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Lord Filkin: I shall deal with the last two interesting interventions. I had forgotten when I read the noble and learned Lord's Judge Over Your Shoulder many years ago that it was a product of his actions. I am pleased to learn about it, as one always is.
In short, for reasons that are clear, our position on Part 2 cases is that there is a need to retain ministerial involvement, but there is not for Part 1 cases. At this point I have nothing further to add to what I have said already on that.
I turn now to some of the further practical reasons why we think the differentiation that has been made between terrorism and other serious offences is inappropriate. The consequence would be that when dealing with a country, we would have to put in place parallel regimes, depending on the ostensible purpose of the crime in question. Thus there would be one extradition for Spain if one was dealing with terrorist offences and another for non-terrorist offences.
A more substantial problem may arise that may be instanced by, say, a bank robbery that had taken place in Madrid, the perpetrators of which had fled to the UK. Are we saying that the different extradition procedure would apply depending on whether the motives of those bank robbers were for personal gain or to fund the activities of, for example, ETA? That would invite the courts to try to inspect what was the motivation of the perpetrators of that crime. That is a challenge that it would be foolish to ask a court to undertake.
It matters as a distinction because the involvement of paramilitary groups in non-terrorist crime, as the experience of Northern Ireland shows, demonstrates that this issue is of profound importance to the United Kingdom. Perhaps I may remind the Committee of what Lady Sylvia Hermon said during the debate on the Third Reading of this Bill in another place. She does not sit on the Government Benches and she is the wife of a former Chief Constable of the then Royal Ulster Constabulary. She has considerable knowledge of these matters. She said that:
One real and very terrifying example of this was recently highlighted by the conviction of the Real IRA operatives responsible for a campaign of car bombing in Birmingham and London during 2001. Noble Lords will recall the destruction and injury caused at the BBC Television Centre at Ealing Broadway two years ago. On 9th April 2001 John Steele wrote in the Daily Telegraph that the case,
In his speech at Second Reading, the noble Lord, Lord Hodgson, which as promised I reflected on after the debate, said that the Government's example of a terrorist funding his network by drugs was "extreme". I would now say in all candour that, in the terrorist fraternity, such practice is commonplace and this Government and this House have to deal with that awful reality. These amendments would not help our cause in doing so.
I should like also to turn to Amendments Nos. 124 and 135 which seek to remove subsection (7) from both Clauses 63 and 64. These subsections relate to conduct which would amount to an offence under specific provisions of the International Criminal Court Act 2001.
What conduct or actions are we talking about here? This covers genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. I am sure we all agree that those are the most serious of crimes. Because we take very seriously our responsibilities concerning such crimes, the UK takes extra-territorial jurisdiction in order to deal with them. We would certainly want to be able to extradite for them as well. Why seek to remove those parts of the Bill which would allow us to deal with them? Our current extradition law allows us to deal with them and it was amended specifically for that purpose, so we are adding nothing new. We simply continue to maintain our commitment to bringing war criminals to justice.
All these provisions are clearly drafted to mean that the dual criminality test will always have to be met for such conduct. The wording explains that it would apply only where conduct constitutes or, if it took place in the UK, would constitute such an offence. That is the definition of the dual criminality test. In that respect, there is nothing new or sinister here. We look simply to continue our observance of the UK's international obligations to ensure that war criminals are brought to justice.
I shall not go into further detail at this point. This has been an important debate which has served to set out some of the areas to which no doubt we shall return and test further. In the light of what I have said and given our present procedures, I invite the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay, to withdraw her amendment.
Lord Pearson of Rannoch: Before the noble Lord leaves this subject, he has mentioned several times the benefits to the United Kingdom which the Government see arising from the European arrest warrant as proposed. Could he remind the Committee of how many extra suspects do the Government believe the United Kingdom will get back as a result of passing Part 1 in its present form? I do not think that he has touched on the matter this afternoon and I cannot recall it being covered at Second Reading. What is the balance between what the Government see as the advantages of bringing people back to try them
Lord Filkin: As the noble Lord, Lord Pearson, knows, I do not accept his basic premise that this is in some way a trade-off along the lines of, "Let us put up with a bit of difficult practice here because we get some benefits". We do not see that there is anything wrong at all with the European arrest warrant process as it is intended to be legislated for in this Bill. We do not perceive it as flawed or risky, and that is what will be tested and judged. I do not grant that premise.
On the specifics of what the noble Lord has asked, I do not think that I have ever given an estimate of the numbers of extra cases that might be brought to trial. It would be quite difficult to do so because several variables would come into play. However, I shall not say "no" out of hand. I shall reflect on his question and if it is possible to indicate a quantity, I shall do so.
The point I intended to make in terms of the benefits of extradition is that it would not simply bring more people to trial, it concerns also trying people in what many would consider to be the right place. I shall repeat an example I made earlier because I am not sure whether the noble Lord was in his place at the time. If a Frenchman comes to Britain and murders a British citizen here, at present that French person cannot be brought to trial for that murder in this country. He would be tried in France. It may be that he would get a fair trial and that the French process would work well. I am not saying that it would not do so. But it seems wrong that the witnesses and the family of the victim would have to travel to France to have the case heard rather than having it heard in the country in which the crime was committed. I shall say no more, but that was one of the points I instanced earlier.
Baroness Anelay of St Johns: In the Minister's response to my noble friend Lord Pearson he has encapsulated the difference between us by saying that the Government see nothing wrong with the European arrest warrant, that it is perfect in its current form and in the process under which it will operate. It appears that the Government believe that they have given birth to a perfect baby, but we see it as something already in the form of a difficult adolescent.
I shall not seek to summarise all the points made by noble Lords in this important debate, but I should like to thank my noble friends Lord Pearson, Lord Lamont and my noble and learned friend Lord Mayhew for their support in these matters. I was particularly struck by the comments made by my noble and learned friend Lord Mayhew with regard to the proper role of a Minister in extradition matters. We shall return to that in detail in later amendments.
With his usual courtesy, the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, made it clear well in advance that he could not support my amendments, so his remarks came as no surprise. We differ on the principle of how we approach the European arrest warrant. We do not see it as an undeniable good that has to be wrought upon us. However, we agree with the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, on the practical matters that he explained so clearly. We worry that the judicial systems of other countries are not sufficiently robust to bring justice to those who are then extradited. There are differences between other countries to which the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, referred. I might add to his list of difficult countries in terms of trust that of Belgium as regards its police systems. In previous debates the noble Lord has raised the matter.
The Minister spoke of a trade-off and said that we would benefit from other people being extradited back to this country. I still return to the fact that my first concern is this: what are we giving up for our people who are resident in this country? Which civil liberties must be given up? What will be the price that we pay? We shall debate those matters in great detail later.
I conclude with one comment. The Minister said clearly: "When in Rome, do as the Romans do". He emphasised time and again the point that if you are abroad and you commit an act that is an offence in that country, then you should jolly well expect to be prosecuted for it and, if found guilty, to be convicted. That underlies the entire thrust of the argument that the Minister seems to have been developing throughout the debate; namely, that if one believes that, then ultimately Part 2 should drift into Part 1. Part 1 would be expanded.
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