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Where does that leave us? That seems to make nonsense of the previous requirement. How, in such circumstances, will the UK authorities make an appropriate assessment of an incoming extradition request in the context of two other requirements of the treaty-first, paragraph (2)(a) of Article 6, which requires Libya to provide,


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and, secondly, paragraph (2)(c) of Article 4, which states that extradition can be refused if,

Can the Government explain the apparent contradictions in that?

Many Members of your Lordships' House will be aware of the human rights concerns about conditions in Libya. The United States' State Department's most recent annual human rights report was critical of Libya for torture, arbitrary arrest, lengthy pre-trial and sometimes incommunicado detention, poor prison conditions, the denial of fair public trial by an independent judiciary and a lack of judicial recourse for alleged human rights violations. Will those aspects be taken into account when the Government consider extradition requests? In practice, despite the lack of definition in the Act about what constitutes a human rights consideration, would such consideration be regarded as covering the dangers of mistreatment for the person who might otherwise be extradited?

That is not an academic point. The fate of political prisoners and the disappeared who have never been accounted for is on record. There is an example in the father of the novelist Hisham Matar, who disappeared in 1990 and has not been seen since. He may have been imprisoned. That reminds us that Libya does not have a spotless record. That case was some time ago, but in the light of the commitments that HMG are entering into, and particularly in the light of what the Minister himself said about judicial co-operation, it would be helpful to know whether the Government have taken and are taking active measures to help Libya to improve its criminal justice system and abide by international human rights obligations.

For example, has there been any training that would support reform of Libya's criminal justice system? If so, has it had any discernible impact? Have the Libyan Government shown any willingness to improve the openness to scrutiny of their system to make it more accountable? These are important points in the operation of an extradition system that is likely to command public acceptance and respect in this country.

The assent of these Benches to the designation of Libya as a category 2 country under this order is extremely conditional on its satisfactory operation, which we shall monitor rigorously. Indeed, on a more general point, as the Leader of the Opposition said in another place, in our view the workings of the Extradition Act need to be reviewed. So we have some concerns about the order, but we will watch its operation and take a view on whether it is satisfactory.

Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, I, too, thank the Minister for his introduction of this order.

The Explanatory Memorandum on the treaty, on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website, describes it as,

which will,

There is an obvious question: have we missed out because of the eight-month delay? Are there any consequences from that?

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I had thought that there was a good deal of coverage of the treaty at the time. My memory may be serving me wrongly, but there has been particular interest in Libya and our relations with that country. Indeed, in preparation for this afternoon, I read an announcementissued by the Ministry of Justice in the summer, at the time of the controversy surrounding Mr al-Megrahi, that the agreement was now in force. Obviously it has not quite noticed either. However, we are where we are and one does not want to spend too much time on criticisms of the administrative problems. Following on from this, is there anyone in this country whose extradition is currently sought by Libya? Is there anyone in Libya whose extradition the UK currently seeks?

The central question-the point on which the noble Baroness finished-concerns the safety of extradition to Libya. Amnesty International-which is not permitted to visit-has described this in damning terms and I intend to quote a number of extracts from its most recent report because it is important to put them on the record. The report states:

"Libya's human rights record and continuing violations cast a shadow over its improved international diplomatic standing. Freedom of expression, association and assembly remained severely restricted in a climate characterized by the repression of dissident voices and the absence of independent human rights NGOs. Refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants continued to be detained indefinitely and ill-treated. At least eight foreign nationals were executed. The legacy of past human rights violations remained unaddressed".

It continues:

"The government did not tolerate criticism or dissent and maintained draconian legislation ... political expression and group activity is banned and those who peacefully exercise their rights to freedom of expression and association may face the death penalty. The authorities continued to take action against anyone who openly addressed such taboo topics as Libya's poor human rights record or the leadership of Mu'ammar al-Gaddafi".

The report refers to the State Security Court,

It further states:

"The right to freedom of association was severely curtailed ... The authorities failed to address the long-standing pattern of impunity for perpetrators of gross human rights violations ... There were persistent reports of torture and other ill-treatment of detained migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers".

It refers to the mass expulsions of nationals of various countries and states:

I do not find the report reassuring.

