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Baroness Carnegy of Lour: I thank the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, and my noble friend Lady Anelay for their support. In particular, I thank the Minister for a very interesting and full reply—fuller than I expected. She said she would study what I had said. She will not find very much there because the argument for the precise need for 40 days was not given in my short speech. The Law Society of Scotland said that the summary proceeding in Scotland would normally allow 40 days, and it could not see why it should be longer. Its members will doubtless read with great interest what the Minister has said; I shall talk to them and see what they have to say.

I was interested to hear that the Government were wondering whether to impose a deadline. I am sure my noble friend will want to consider that carefully, because it is an interesting idea.

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I have one question for the Minister about the discussions with Scottish Ministers when the Bill was being drafted. To what extent has there been a discussion between officials of the Scots Parliament about the desirability of trying to match, where possible, time limits in various parts of the Bill with Scottish practice? It is obviously desirable; the sheriff of Lothian and Borders will be familiar with that procedure, as are all those concerned. I expect that there have been discussions, but it would be interesting to know. If not, perhaps there should be before these proceedings are finished because new time limits are being set.

I do not think Scottish Ministers are particularly worried about diverging, but it would be nice to know whether that has been properly discussed. Would the Minister like to reply before I withdraw the amendment?

7.15 p.m.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Although this issue is retained in terms of jurisdiction, on a case-to-case basis, those persons who are discovered to be in Scotland are dealt with as a matter of custom and practice by the Scots jurisdiction—by the Scots courts in accordance with their laws.

We have kept in close contact with our Scottish counterparts on all aspects of the Bill. But extradition is a reserved matter, so ultimately it is for the United Kingdom Parliament to set the rules for the whole of the United Kingdom. The experience of our Scots colleagues is obviously very important. As the noble Baroness is aware, our Scottish colleagues have fewer cases with which to deal than those colleagues who deal with these matters in London. The nature and breadth of the countries from which and to which individuals are extradited are therefore very broad in the London jurisdiction.

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The noble Baroness is absolutely right: we shall continue to talk to our Scottish colleagues. But I say very gently that because of the difference in the volume and scope of the applications dealt with in London, the time frame within which individual matters must be dealt with may appear slightly different because of the number and nature of the countries to which and from which our Scottish colleagues will have dealt on extradition issues. We will certainly continue to look at this very closely.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: I thank the Minister very much for that explanation. It is probably not a major problem but the Law Society has raised an interesting point, and I shall talk to them. In the meantime, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 186 not moved.]

Clause 74 agreed to.

Clause 75 agreed to.

Clause 76 [Judge's powers at extradition hearing]:

[Amendments Nos. 187 to 189 not moved.]

Clause 76 agreed to.

Clause 77 [Initial stages of extradition hearing]:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendments Nos. 189A and 189B:

    Page 42, line 5, leave out "under section 69" and insert "by the Secretary of State"

    Page 42, line 21, leave out "under section 69" and insert "by the Secretary of State"

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendment No. 190 not moved.]

Clause 77, as amended, agreed to.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: I think this may be a convenient moment for the Committee to adjourn until 3.45 p.m. on Thursday next.

        The Committee adjourned at eighteen minutes past seven o'clock.

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