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The Earl of Mar and Kellie: My Lords, I am grateful for that clarification and beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 181 [Competing claims to extradition]:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 286:


On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 182 [Proceedings on deferred warrant or request]:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendments Nos. 287 and 288:


    Page 100, line 33, at end insert—


"(1A) The judge may make an order for proceedings on the deferred claim to be resumed.
(1B) No order under subsection (1A) may be made after the end of the required period."
Page 100, line 36, leave out subsection (3) and insert—


"(3) If the person applies to the appropriate judge to be discharged, the judge must order his discharge if—
(a) the required period has ended, and
(b) the judge has not made an order under subsection (1A) or ordered the person's discharge."

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 183 [Proceedings where extradition deferred]:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendments Nos. 289 and 290:


    Page 101, line 9, at end insert—


"(1A) The judge may make an order for the person's extradition in pursuance of the deferred claim to cease to be deferred.
(1B) No order under subsection (1A) may be made after the end of the required period."

30 Oct 2003 : Column 396


Page 101, line 12, leave out subsection (3) and insert—


"(3) If the person applies to the appropriate judge to be discharged, the judge must order his discharge if—
(a) the required period has ended, and
(b) the judge has not made an order under subsection (1A) or ordered the person's discharge."

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 188 [Asylum appeal to High Court where extradition ordered]:

[Amendments Nos. 290A and 290B not moved.]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 291:


    Leave out Clause 188.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 189 [Asylum appeal to House of Lords where extradition ordered]:

[Amendments Nos. 291A to 291G not moved.]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 292:


    Leave out Clause 189.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 194 [Crown Prosecution Service: role in extradition proceedings]:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 293:


    Page 107, line 29, leave out from "Director)" to "give" in line 32 and insert—


"in subsection (2) after paragraph (e) insert—
"(ea) to have the conduct of any extradition proceedings;
(eb) to"

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, as noble Lords will know by now, extradition involves various legal proceedings. The fugitive is invariably legally represented, which means that the other side—the requesting state—also needs to be legally represented. The normal practice in England and Wales is for the Crown Prosecution Service to represent the requesting state, with the Lord Advocate performing a similar role in Scottish cases and the Crown Solicitor in Northern Ireland cases.

However, we realised that nothing in the statute governing the CPS—the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985—explicitly conferred that role on the CPS. There was concern that a challenge might one day be mounted to the CPS's involvement in an extradition case. The same was true for the relevant authorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Therefore, on the last day of Grand Committee, we made amendments to put the matter beyond doubt and to make it clear that the relevant prosecuting authorities can act in extradition proceedings. Those amendments were welcomed by the noble Lord, Lord Hodgson, and we were very grateful for that.

The amendments were phrased in terms of a power to act in extradition cases. However, on further consideration and following discussions with the CPS, we now believe that it would be better to express it in terms of a duty. We submit that the reason for that is

30 Oct 2003 : Column 397

simple enough. If there is any suggestion that the prosecuting authorities have a discretion on whether to act, fugitives may seek to mount a legal challenge to their decision to act in a particular case. All the available evidence suggests that fugitives will use any available legal avenue, however improbable it may sound.

We doubt that any such challenges would succeed. Nevertheless, they would entail time and expense. Accordingly, we have brought forward the amendments to impose a duty on the CPS and the Lord Advocate to handle extradition cases within their jurisdictions. The duty does not apply where the requesting state wishes to make its own arrangements for legal representation. In that case, it does so at its own expense. On that basis, I hope that noble Lords will be content to agree with the amendment. I beg to move.

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts: My Lords, we share the overall view that extradition processes are now unduly prolonged and elongated, often by those who seek to make mischief. As the noble Baroness explained, the amendment responds to concerns voiced by the CPS. It appears to us to be reasonable in that it will cut down unreasonable delays.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 294:


    Page 107, line 35, at end insert—


"(2A) In section 3 after subsection (2) insert—
"(2A) Subsection (2)(ea) above does not require the Director to have the conduct of any extradition proceedings in respect of a person if he has received a request not to do so and—
(a) in a case where the proceedings are under Part 1 of the Extradition Act 2003, the request is made by the authority which issued the Part 1 warrant in respect of the person;
(b) in a case where the proceedings are under Part 2 of that Act, the request is made on behalf of the territory to which the person's extradition has been requested.""

