|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
As the noble Baroness said, category 2 will break down into three broad categories: those with whom we have a bilateral treatyour bilateral treaty partnersCommonwealth partners and the non-EU members of the European Convention on Extradition. ECE partners are all listed. Perhaps the Committee would find it helpful to read the Home Office publication, The Law of Extradition: a review, in the March 2001 edition. It sets out all the countries that are within the European Convention on Extradition. If it would assist the Committee, I am happy either to read them into the record now or provide the list in due course. Perhaps it is easier if I read them now.
As the Committee will know, the ECE was opened for signature in 1957. It came into force in the United Kingdom in 1991 and all ECE extraditions are governed by Part 3 of the Extradition Act 1989. The following countries have been designated by Order in Council under Section 4(1) of that Act: Albania in 1999; Austria in 1991; Estonia in 1997; and Finland, France, Germany and Greece in 1991. Hungary was designated in 1993; Iceland, Israel and Italy in 1991; Latvia in 1997; Liechtenstein in 1991; Lithuania in 1995; Luxembourg in 1991; Malta in 1997; and Moldova in 1998. The Netherlands and Norway were designated in 1991; Poland in 1993; Portugal in 1991; Romania in 1998; Slovakia and Slovenia in 1995; Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey all in 1991; and the Ukraine in 1999.
The Commonwealth partners with whom the United Kingdom has extradition arrangements encompass most Commonwealth countries under the Commonwealth scheme that was first adopted in 1966. The arrangement relies on parallel legislation supported by a formal undertaking on specialityor specialty; I am never quite sure which we decided on in the endperhaps I shall stick with specialty and hope that Members of the Committee will forgive me if they disagree.
As the Committee will know, in the United Kingdom extraditions are governed by Part 3 of the Extradition Act 1989 and the prima facie requirement applies, although the scheme was amended in 1991 to allow for alternative arrangements to be reached on a bilateral basis. The United Kingdom still applies the prima facie requirement to all requests from Commonwealth partners on which I know that we shall touch later. The noble Baroness has tabled an amendment to which I telegraph that I shall say that she has forgotten the Commonwealth. This may be an opportune moment for us to include it.
The provisions of the Extradition Act relating to requests from Commonwealth countries differ in some respects from those relating to foreign states. There is no provision for making representations prior to surrender, although the provisions are applied in practice. A person convicted in absentia must be
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Before the break, we were dealing with the issue of Commonwealth partners. I believe that I can short-circuit the list of Commonwealth countries by saying that all members of the Commonwealth designated by Order in Council under Section 5(1) of the Act are included, save Pakistan, Namibia, Cameroon and Mozambique, which have not been designated under Section 5(1). In September 1992 an extradition treaty was agreed between the Government of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Republic of India. In saying that, I remind your Lordships that the Human Rights Act 1998 provision would apply in relation to all the countries about which I now speak.
The bilateral treaty partners are to be found in Schedule 1. Schedule 1 to the Act applies where bilateral treaties signed before 1989 under the Extradition Act 1870 are the basis for extradition arrangements. Most bilateral treaties date from the late 19th or early 20th century and are seldom used. The United States is the only treaty partner with which the United Kingdom has regular extradition traffic.
The dates when the bilateral treaties were signed are as follows: Argentina, 1894; Bolivia, 1898; Chile, 1898; Columbia, 1889; Cuba, 1905; Ecuador, 1886; El Salvador, 1882; Guatemala, 1886; Haiti, 1876; Iraq, 1933; Liberia, 1894; Mexico, 1889; Monaco, 1892; Nicaragua, 1906; Panama, 1907; Paraguay, 1911; Peru, 1907; San Merino, 1900; Thailand, 1911; Uruguay, 1885; the USA, 1876; Yugoslavia, 1901; and Brazil in 1997. In addition, extradition between the UK and its overseas territories takes place under Order in Council made under the Fugitive Offenders Act 1967. I believe that noble Lords are familiar with our overseas territories and therefore I shall not list them.
The reason that we did not proceed with the four categories is that we thought there was no point in doing so. Three fell into the three categories and we had very similar conditions in relation to all the category 2 countries. I hope that that is a sufficiently comprehensive explanation to satisfy the noble Baroness as to why we have so defined this issue.
At this stage, it may be helpful if I refer back to the clauses on which I have given notice of my intention to speak on the question of clause stand part. I believe that the confusion may have arisen in the Government's mind because, when we dealt with Part
I subsequently gave notice of about only three or four clauses in Part 1 to which I wanted to see stand part objections left on the Marshalled List. I wanted to be sure that other noble Lords could participate if they so wished and I did not want to prevent them from having their rightful opportunity to speak.
However, from Clause 68 onwardswe now reach Part 2 of the Billwhere notice of intention to oppose clause stand part is printed in the Marshalled List, as is the case for Clause 68, I shall indeed speak to those clauses. The next one will be Clause 83, which I have grouped with amendments in order to reduce the time spent on it. I notice that Clause 148 appears at the end of the groupings list, but we shall certainly not reach that today. I shall not pursue Clause 68 further.
The noble Lord said: I hope that I can be brief in dealing with these amendments and that your Lordships will not have too much difficulty in accepting them. They all refer to the Secretary of State's role in the certification process of a Part 2 extradition request and, in particular, to the documents that will be required to be sent to the district judge.
When a request from a Part 2 country is received, the Secretary of State is required to certify that it has come from a bona fide source and that it contains the requisite informationthe same role that NCIS and the Crown Office will perform for Part 1 requests. As the Bill is drafted, if the Secretary of State certifies a request, he is obliged to send all documents that he has received from the requesting state in connection with the request to the district judge, who will, in turn, disclose them to the fugitive. In turn, the district judge will disclose the documents to the fugitive.
At first glance, all that appears to be completely harmless, but potentially it has some unsatisfactory and perhaps unintended consequences. The requesting state may, for example, provide the Secretary of State with highly sensitive intelligence information detailing how to locate the fugitive. That would then have to be shown to the fugitive after his eventual arrest.
I am sure your Lordships would agree that that information could include details of informants or other intelligence material that has been obtained by means that we would certainly not want put in the public domain. That could of course have the potential, if revealed, to put individualsand, by extension, perhaps, their familiesat risk.
The effect of the amendments that the Government are proposing would be that the Secretary of State would be required to send to the judge only the request, the certificate that he issues (certifying that the
I should perhaps also add, for completeness, that the Secretary of State will retain discretion to send any other relevant papers. That would clearly include all those that may be of use to the fugitive.
In normal practice, it is our assumption that all the papers received by the Secretary of State will be sent to the district judge. However, it is important that some discretion must be available to protect sensitive intelligence material. That is why we have removed the automatic requirement.
I realise that that may offer some disquiet but, in the circumstances, noble Lords will probably find a way to agree with the amendments because they cover a very sensitive area of intelligence materials. I beg to move.