Select Committee on Home Affairs Written Evidence

24.  Third supplementary memorandum submitted by the Home Office

  Following my appearance before the Home Affairs Committee on 20 February I wrote to you on 27 February to provide additional information on a number of queries raised by the Committee in the context of its inquiry into JHA in the EU. I understand that there are a couple of further questions that you would like me to address.

What is the "wide-ranging review looking at data collection, data exchange and all of these issues". Could you please clarify what this review is, what its scope is, and when you expect it to report?

  The review announced by the Home Secretary will consider how information about criminality is recorded and shared both within the UK and between the UK and other countries as well as how such information is used to protect the public. The Home Secretary wrote on 16 January to the Prime Minister and Cabinet colleagues about the proposed review of information on criminality and how it might be handled. That letter set out the draft terms of reference for the review as follows:

    "To thoroughly examine and recommend necessary improvements for recording and sharing information about criminality within the UK and between the UK and other countries; and to the way in which this information is used to protect the public and the relevant procedures and responsibilities."

  The review will be led by a high profile and independent individual from outside the Home Office. The Home Secretary wants the review to be brisk but has not pre-judged the timescale until the work has been properly scoped."

Has the UK implemented the EAW with higher protections than other Member States, and if so what evaluation has the Government put in place to see what the effects are?

  There are a small number of additional bars to extradition introduced by the Extradition Act 2003 (eg extraneous conditions and passage of time) that appear to go beyond the bars set out in the Framework Decision on the EAW. However, these reflect provisions contained in the preamble to the Framework Decision (in paragraph 12) and therefore do not, in our view, go beyond the terms of the Framework Decision. The UK has also explicitly referred in its legislation to human rights protections and the Hostage-Taking Convention which other Member States are also bound by even though they are not explicitly referred to in the Framework Decision.

  There is no formal Government evaluation in place to see what the effects are. However, officials are in regular contact with the CPS and SOCA so that they can be made aware of any issues/difficulties in relation to the operation of the EAW in the UK and can then take action where necessary.

  Separately all Member States are being evaluated on their operation of the EAW as part of the fourth round of Mutual Evaluation of Member States' Operation of the EAW The UK was evaluated in December last year and we expect the final UK report to be issued by the EU in the summer, which we will deposit for Parliamentary scrutiny.

Joan Ryan MP

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office

20 March 2007

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