26 MARCH 2003
By the Select Committee appointed to examine the
constitutional implications of all public bills coming before
the House; and to keep under review the operation of the constitution.
1. A bill has been introduced to this House to
make provision about extradition. The Extradition Bill was brought
from the House of Commons on 26th March 2003 (HL Bill 50).
2. We considered that the extensive review of
extradition law proposed by the bill was a matter of constitutional
significance. We therefore wrote to the Home Secretary asking
for further information on:
Government's intentions regarding the designation of countries
as category 1 territories, to which extradition under the new
procedure set out in Part 1 of the bill would be possible;
rationale for allowing countries to be designated as category
1 or 2 territories using Orders in Council subject only to the
reason why the European Framework list of 32 categories of conduct
was not set out in a schedule to the bill; and
Government's proposal to go beyond the requirements of the Framework
Decision in disapplying the dual criminality safeguard for less
3. We are grateful to Lord Filkin, Parliamentary
Under-Secretary of State in the Home Office, for replying promptly
to our letter. Our correspondence is appended.
4. As regards our proposal that the European
Framework list of 32 categories of conduct should be included
in a schedule to the bill, we consider that the reason given by
Lord Filkin for rejecting this proposal (loss of flexibility)
is not compelling. It would be a simple matter for the Government
to take power in the Bill to amend the schedule by means of regulation
should the need to do so arise.
5. Lord Filkin reinforces the case for including
the list in a schedule to the bill when he states that the Judge
is required "to determine whether the conduct is extraditable
under UK law (as set out in clauses 63 and 64)". Clause
63(2) requires that the conduct in question shall fall within
the European framework list. It will therefore frequently be necessary
for the Judge to have access to that list.
- We draw these matters to the attention of
the House as raising questions of principle about principal parts
of the constitution.
1 Although we draw attention to this point as a potential
matter of constitutional significance, it is of course for the
Delegated Powers Committee of the House of Lords to consider whether
or not the Parliamentary procedure set out in the bill is appropriate. Back