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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for outlining the genesis of the amendment. She is right to say that it has been inspired by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mayhew of Twysden. It causes me displeasure to disagree with him because it has been my pleasure to agree with him on a number of other occasions.
The Bill as drafted is right. Clauses 40 and 43 both begin with the words, "This section applies". We do not consider that anyone could really believe that Clauses 40(3) and 43(4) could apply in circumstances other than those described in subsection (1) of each clause. More to the point, the "this section applies" formulation is used throughout the Bill. None of the clauses in which it appears go on in the substantive subsections to say "where this section applies". So the inclusion of those words in Clauses 40(3) and 43(4) would be inconsistent with the rest of the Bill and might give rise to confusion.
As I am sure the noble and learned Lordwho is not in his placeknows better than most, it is a cardinal principle of parliamentary drafting that unnecessary words should never be included in legislation, as some day a court will assume that they were there for a reason. I think it was one of his own injunctions, which he gave us on a number of occasions, that we should expunge unnecessary words whenever necessary, and we have taken that advice very much to heart.
I can assure the noble and learned Lord and the noble Baroness that we have considered the suggestion very carefully, but we are satisfied that there is no ambiguity or possibility of confusion. I hope that when he comes to read this, the noble and learned Lord will accept that, and I invite the noble Baroness to withdraw the amendment.
The noble Lord said: My Lords, I can be very brief with these simple amendments. They should be familiar to the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay, as the first three are identical to amendments which she graciously tabled at Grand Committee. In responding, my noble friend Lord Filkin said we would be happy to bring forward amendments for the same purpose, and that is what we have done.
When an extradition request is withdrawn, the person must be discharged and, if he is not actually before the judge, he must be informed that this has happened. These amendments simply require him to be informed as soon as possible. If any of your Lordships can find a reason to object to that, I shall be both amazed and impressed. I beg to move.
The noble Lord said: My Lords, this group of amendments probably sets the record for the largest number of amendments in a single group, but I think it makes sense to treat them all together since they relate to a common subject. The subject is what is termed "post-extradition"that is, what happens to a person after they have been extradited from the United Kingdom to another country.
By virtue of the rule of speciality, the country to which the person was extradited can try or punish the person only for the offence or offences for which he or she was extradited. If they want to try them for an additional offence, they need to seek our consent. Similarly, if the country concerned wants to re-extradite them to a third country, they also need to seek our consent. It is the clauses dealing with how we receive and handle such requests for consent to which these amendments relate.
It is worth pointing out that speciality waiver and re-extradition requests are extremely rare. Nevertheless, I am sure that your Lordships will agree that it is important that the Bill should set out clearly the procedure that should apply.
With that preamble, perhaps I could explain what these various amendments actually do. They serve a number of purposes. Amendments Nos. 121, 122, 126, 134, 136, 256, 257, 261, 262, 266 and 267 make it clear that the post-extradition regime to be applied is determined by the status of the territory at the time of extradition.
Amendments Nos. 124 and 130 simplify the drafting of the Bill to make it clear that if a hearing for consent to speciality waiver or re-extradition has not begun by the due date, consent must be refused. This will make life easier for the person who will no longer in those circumstances have to show any reason why consent should be refused.
Amendments Nos. 127 and 132 make it clear that, in accordance with normal extradition practice, speciality protection and protection against re-extradition only apply for 45 days after the person is at liberty to leave the country. Otherwise we might have the ridiculous situation in which we extradite a person back to his home country and then 30 years later that country wants to re-extradite him and requires our permission. Once the person has had a reasonable opportunity to leave the country, our interest in him ceases.
Amendments Nos. 135 and 138 to 144 are concerned with the case where we have extradited a person to a Part 1 country which then wants to re-extradite him to a Part 2 country. The amendments bring the procedure into line with that which applies when a person is re-extradited to a Part 2 country which then wants to re-extradite him to another Part 2 country. This makes the Bill far more internally consistent.
Finally, Amendments Nos. 259, 260, 264 and 265 give effect to a commitment made in Committee by specifying more precisely the matters which the Secretary of State must take into account when considering any such request. Again, this follows a suggestion made by the Opposition at Grand Committee.
Baroness Anelay of St Johns: My Lords, I welcome these amendments, which give effect to the Government's commitment to consider the points that were made at Grand Committee. I have one question for further elaboration, if the Minister can answer it today. It is with reference to Amendment No. 123. I am not objecting to the amendmentfar from it. It is merely to get some further explanation.
The Government have, quite rightly, put it on the face of the Bill that the judge has to serve notice on the person that he has received a request for consent unless he is satisfied that it would not be practicable to do so. Could the Minister give the House a flavour of the circumstances in which it might not be practicable to
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