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I have to tell the noble Lord, Lord Wedderburn, that I ducked out of the more complex issues on translation and interpretation because I knew that they would be raised later. However, he was absolutely right to refer to those issues within the context of my amendment on ordinary language. It is useful that we were taken as far as we were in directing our attention to the part of the framework decision giving us the authority to have the documents in English, as it now appears. Whether that should be stated in the Bill is an issue that we shall have to consider between now and Report. However, I listened very carefully to what the Minister said as regards the fact that it may not be necessary to do that given the Government's explanation and assurances.
I am grateful too for the contribution from my noble friend Lady Carnegy. She raised the important issue that there may be another way of drafting my amendment so that it overcomes some of the Minister's objections that, in seeking to ensure that warrants are in ordinary language, the amendment may have the unwitting and unintentional consequence of assisting people to launch frivolous extra-legal proceedings simply to prevent their extradition rather than to conduct their case properly. I am certainly not in the business of trying to help people avoid extradition if they are the subject of properly launched proceedings. I shall therefore very carefully consider whether my amendment could lead to inappropriate extra-judicial challenge. However, if it were an appropriate challenge, I would revert to what the noble and learned Lord, Lord Donaldson, said earlier. It may well be that judicial management can ensure that legal challenges are not frivolous.
We shall need to return to the issues raised by my noble friend Lord Carlisle of Bucklow about which language, and to the comments of the noble Lord, Lord Stoddart, about who translates these matters. Those issues will be key to the amendments in the name of my noble friend Lord Hodgson. I certainly have much to considerin ordinary language and in ordinary time. I shall do so between now and Report. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
The noble Baroness said: In moving Amendment No. 14 I shall also speak to Amendment No. 17. The amendments focus on a point which has particular resonance with many in your Lordships' House and in another place, so much so that, on Report, the Government made a substantial and positive change which we welcome. The problem is whether the Bill as drafted guarantees that one cannot be extradited for questioning, interrogation or investigative purposes but onlyas I think we all wantto be prosecuted for a charge which has already been brought against an individual, with sufficient evidence so to do.
We all know that there have been cases in which UK citizens have been arrested in circumstances that would not be considered appropriate here and in which they have been held for a long time. I shall not sensationalise those matters or take up time outlining them; they were discussed on Second Reading. However, in speaking to the two amendments, I invite the Minister to give assurances that such a practice would not be possible under the provisions of the Bill. Our amendments seek to ensure that we have a truly sound guarantee on this point.
For example, in our jurisdiction, the "accused" has connotations of being "suspected" of a crime. That is how we regard the position although our European colleagues may not share that view. Accusations can be made without evidence. I feel that the term "faces charges", as the amendment proposes, carries with it a greater guarantee of official process.
I am sure that the Minister will tell me that I am simply quibbling over wording, that my language is not any better or more ordinary than the Government's and that there is no way in which a person could be extradited for interrogation purposes. However, I do not think that the Bill as drafted gives a guarantee that people will not be extradited for the purposes of interrogation. I simply invite the Minister to explain why he believes that the Bill as drafted gives the safeguards that I am trying to insert. I beg to move.
Baroness Turner of Camden: I truly believe that this is a most sensible amendment in view of the fact that on Second Reading a number of noble Lords voiced concerns about human rights. Surely it is necessary to ensure that, if people are going to be extradited, they should not be extradited for the purposes of interrogation. Moreover, those of us who have received lobbying on this issue have had many instances explained to us of people being detained for very long periods. I think that that is quite unacceptable. So I really do think that the Government should be urged to look sympathetically at this amendment. Even if they do not like this particular wording, they know what it is all about. If they do not like it, perhaps they could come back on Report with different wording. I support the amendment.
There is the obvious difference that an examining magistrate in France, for example, does the investigation of the crime whereas in this country the magistracy is apart from that and the police investigate the crime. Therefore, it is essential that in this Bill we lay down beyond all shadow of doubt that people cannot be extradited simply for being accused of a crime, but are required to be taken abroad for a crime that has been proved to have been committed. I therefore have great pleasure in supporting the amendment.
Lord Wedderburn of Charlton: I support the amendment. However, I should like to knowso that I do not interrupt my noble friend the Minister again, or try to reply to what he sayswhether he finds with this amendment any difficulty with the implementation of Article 1 of the framework decision. It has been suggested that there is an ambiguity in Article 1 of the framework decision. It states:
Some have suggested that that formulation might be consistent with an extradition for the purpose of gathering more evidence. It is not clear. I think that we are entitled to say that if it is the Government's policy to interpret it the other waywhich seems to me quite possible; that the judicial decision must be for the purpose of conducting a criminal prosecution after the surrenderwe are entitled to have it made clear in our own legislation that that is our interpretation. Therefore, the amendment, which would insist on the need for the extradition to lead to facing charges rather than an accusation, is relevant to the interpretation of Article 1 of the framework decision. I hope that the Government will not find any difficulty in the framework decision to which we have acceded in accepting this amendment.
I think that all sides of the Committee are clear that in an accusation casea case where the person has yet to be convictedextradition should be possible only for the purpose of putting the person on trial; it should not be possible for the purpose of interrogation or evidence gathering. In fact, the Bill goes much further
In response to the comments of a number of Members of the Committee, I believe that the Bill as currently drafted fully meets the concerns and anxietieswhich were perhaps most specifically addressed by the noble Lord, Lord Wedderburnthat the part of the framework decision that he quoted might be open to some ambiguity. I refer the Committee to Clause 2(3)(b), which states:
The legislation goes much further than the 1989 Act; even so, we have not been aware of any problems since 1989 in this respect. However, I would be open to being educated if any Members of the Committee know of any examples of that being the case. Similar amendments were tabled in another place, and in the debate there, Mr John Maples, the honourable Member for Stratford-on-Avon, said that he was happy with the words in the framework decision. The way that we have expressed it in the legislation is, if anything, even clearer.
Lord Stoddart of Swindon: I am not an expert in the law in any way. However, the Minister referred to the 1989 Act, which has an entirely different procedure. Under that Act, prima facie evidence would have to be provided. Is that not so?
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