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Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts: No notice has been given that I wish to oppose the Question that Clause 154 shall stand part of the Bill, for which I apologise. However, I want to ask the Minister about service personnel. The clause is very widely drawn. The Secretary of State may by order provide for the part to have effect in relation to those who are subject to military law.
Bearing in mind that we are talking about extradition to the United Kingdom, in what circumstances will the measure have effect and what kind of cases do the Government have in mind? As the noble Lord the Chairman of Committees pointed out, we did not give notice of the matter. Therefore, I understand that the noble Lord may wish to reply in writing.
Lord Davies of Oldham: The essential reason that we want Clause 154 in the Bill is that it is already possible under the 1989 Act for the UK services to make extradition requests for those who have committed military offences. As the clause clearly states, those requests can be made only for those who are subject to military law, air force law or the Naval Discipline Act 1957. Extradition requests for military offences have rarely been made.
Any such arrangements would require the Secretary of State to make an order to provide that Part 3 provisions of the Bill should apply. As has been said, outgoing requests to category 2 territories would be
The noble Baroness said: I rise to speak to Amendment No. 239 and to have a general debate on Clause 155, with which it is grouped. Amendment No. 239 seeks to add extra detail and clarification to the specifications for an application for a search and seizure warrant. At the moment an application must state that the extradition of a specific person is sought, that the warrant is sought in relation to specific premises and that the warrant is sought in relation to specific material.
Our amendment extends this to add extra detail. We feel that for a warrant for search and seizure to be legitimate it must be stated on the application for the warrant that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the material sought is in the premises specified in the application.
This amendment was suggested to us by the Law Society of Scotland and we believe it has some merit. Police used to apply to me, as a magistrate, for a warrant in the ordinary course of straightforward criminal proceedings in this country. One of the questions one asked was: what were the reasonable grounds for believing that the items concerned were in the relevant premises? The application for the search warrant would include information concerning why the police thought that particular items or particular persons were on the relevant premises. Therefore, I considered it appropriate to table the amendment.
When I looked more closely at the Bill, I noticed that it might contain other provisions which covered the point in full or in part. I seek clarification on the matter. I note that subsection (8)(d) of Clause 155 may cover the point in terms of requiring a reasonable belief that there is material on the premises which is specified in the application. That is also mentioned in paragraph 2.7(f) on page 31 of the draft codes of practice. This is a probing amendment. As I say, I hope that the Minister can clarify the matter.
I wish to speak also to the Question, Whether Clause 155 shall stand part of the Bill as I have a few questions about the police powers as outlined in Part 4 of the Bill. I must say that I found the Minister's comments on this clause in another place extremely helpful. It was made clear that Part 4 of the Bill is modelled on certain sections of PACE and of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 after the Rottman case cast doubt on the power of the police to carry out a search for evidence under PACE or using their common law powers where the offence was committed abroad. The Minister in another place explained that to include the necessary provisions in Part 4 of the Bill for extradition proceedings was the simplest way of putting the matter
On that basis we welcome the proposals set out in Part 4 of the Bill which should ensure that the police have legitimate powers to search for evidence in cases involving extradition. This is an important provision which is in the interests of justice and co-operation with our extradition partners.
I do, however, have a few queries. How, if at all, do these provisions fit in with the changes in PACE which are being proposed in the Criminal Justice Bill? Is there any synchronicity? Does there need to be? Does Part 4 give to police all the powers they have in relation to search and seizure in domestic law; that is, all that PACE provides them with, or just some essential powers for evidence gathering alone?
I have no points to make on Amendment No. 239 but I should like to ask a couple of questions about Clause 155 and the following clauses. I am afraid that they are to a large extent due to my ignorance and to the fact that I have not, unfortunately, been able to do the necessary research. I should like to know a little about the background to this part. Is it new in relation to extradition or is it a power that already exists in some form or other under the Extradition Act 1989? If it is new, the powers themselves seem to be quite similar to powers that I have seen before, for example, in the Crime (International Co-operation) Bill. But where there is a request from an overseas country for the search and seizure of evidence, that request comes from the overseas country which wants the evidence. In this case, evidence is being seized by the police for use in a trial which will take place in a foreign country following the extradition. However, Part 4 says nothing about the evidence having been requested by the country which is requesting the extradition. If there is no such requirement of a request from the foreign country, what is the basis on which it is decided what evidence is being looked for and what is to be done with the evidence?
I may have missed something, but I should simply like to know more about the background to the measure. I would be somewhat concerned if it turned out that there was no need for any request from the country that sought the extradition.
Lord Davies of Oldham: As regards Amendment No. 139, the noble Baroness is pushing at an open door. We cannot quite see our way to accepting the amendment but we recognise the thinking behind it. We certainly want to make sure that there is no ambiguity in the clause or any potential for abuse. We regard the amendment as not making any great difference of substance, but we certainly see the value in spelling out
The Bill makes clear that a search and seizure warrant can be issued only if there are reasonable grounds for believing that the requisite material will be found on the premises specified in the application. I assure the noble Baroness that we have taken on board the message that it might be advantageous to be more explicit with regard to what an application should contain. As I say, we cannot accept the amendment but we shall reconsider the matter and produce a suitable amendment.
The noble Baroness asked a number of questions on Clause 155, as did the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart. I shall do my best to respond to them as adequately as I can. We are, indeed, mindful of the changes in the Criminal Justice Bill to which the noble Baroness referred, but we do not believe that they will require changes to this Bill. However, we shall, of course, keep the situation under the closest possible review.
The powers in this Bill are the same as in domestic cases in respect of search and seizure warrants. Therefore, we are foursquare with the way in which normal search and seizure warrants are sought and applied domestically.
The noble Baroness asked about the financial implications for the police. All we are doing is making the police's job in extradition cases explicit. I am not quite sure where the additional costs come in, although there would certainly be additional costs if there was a vast increase in police work because of the number of such cases. I am happy to assure her that this falls within the framework of normal police work.
The noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, asked about the background to the clause. It was believed that the Police and Criminal Evidence Act applied to extradition cases. The case of Rottman cast some doubt on thatit held that the offence could not mean an offence committed abroad. So we have been obliged to clarify the position in this Bill by giving some specific police powers for extradition cases. Our new clauses are mostly modelled on the equivalent provisions of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, but because of the Rottman case, which cast doubt on the powers exercised through that Act, we have felt obliged to make Clause 155 and associated provisions in this Bill quite explicit regarding powers for extradition.
Lord Goodhart: I am a bit concerned about this. While I understand why it is necessary to introduce provisions corresponding to those which are already in PACE, I worry whether it is desirable to have something of this kind, which is not triggered by a request from the country which is also seeking the extradition. Otherwise, there is something of a lacuna
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