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Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for that information. Clearly, to treat category 1 and 2 countries differently would be illogical and we are content with the amendment.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

11.30 a.m.

Clause 155 [Return of person acquitted or not tried]:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 277:


The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in speaking to the amendment, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 278 to 282. The purpose of these amendments is simple. Clause 155 of the Bill is very similar to Section 20 of the Extradition Act 1989. It provides that if a person is extradited to the United Kingdom and then acquitted or not put on trial, he is entitled to be returned to the country from which he was extradited at public expense. These amendments provides that a person who wants to have his return travel paid must apply within three months of becoming eligible. This is designed to prevent the situation where a person who has been extradited to the UK and then acquitted decides to spend many months visiting friends and family in the UK before applying for his publicly funded trip back to his country of origin. A three-month period in which to apply seems perfectly reasonable. I hope that it will find favour with your Lordships. I beg to move.

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts: My Lords, I understand the purpose behind the amendments. If I may, however, I should like to ask a couple of questions on how it will work. In her remarks a moment ago the Minister talked about "becoming eligible". The Bill

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refers to a "required period" of six months following which there is a three-month window of opportunity to make a claim. Is that required six-month period fixed? For example, if the Secretary of State were to decide after one month not to proceed and the person was on bail at that point, would the three-month clock start ticking at that point or would it start at the end of the six-month period? If it is the former, would the Secretary of State have a duty to notify the person that the three-month clock had started ticking and that he had 90 days or whatever in which to make an application before losing eligibility? We are not disagreeing with the principle of the provision. We simply wonder how in practice the person will be kept informed that his opportunity for fare repayment is gradually slipping away.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, if I may, I shall give the noble Lord my understanding of how the provision will work. If my remarks are in any way inaccurate I am sure that I can write to him and clarify the position.

Your Lordships will know that all those who will be in this position will be legally represented. Time will start to run as soon as the proceedings come to an end and the defendant is told, "We are no longer proceeding with these proceedings. You are in effect free to go". In accordance with good practice, not only should the lawyers representing the defendant be able to apprise him of that fact, but there will, I am sure, be guidance on these matters. I should expect that the person will be told, "You now have three months to apply for your ticket to return". That is how I think it will work. If any of that is incorrect, I shall certainly write to the noble Lord and clarify the position.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendments Nos. 278 to 282:

    Page 83, line 7, at end insert ", and

(b) before the end of the period of 3 months starting immediately after the end of the required period the person asks the Secretary of State to return him to the territory from which he was extradited."
Page 83, line 8, after "that" insert—

Page 83, line 9, leave out "these provisions" and insert "the provisions specified in subsection (3A), and

(b) before the end of the period of 3 months starting immediately after the date of his acquittal or discharge the person asks the Secretary of State to return him to the territory from which he was extradited.
(3A) The provisions are"
Page 83, line 16, leave out ", if asked to do so by the person,"

    Page 83, line 20, leave out "subsection (4) applies" and insert "subsections (2)(b), (3)(b) and (4) apply"

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 158 [Search and seizure warrants]:

Lord Bassam of Brighton moved Amendment No. 283:

    Page 84, line 14, at end insert—

"(d) that material, or material of that description, is believed to be on the premises."

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The noble Lord said: My Lords, I am pleased to be able to bring forward this amendment which responds directly to a point raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay, in Grand Committee.

Clause 158 is concerned with search and seizure warrants and subsection (2) is concerned with what an application for such a warrant needs to contain. It provides that such an application for a search and seizure warrant must state the premises that it is proposed should be searched and the material that it is hoped to find. I think that it was already implicit that the material in question had to be located on the premises in question. Any other interpretation would have been perverse in the extreme. Nevertheless, the noble Baroness asked us to make it absolutely explicit on the face of the Bill and we are happy to accommodate that sensible suggestion.

Accordingly, this amendment provides that any application for a search and seizure warrant has to state that the material in question is believed to be located at the premises in question. I trust that the noble Baroness will welcome it. I am sure that your Lordships will welcome it generally. I beg to move.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: My Lords, indeed I do welcome this, as the noble Lord has said. It is important that it is explicit in the Bill that, before a search is carried out, there is at least some kind of belief that the items searched for might be on the premises. It is a common or garden matter that, before signing a search warrant in an ordinary case, magistrates ask whether the police believe that the items are on the premises. It is a matter of good practice that the Government have agreed to make the matter explicit in the Bill. I am pleased to see that.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 161 [Computer information]:

Baroness Anelay of St Johns moved Amendment No. 284:

    Page 87, line 9, after "visible" insert "comprehensible"

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving this amendment I shall speak also to Amendment No. 285. These amendments return to what might be considered a rather arcane point which I raised in our debate in Grand Committee on the matter of computer information. While we were probing the details of that clause, I asked questions about the definition of "visible" and "legible" with regard to the production of information on a computer for a constable to take away. At the time I was really just trying to establish whether information would have to be printed out or whether a CD-ROM, floppy disk or whatever would be considered sufficient. The Minister's answer to that question spurred me on to table this amendment. The noble Lord, Lord Filkin, who was then answering on these matters, said that the information would be either,

    "printed out in comprehensible form for the constable to take away or it could be provided on a CD-ROM disk which could be taken away for analysis, and so forth".—[Official Report, 10/7/03; col. GC 152.]

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As I remarked at the time, it was the use of the word "comprehensible" that I found intriguing. I appreciate that that may just have been a natural, human, honest response, as we always expect from the noble Lord, Lord Filkin. However, I thought that it was also an important matter. These are complex issues. Just what format will the information be in? "Comprehensible"—is that the case? If so, "comprehensible" to whom? I have tabled these amendments essentially to give the Government an opportunity to elaborate on what may have been just a slip of the tongue of the noble Lord, Lord Filkin, on that occasion. I beg to move.

Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords, I rise rather reluctantly because I am always rather reluctant as far as the noble Baroness is concerned. However, I do not think that the word "comprehensible" should be included in the statute. The words "visible" and "legible" are perfectly readily understood. However, the word "comprehensible" could mean everything and anything to the person concerned. I think that it is completely different from the words "visible" and "legible" which have been quoted. For the most part, people will be advised by a competent person. I think that the word "comprehensible" does not add greatly to what is already said. As I have already intimated, I think that we should be very wary of introducing words into the statute that may have a variable meaning. Although the word "comprehensible" is understood by Members here, I do not think that it should be included in the Bill. However, advisers will readily understand what is being produced. I think that that is all that matters.

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