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Lord Goodhart moved Amendment No. 110:

"( ) the category 1 territory is a party to the European framework decision;"

The noble Lord said: In moving Amendment No. 110, I shall also speak to Amendment No. 127.

The amendments were tabled because of the possibility that countries that are not party to the European framework decision may be added to the category 1 list. The effect of the amendments is that the dual criminality rule is excluded in relation to the European framework list, only as between parties to the framework decision. The dual criminality rule would remain in force between the United Kingdom and other category 1 states. Amendment No. 110 would apply the principle to extradition to stand trial. Amendment No. 127 applies the principle to extradition to further sentence.

I see no reason why in an extradition agreement between the United Kingdom and New Zealand, for example, it would be appropriate or necessary to

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exclude dual criminality for all offences on the list but no others. New Zealand is not after all a party to the list. It might be willing to negotiate for category 1 status without any exclusion of dual criminality. It might agree to the exclusion of dual criminality for some but not all the offences on the list. It might, indeed, wish to add other offences to the list.

Amendment No. 110 may be the more attractive, because it can be passed without breaching any treaty obligations involved in the European framework decision, which applies only to the key member states to that decision.

I would not object to a further amendment giving the Government power to exclude the dual criminality rule under a new agreement with a state that was not a party to the European framework decision, but only if that power were subject to parliamentary approval. That could be done by means of a separate treaty or agreement. It seems plain that we should not require acceptance of the European framework list in full, in part or at all, as the condition of admission to category 1 status of states that are not members to the framework decision. I beg to move.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: I support the amendments. I shall not repeat the arguments, as I subscribe entirely to the comments of the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart.

4.45 p.m.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: I am slightly puzzled by the approach that has been taken in the amendment, and I hope that I will be able to explain why we believe that the Bill as drafted is the most appropriate way forward.

We are concerned here with the benefits available to different countries, once designated as category 1 extradition partners. Frankly, we see little point in designating countries as Part 1 extradition partners if we then seek to deny them some of the benefits that go with that. The amendments would provide that, whatever countries might be in Part 1, the partial abolition of dual criminality would apply only to those that were signatories to the framework decision. I really cannot see any case for seeking to limit flexibility in that way, nor can I see any intellectual argument that says it is acceptable to limit the dual criminality requirement with a trusted EU partner but not acceptable to do so for a trusted Commonwealth partner, for example, with which we may have many things in common.

As I previously indicated, the Government have no plans to designate as Part 1 countries anyone other than the member states of the EU and, possibly, Norway and Iceland. Having said that, it does not seem impossible that there might one day in the future be a case for putting countries such as Australia, New Zealand or Canada into Part 1. Those countries are all established democracies where the rule of law is respected. What is more, they are all commonlaw countries, so the fears that some noble Lords have

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expressed about investigating magistrates—which may be said to be groundless but which I hear none the less—would not apply.

I hasten to stress again that we have no plans to move those three countries, or any other non-European ones, into Part 1. But equally, it does not strike me as impossible that there may be a strong case for doing so at some point in the future. If that point does arise, we cannot see that there could be very strong objections. There would have to be an objective decision as to whether the rule should change so as to enable the country, which we would have established that we have trust and confidence in, to operate the system. We therefore believe that the Bill needs to retain the flexibility to cope with this situation.

As I have already indicated when we discussed previous amendments, we will introduce a government amendment to provide that designation of Part 1 countries will be by the affirmative resolution procedure, so both Houses will have an opportunity to have their say. Therefore, Parliament will have the fullest opportunity to consider whether designation of any country as a Part 1 country is justified. That is a very important safeguard.

Bearing all that in mind, I have to confess that we were a little surprised and puzzled by the noble Lord's approach. If Parliament takes the view that a non-European country should be in Part 1, what is the point of then denying that country one of the benefits that go with being a category 1 country? Either we have sufficient trust in a country and its legal system to put it in Part 1 or we do not, in which case we should not be going down that road. But if we do think a country warrants being in Part 1, we cannot see why we should do so on a half-hearted basis and not accord it the full treatment and status that goes with being a Part 1 country.

