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25 Mar 2003 : Column 160—continued

Company Directors (Health and Safety) Bill

Ross Cranston accordingly presented a Bill to require companies to appoint a director as the health and safety director; and to impose duties on this director and on other directors of companies in relation to health and safety; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 13 June, and to be printed [Bill 82].

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Extradition Bill (Programme) (No. 2)

12.41 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Bob Ainsworth): I beg to move,

The motion has two purposes. First, it provides for the total amount of time for discussion of the Bill today to be six and a half hours. Secondly, at the end of the Committee stage, the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Mr. Hawkins), who led for the Opposition, requested two hours for Third Reading rather than the single hour provided for in the original programme motion. We are happy to oblige him in that request.

12.42 pm

Mr. Nick Hawkins (Surrey Heath): As the Minister suggested, we have no difficulties with the programme motion. We are content with the Government's proposals.

Mr. John Burnett (Torridge and West Devon): From the Liberal Democrat Benches, we, too, consent to the motion.

Question put and agreed to.

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Orders of the Day

Extradition Bill

As amended in the Standing Committee, considered.

New Clause 10

Bail: Scotland

Brought up, and read the First time.

12.43 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Bob Ainsworth) : I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Speaker : With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Government new clause 12—Undertaking in relation to person serving sentence.

Government new clause 13—Extradition following deferral for competing claim.

Government new clause 14—Person charged with offence in United Kingdom.

Government new clause 15—Person serving sentence in United Kingdom.

Government new clause 17—Appeal against grant of bail.

Government new clause 18—Remand to local authority accommodation.

Amendment No. 20, in clause 2, page 1, line 17, at end insert—

'(c) The statement referred to in subsections (3) and (5) shall conform with the provisions of the model warrant annexed to the framework decision.'.

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Amendment No. 18, in page 2, line 6, at end insert—

'(c) the terms "accused" in paragraph (a) above, and "for the purpose of being prosecuted for the offence" in paragraph (b) above, are understood to mean:
(i) that sufficient evidence has already been gathered to bring a prosecution and to commit to trial the person in respect of whom the warrant is issued; and
(ii) the extradition sought by the requesting state must be only for the purpose of putting the person on trial, and not for the purpose of interrogation or evidence gathering; and
(iii) that if, after the extradition has been granted, it emerges that the requesting country, in the opinion of the judge granting the extradition, has not fulfilled these conditions, the person shall be returned to the United Kingdom, upon an order from the appropriate judge.'.

Government amendments Nos. 35 to 37, 43 and 44.

Amendment No. 4, in page 18, line 30, leave out clause 39.

Government amendment No. 50.

Amendment No. 92, in clause 65, page 33, line 44, at end insert—

', as provided for in section 2(7)'.

Government amendments Nos. 53 to 56, 59, 32, 62, 33, 63 and 65.

Amendment No. 93, in clause 83, page 42, leave out lines 9 to 11.

Government amendment No. 66.

Amendment No. 94, in clause 85, page 43, leave out lines 16 to 18.

Government amendments Nos. 14, 67 to 73, 6, 76, 77, 11 to 13, 83, 84 and 87.

Mr. Ainsworth: This is a large group of new clauses and amendments. I shall begin with new clauses 10, 17 and 18 and amendments Nos. 32, 33, 83, 84 and 87, which are concerned with bail provisions in extradition proceedings, especially the right of the requesting state to appeal against bail granted to a fugitive.

New clause 18 covers the position of juveniles who are subject to an extradition request. New clause 10 and amendments Nos. 32, 33 and 84 take account of the slightly different bail rules that apply in Scotland.

During extradition proceedings, the fugitive can either be held on remand or granted bail, at the discretion of the judge. For the first time, we are creating a presumption in favour of bail in extradition cases. The fugitive will have the right of appeal against a decision to remand him. However, as currently drafted, the Bill does not provide a similar right to the requesting state to appeal against a decision to grant bail, even though the prosecution has that right in normal domestic cases. We believe that it would be desirable to keep extradition bail law as closely as possible in line with normal bail provisions, so we want to rectify that omission, which is what this set of amendments will do.

I shall try to be brief. This is a very extensive group of amendments, and I do not want to waste the House's time on the relatively non-controversial or technical amendments, so I shall try to move as quickly as I can

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through my speaking notes to allow the maximum time to consider those issues of substance that remain to be discussed.

On Government amendments Nos. 32 and 33, the police in Scotland, unlike in England and Wales, have no power to grant bail. However, the Lord Advocate has the power to grant bail to any person charged with any crime or offence. Proposed new section 24A(1)(b) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 will make it clear that the Lord Advocate should mirror the provisions in relation to a person subject to extradition proceedings that apply in England and Wales. Government amendment No. 84 is purely a drafting change that makes no difference of substance.

Government new clauses 12 and 13 are purely technical. The Bill contains provisions that will allow us to seek undertakings when we send a serving prisoner abroad to stand trial. The Bill also covers situations where extradition is halted while a competing claim is considered, but a decision is taken to proceed with the original request. Both those provisions need to be slightly modified in cases where the fugitive consents to extradition, and those new clauses will achieve that.

Government new clauses 14 and 15 deal with the situation where a person who is subject to an extradition request in the United Kingdom is charged with an offence in the UK or is serving a sentence of detention here. As currently drafted, part 1 will require a judge to adjourn the extradition if at any time he is informed that the fugitive has been charged with a domestic UK offence. Similarly, if a person is serving a sentence of detention in the UK, the judge has the power to adjourn until such time as the sentence has been served.

However, under part 2, in the same circumstances and even though the judge is fully aware of the charge or the sentence, he must allow the case to run its full course and then refer it to the Secretary of State. Under part 2, the power to adjourn proceedings rests with the Secretary of State and can be exercised only when the case has reached him. Government new clauses 14 and 15 are necessary to bring part 2 into line with part 1, to ensure that we have a standard approach, so that such part 2 extradition cases can be adjourned, thus not wasting the court's time or the taxpayer's money.

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