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 195 [Lord Advocate: role in extradition proceedings]:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendments Nos. 295 and 296:


    Page 108, line 5, leave out "may" and insert "must"


    Page 108, line 9, at end insert—


"(2) Subsection (1)(a) does not require the Lord Advocate to conduct any extradition proceedings in respect of a person if he has received a request not to do so and—
(a) in a case where the proceedings are under Part 1, the request is made by the authority which issued the Part 1 warrant in respect of the person;
(b) in a case where the proceedings are under Part 2, the request is made on behalf of the territory to which the person's extradition has been requested."

On Question, amendments agreed to.

30 Oct 2003 : Column 398

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 297:


    After Clause 196, insert the following new clause—


"PARTIES TO INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS
(1) A territory may be designated by order made by the Secretary of State if—
(a) it is not a category 1 territory or a category 2 territory, and
(b) it is a party to an international Convention to which the United Kingdom is a party.
(2) This Act applies in relation to a territory designated by order under subsection (1) as if the territory were a category 2 territory.
(3) As applied to a territory by subsection (2), this Act has effect as if—
(a) sections 72(4), 74(5), 75(10)(b),85(7), 87(7), 139 and 140 were omitted;
(b) the conduct that constituted an extradition offence for the purposes of Part 2 were the conduct specified in relation to the territory in the order under subsection (1) designating the territory.
(4) Conduct may be specified in relation to a territory in an order under subsection (1) designating the territory only if it is conduct to which the relevant Convention applies.
(5) The relevant Convention is the Convention referred to in subsection (1)(b) which is specified in relation to the territory in the order under subsection (1) designating it."

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this new clause will preserve the status quo. Section 22 of the Extradition Act 1989 is concerned with extradition to parties to international conventions and the effect of the proposed new clause is no different to that provision.

The United Kingdom has full extradition relations with approximately 120 countries, which generally means that we are able to extradite to and from those countries for the full range of extradition offences; that is, offences attracting penalties of more than 12 months' imprisonment. However, in addition the United Kingdom is a party to a number of international conventions, mostly made under the auspices of the United Nations. The full list is contained in Section 22 of the 1989 Act, as amended.

A feature of those conventions is that they require those countries which have ratified them to extradite to other such countries for the offences in question, even though the countries concerned do not have general extradition relations. So, for example, the United Kingdom has ratified the 1963 convention on offences committed on board aircraft, known as the Tokyo Convention. So have many other countries. The vast majority of signatories are countries with whom we have general extradition relations. However, among the countries which have ratified the Tokyo Convention are China, Niger, the Philippines and Upper Volta, which are not full extradition partners.

Our ratification of the Tokyo Convention obliges us to have in place a mechanism to enable us to extradite to those countries which have also ratified it, with which we do not have full extradition relations. Exactly the same is true for all the other conventions. I hope that with that outline noble Lords will feel able to agree the amendment. I beg to move.

30 Oct 2003 : Column 399

12.15 p.m.

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts: My Lords, we have no problem with the principle of the amendment. As the Minister points out, it replicates Section 22 of the Extradition Act 1989. Perhaps a small question mark forms at the back of our mind as to why this was not picked up at an earlier stage of the Bill, but never mind. The Minister has been kind enough to give in a letter a detailed explanation of the background to the amendment and, indeed, has given further explanation from the Dispatch Box today.

I would ask the Minister to confirm two matters. The first concerns the nature of the offences covered. She referred to the convention on offences committed on board aircraft. It is clear that this is a ring-fenced activity. There is no question of speciality being involved here. She mentioned Niger as a country with which we do not have extradition arrangements. There is no question of people being able to be extradited under that convention and then charged with something else in Niger. Speciality does not apply.

The second matter on which I should like confirmation is the nature of the categories into which these conventions fall. We now have a new system with category 1 and category 2. The letter from the Minister made clear that these conventions will be treated as if they are a Part 2 country. It would be helpful to have that confirmation on the record again now so that it is clear and beyond peradventure.

Finally—this may be an unfair question—the Minister stated in her letter that she did not expect the provision to be much used. Does she have any information about how much it has been used as it replicates an Act which has been in existence for some 13 years? Subject to satisfactory answers to the first two points concerning ring-fencing and the fact that these are category 2 territories or will be treated in the procedure as category 2 territories, we are content with the amendments.


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