I understand what the noble Lord says in relation to the nature of the framework agreement, the reciprocity and the signatories in relation to ECHR. I hear what he says about all those beneficial aspects that allow us to be in comity with our EU partners. However, we are also in comity, often in almost the same intimate way, with a number of other counties that we may want to allow into the Part 1 fold if it appears appropriate to Parliament in due course. On that basis, we do not believe that the amendments are necessary, and we invite him to reconsider his position and to withdraw them.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: The Minister has given us some good news, which I do not believe that we have had before; that the Government have paid attention to the comments of the Delegated Powers Committee about making additions to the list of Part 1 countries under affirmative procedure. As the Bill was originally drafted, the Minister could not have argued that, because Parliament would not have had the chance properly to decide—it would have been "Yes" or "No", with no discussion.

The Minister also said that the Government did not have it in mind that any additional countries would be brought into Part 1, except for possibly Australia, New

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Zealand and Canada. I took part in that discussion in the Delegated Powers Committee, so I am very interested in it. However, that is not how the Bill is drafted—any country could come in, so the argument is not 100 per cent strong.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: We were referring not to the three countries mentioned by the noble Baroness, but to the possible inclusion of Norway and Iceland. However, it is not beyond question that those three countries might be included at some stage in the future.

Let us consider the historical links that we share with Australia, New Zealand and Canada. They share with us a position in relation to capital punishment—they do not have it—and an adherence to all the human rights provisions and agenda. They have a very similar commonlaw approach to law enforcement and also provide legal assistance for individual persons who find themselves in difficulty. Therefore, there are strong similarities between those countries and ourselves, but we do not say that at this stage we are minded to consider including them. We are simply saying that we do not rule it out for all time.

There may come a time when changes are made and similarities become closer, when it is thought necessary that those countries are brought into the closer partnership available under Part 1. If we have the necessary trust and understanding and a working relationship, we may well feel confident enough to say that we are minded to make available to them all the benefits of Part 1. If we are not so minded, they should properly remain in Part 2, and they should not make the transition unless and until we are satisfied that the change should be undertaken. That does not imply any degree of compulsion on our part; we can make the choice to leave them where they are or to change them, and Parliament can decide whether it is content or not content.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: I am grateful to the Minister for clarifying the argument about the three countries, and I appreciate what she says about Iceland and Norway. However, my argument is really that the Bill does not limit the countries that can be included; it could be any country at all. The Government's argument is somewhat weak when one considers that we may be dealing with a country that is as yet unnamed. Parliament will have the opportunity for very limited discussion under the affirmative procedure, which it would not have had if the Government had not changed their mind on the matter, but my point related to the lack of a limit. I understand the argument about the three countries, which we had under Clause 1.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: I hope that I can reassure the noble Baroness. The whole point is that the Part 1 countries are the countries about which we feel the greatest degree of confidence. I can reassure the noble Baroness that, while this Government are in being, there will be no suggestion of introducing into Part 1 any country that does not meet the criteria that enables us to have confidence in the operation of their

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justice systems similar to that which we have for the Part 1 countries. That is why the Bill differentiates between the Part 1 and Part 2 frameworks.

I hear what is being said about EU countries. In essence, if I may paraphrase the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, we have only one family. If you are in the EU family, you can be in Part 1 but, even if you have the same relationship and closeness with us, if you are not in the EU family, you cannot be in Part 1. We do not actually agree with that. We can have close relations with our partners in Europe—that is right and proper—but in time we may also develop with other countries sufficient nexus, comfort and trust, that we may decide that they deserve a closer relationship with us and to be included in Part 1. However, as long as any country does not meet those criteria, they will remain firmly in Part 2.

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