrants would ensure that the individual was fully aware of why he was arrested and the grounds of his extradition. That is the purpose of the amendment. I beg to move.

Viscount Bridgeman: My Lords, I wish to speak to Amendments Nos. 33, 198 and 208 which stand in my name and that of my noble friend Lord Hodgson and the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart.

I welcome the government amendments in this group. They properly reflect the points which were made in Committee by my noble friend Lord Hodgson. Indeed, six of these are identical to amendments we tabled in Committee to leave out,

    "and he asks to be shown the warrant",

and to replace "request" with "arrest".

The other two amendments—Amendments Nos. 42 and 43—make sure that in the Part 1 provisional arrest clause there is also an obligation to show the warrant, or a copy of it, to the arrested person as soon as practicable after his arrest. When we originally came to table our amendments for Report we decided to back the reworded version of the subsection which the Liberal Democrats proposed as a more straightforward way of making the change. However, the only difference between the Liberal Democrat amendment and the new government ones here is the word "given" instead of "shown". The one word difference is not something on

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which we would insist or on which we would make a stand. I am happy to accept the government amendments in this group as a welcome concession.

Viscount Bledisloe: My Lords, on the contrary, I believe that there is a world of difference between "given" in Amendment No. 29 and "shown". "Given" is patently right. I very much hope that the noble Baroness will accept that.

The whole problem here arises from the use of the word "warrant". We are used to the word "warrant" denoting something that authorises someone to search my house or me, for example. That must be shown before the search takes place. In the case that we are discussing the warrant is a document which is effectively the equivalent of a charge or an indictment, though it is rather more detailed. It tells one what one is charged with, what the nature of the offence is and so on and so forth. After a certain amount of badgering in Grand Committee, the Government admitted that one is invariably given a copy of a charge document or an indictment. The person concerned will want to take it to whoever advises him and say, "Look, this is what I am charged with, or this is why I have been arrested. Does it justify my arrest?" He will want to look at it. Incidentally, that solves the problem of language. He will obviously want to look at it in English, because the questions will be about what an English tribunal will think of the warrant and whether it complies with English law.

People will want a copy. Once they have a copy, translation facilities can be provided. To be shown it is the recipe for disaster. Let us imagine that someone is shown the document. He is probably fairly flustered. He gets everything wrong and says to his advisers, "I was shown the document and it said such and such". The advisers give him some advice, on which they and he act. Then when the advisers get to see the document, they see that the person has got everything wrong. I cannot conceive of why the Government should object to the person who has been arrested having in his hand a copy of the document that justifies his arrest, tells him for what he has been arrested, and enables him to discuss with his advisers whether he will be extradited, whether a bull point prevents him being extradited, and so on.

The only consequential problem that I see is if, by inadvertence, bad management or whatever, someone is not given a copy of the warrant. I fully agree with what the Government said in Grand Committee; namely, that that should not lead to automatic discharge. That has been boldly tackled by those on the Conservative Front Bench in Amendment No. 33. I am not sure that I am totally convinced by it, because it states that failure to provide the warrant will not result in automatic discharge. The amendment does not say what that will result in. I assume that it means that the magistrate will have discretion to say, "That was flagrant. I'm going to discharge him", or, "That was an error, but you got one half a day later. You are

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now in a position to deal with the matter. Don't let's make too much fuss about that and let's get on with the realities".

I seriously urge the Government to take on board that what needs to be done is to give a copy of the document to the person who has been arrested as soon as reasonably practical. All the rest flows. That gets out of the translation problems and the questions of whether someone was shown a copy, and if he does not have it whether he was shown it for long enough, had time to read it and understood it. If someone has the piece of paper, he knows what he is in court for and can take advice on it. Please could we have a little reality and accept Amendment No. 29?

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