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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: I do not believe that there would be. I believe that the international law on this point remains the same. The European arrest warrant, as dealt with in the Bill, is separate and apart from that. If I am wrong about that, I shall certainly write to Members of the Committee and alert them to that. I shall also see if I can identify the specific case to which the noble Lord referred. It may be covered by Clause 63(5), which allows us to extradite, so there is no change in the position. Clause 63(5) states:

    (a) the conduct occurs outside the category 1 territory and no part of it occurs in the United Kingdom;

    (b) the conduct would constitute an offence under the law of the relevant part of the United Kingdom punishable with imprisonment . . .

    (c) the conduct is so punishable under the law of the category 1 territory (however it is described in that law)".

I do not believe that we are changing the position at all. If I am wrong about that—I believe that the noble Lord and I are correct—I shall certainly ensure that the Committee is made aware of that.

Lord Lamont of Lerwick: I am grateful to the Minister for taking this point seriously as it is a serious matter. I do not simply seek to make a point. There has been a series of attempted indictments in Belgium, one of which, I read in a newspaper—I have no idea whether it was correct—concerned the Prime Minister among others and related to the recent action in Iraq. The Minister says that the position has not been changed post the General Pinochet case, which was what I thought was the case. But are the Government in no way concerned about the attempts by Belgian magistrates to claim universal jurisdiction in that way? It interacts with the Bill and could give rise to an extradition case. It seems to be a serious issue. The Belgian Government appear to be concerned about it, but I am not sure to what extent they have been able to take action against their own judiciary.

Lord Goodhart: I believe that this matter is covered by Clause 63(4).

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The noble Lord is probably right. I believe that the noble Lord, Lord Lamont, has identified one of the problems. As I said earlier, we do not control international law, neither do we control what happens within another state and the way in which its judiciary behaves. It is interesting to note that the noble Lord says that the Belgian Government are seeking to address the issue so as to prevent Belgian magistrates from acting inappropriately. Of course, we shall continue to keep these matters under review, but I certainly cannot say that the British Government can do anything.

Lord Lamont of Lerwick: With great respect, I assume that the Government do not have a view on it. This matter has led the Israelis to withdraw their

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ambassador from Belgium and it has caused Mr Rumsfeld to say that the NATO headquarters should be moved out of Brussels. Their governments are engaging, their governments are expressing a view, so why have the British Government no view on this matter?

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Belgians' attempt to extradite the Prime Minister would fail because he enjoys immunity under international law. In any event, we understand that Belgium is changing the law. I understand why the noble Lord may believe that it is good sport to harry us on this matter, but I can assure the Committee that in our relations with our Belgian colleagues and other colleagues in Europe we seek to ensure that we take a proportionate and an appropriate response. That will continue. I am sure that if the Belgian Government seek to change the law, that will be to the benefit of their citizens and indeed many others.

Clause 63, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 64 [Extradition offences: person sentenced for offence]:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 126:

    Page 33, line 40, after "territory" insert "and no part of it occurs in the United Kingdom"

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 127 to 136 not moved.]

Clause 64, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 65 [Extradition offences: supplementary]:

Lord Goodhart moved Amendment No. 137:

    Page 35, line 17, leave out "the appropriate judge believes"

The noble Lord said: Clause 65(2) states:

    "An appropriate authority of a category 1 territory is an authority of the territory which the appropriate judge believes has the function of issuing arrest warrants in that territory".

The purpose of the amendment is to leave out the words, "the appropriate judge believes", which will make the matter of whether the authority in the requesting territory has the function of issuing arrest warrants an objective, rather than a subjective, test. I can see no justification for making the test subjective. It should be an easy fact to ascertain in relation to other member states as to whether any particular judicial authority has the function of issuing arrest warrants. If the test is subjective, the judge must still have evidence before him or her that will enable a reasonable judge to conclude that the authority had the function of issuing warrants, and in practice that evidence would be almost certainly sufficient to satisfy the objective test as well. If, in exceptional circumstances, there is any doubt whether a particular authority has that function, it seems to me that it should be proved as a matter of fact, and not as a matter of reasonable belief. I beg to move.

Lord Monson: The amendment is short and simple, but a most important one. The noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, has made an unanswerable case.

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Lord Bassam of Brighton: I always tremble when someone says that an amendment provides an unanswerable case. We have covered this territory in the past in some detail. The Committee may recall my noble friend Lord Wedderburn's amendment to remove the words "it believes" from Clause 2(7). That was in connection with the UK's designated authority's ability to certify a warrant if it has come from a judicial authority in the requesting state.

This amendment, which would remove the words "the appropriate judge believes", raises a very similar issue. The noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, has phrased part of his argument similarly. When I responded to the arguments made by my noble friend Lord Wedderburn, I said that we understood the arguments on this issue. I recall that we undertook to consider the matter afresh to see whether there was any scope for improving the drafting of the Bill, without adding too many words, which is always to be avoided. If we do that in respect of Clause 2(7), it would be remiss of us not to do so for Clause 65(2). I am unsure whether that makes it an unanswerable case, but I am happy to

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undertake to reconsider the matter. I am sure that the noble Lord will withdraw his amendment while we do that.

Lord Goodhart: In those circumstances I shall do so. In a way, I have no alternative. I hope that the Government will find a solution that will mean removing words rather than adding them.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 137A had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.]

Lord Bassam of Brighton moved Amendment No. 138:

    Page 35, line 17, after "believes" insert "—

(a) is a judicial authority of that territory, and
(b) "

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 139 not moved.]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: This may be a convenient moment for the Committee to adjourn until Tuesday at 3.30 p.m.

        Committee adjourned at a quarter past seven o'clock.

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