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Baroness Carnegy of Lour: The noble Lord constructed his entire argument on the fact that the offences were minor ones. Can he answer the point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart? If I understood him correctly, he said that some countries, for reasons that he indicated, used financial penalties for big offences. Can the Minister answer that? That point interested me.
Viscount Bledisloe: Is there not another objection? Let us suppose that someone is extradited for, say, causing death by dangerous driving, an extraditable offence. Let us also suppose that, at the trial, it appears that he should be convicted of careless driving and only fined. Are we not saying that someone cannot be dealt with only for careless driving? That would be careless. We might have a situationnot in a driving case, obviouslyin which one offender has been extradited and his partner in crime is local. In that case, a jury would have to be directed that, although they could convict one of them of the lesser offence, they could not convict the other of that offence because it was not in the section.
The example that the Minister gave related to different offences, such as parking. I am concerned with a situation in which the other offence arises from the same facts. The lesser offence may not be an extraditable offence and would not fall within (b).
The noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, referred to Singapore, of which I have considerable experience. I respectfully suggest that there are two flaws in his analogy. First, he dealt with defamation, which is a civil suit anyhow. Secondly, when the Singapore Government sue somebody for massive damages for defamation, they do so because he is in the country and they want to get rid of him. The last thing that they will
Lord Stoddart of Swindon: As regards non-custodial penalties, if someone is in France, say, for a minor offence and is fined £2,000 rather than being sent to prison, what happens if he does not have £2,000 on him or immediate access to it? In this country he would be given time to pay. If the French do not wish to give him time to pay and he has not got the money to pay immediately, will he be prevented from coming back to this country and incarcerated until he can pay?
Lord Bassam of Brighton: I acknowledge that there may be difficulties in some circumstances. But I return to the central pointwe are talking about minor offences. We may need to give further clarification of what those minor offences may be rather than covering them in the generality of Clause 17(3).
As to the point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Stoddart, other countries have their own systems of fine enforcement but all of them allow for money to be sent from abroad. I cannot see a practical difficulty being generated by the situation referred to by the noble Lord.
We do not foresee the circumstances described by the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, occurring and creating a difficulty for us. Unless the noble Lord has further argumentation to illustrate how that may work practically, we do not think it falls within the range.
Baroness Anelay of St Johns: I am grateful to noble Lords who have taken part in the debate. It has shown that perhaps further clarification is needed in regard to how one draws up the exemptions from the speciality rule.
I was interested in the contribution of the noble Viscount, Lord Bledisloe, and I shall look carefully at the examples he gave. I do not believe Clause 17 resolves all of the points raised by the noble Viscount and we shall need to look at it again.
The Government state that the offences caught by the clause are, as the noble Lord, Lord Bassam, said, "inconsequential in nature". We would argue that in some cases they may not be inconsequential, particularly because of the hidden agenda behind particular cases being brought. I note what the noble Lord said about the importance of producing proper evidence for that argument and I shall speak to the Law Society to ascertain whether it can provide examples to back up the problems it feels may ensue.
I welcome the fact that the noble Lord, Lord Bassam, said that further clarification of the definition of "minor offences" may be of assistance to the Committee. I hope that he will write to me in that
Lord Bassam of Brighton: I am more than happy to confirm that we will do that. Perhaps I should have used a broader range of examples than parking tickets and so on. It will help the Committee if we provide further clarification of what other offences we see as being relevant. I do not believe that the case raised by the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, would come about as an effect of this. I want to make sure that that is absolutely the case, and I am quite happy to put it in writing.
Baroness Anelay of St Johns: I am most grateful for that confirmation. Certainly it is the intention of this side of the Committee, too, that minor offenceswhether they be parking fines or related mattersshould be cleared up. It is not something that one wants to have as a bar to extradition. At this stage, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
The noble Baroness said: In moving Amendment No. 78, which stands in my name, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 81, which stands in my name and that of the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart; to Amendment No. 82, which stands in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Clinton-Davies; and to Amendments Nos. 199 and 202, which stand in my name.
We turn now to the vital matter of the kind of retrial that should take place after the extradition of a person who has already been convicted. I have divided this originally rather large group of amendments into three separate issues in an attempt to allow the debate to flow more easily.
The first group asks what should comprise the elements that make up an appropriate retrial; the second group addresses the question of how a person's absence from the first trial should affect his or her right to a retrial; and the third group looks at the issue of how the interests of justice should be defined in respect of this clause.
I am the first to recognise that the Government have already taken significant steps to introduce safeguards into the clause. However, we feel that at the moment they have not quite rounded off the job. The
The Government are not as clear on this point as they maintain and this group of amendments seek to probe the nature of the retrial that is available under the clause as opposed to the kind of retrial that we believe it is vital should be guaranteed. For example, what is the "review amounting to a retrial"? I should be grateful if the MinisterI, too, can now welcome her as this is the first group of amendments to which she will respondcould tell the Committee what the procedures are that would qualify a retrial or a review to be considered so satisfactory that a district judge, when considering the matter, could decide that the extradition would go ahead.
Amendment No. 78 seeks to insert into the Bill the requirement that the extradited person should be present at the retrial. The framework decision does not provide that full guarantee. It merely states at paragraph 5.1 that,
Amendment No. 81 goes further. It provides a full list of the elements that we believe should be an integral part of the retrial. It requires, first, that the suspect should be present, as does Amendment No. 78; that he or she should be allowed to recall prosecution witnesses where the prosecution is not itself required to call them; that the extradited person should be able to call defence witnesses; and that he or she should have the same right to publicly-funded legal services as would normally be available to defendants in that country.
I note that the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Clinton-Davies, Amendment No. 82, has a similar objective. I support that amendment as far as it goes, but it fails to include within it the vital requirement that the suspect should be present throughout the retrial, or at least is given the opportunity to be present at the retrial.
Amendments Nos. 199 and 202 simply seek to put the same requirements into Part 2 procedures. I thought that it would be helpful to bring those amendments forward and debate them now to save time later on.
In another place the Minister rejected arguments on the whole issue of safeguards for retrial on the basis that the extradition will not take place unless the district judge is satisfied that there will be a retrial. We believe that it is important for the safeguards to be on the face of the Bill in order that the district judge will consider those requirements when coming to his or her judgment. It gives the security that a person will not be extradited to face a lesser standard of review than that which we believe is right. I beg to move.
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