I am aware of the provisions of the Extradition Act and the "procedural safeguards"-the term used-in place to protect against extradition in particular circumstances. I have given the Minister notice of my question-although not long notice, I accept-about how this works. Does the court consider the regime in general terms or can it consider only the circumstances of the individual in question? Does the individual have to persuade the court of his vulnerability? To put it another way, what is the presumption, what is the burden, on the individual? I find it difficult to imagine

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how an individual who is seeking to persuade a court that he is in particular danger because of the human rights attitude of the country which is seeking his extradition can provide evidence of that.

I also have a technical question. Am I right in thinking that the order, and the treaty that is the context for it, supersede the memorandum of understanding for protection against torture that this country had with Libya? Does that now apply only to deportation?

Lord Brett: I thank both noble Baronesses for their contributions. As ever, the noble Baroness, Lady Neville-Jones, was forensic in her questions. Answering them is always at least uncomfortable for a Minister. I will start with what is almost a disclaimer: if I do not do justice to the questions, I will certainly look at Hansard and ensure that I send fuller replies to both noble Baronesses.

The first question was about whether the delay has had any impact. There have been no extradition requests from Libya nor any in the other direction, so, whatever the unfortunate nature of the delay, it has not on this occasion caused major problems.

Both noble Baronesses were rightly concerned about safeguards and evidence, and about what is meant by prima facie evidence and what the requirement is. Prior to issuing a warrant for arrest, a district judge would have to consider if there was evidence providing reasonable grounds. Libya has not been designated as a country that need only provide information, as opposed to evidence. During the extradition hearing, Libya would have to establish a prima facie case and could not be relieved of the burden of establishing such a case. Therefore, there could be no question of inconsistency between the treaty and the Extradition Act.

Both noble Baronesses were rightly concerned about the human rights record in Libya and how we will build in safeguards to protect both our own citizens and others from misuse of the treaty. We see human rights as extremely important. The judge in question must consider several facts. The first is identity. Extradition will be barred if the judge is not satisfied that the person before him is the person being sought. It will be barred if dual criminality is not established. The evidence must pass the test of reasonable suspicion. Extradition will be barred if the request is made for improper reasons-that is, if the judge decides that the request has been made to persecute or punish a person, or that the person will face prejudice at his or her trial on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or political opinion.

I understand the concern about mission creep. It is something that we must be constantly on guard against, because it applies in so many areas of international corporation, and in international treaties. The treaty does allow extradition offences that are not described in exactly the same way; the noble Baroness was correct in making that statement. It has long been clear that, in extradition cases, the key consideration is whether the conduct underpinning the extradition request constitutes a crime in the state receiving the request. If the question were whether the conduct was criminalised in exactly the same way in both countries, this would prevent extradition solely because of differences between countries in the drafting of laws, which is common. It

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is important to be clear that this is not an extension of the principle that has covered extradition for many years, namely that of dual criminality. Nothing in the treaty changes that.

The noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, raised a number of questions. The easiest one to deal with is whether the treaty subsumes previous international obligations. The answer is that it provides for the first time a comprehensive framework for extradition between the two countries. Prior to the conclusion of this, as has been rightly stated, extradition relations were piecemeal under international multilateral agreements and discrete areas of criminality. The multilateral agreement will continue to apply between the countries but, in view of the more comprehensive agreement which now exists, and even though the previous agreements still exist, we expect any extradition requests to be made under this agreement, rather than under the international obligations entered into by both countries.

Another key question was: who has to supply evidence when there is a request for the extradition of someone from the United Kingdom? Within the framework of the new Libyan extradition treaty, and under the Extradition Act 2003, it is for the requesting state-in this case, Libya-to establish the evidential case justifying extradition. It would be for the Libyans to convince a UK court that there was evidence against the person in question that established, as I said previously, a prima facie case of guilt of the relevant offence. It would be for the authorities in Libya to assemble the evidence, which would then be presented and judged in a British court.

The other question that has been raised is the broader issue of human rights. The noble Baroness read extracts from Amnesty International reports which deal with issues as broad as freedom of association, which are constrained in a whole series of countries, not least Libya. She asked what we are doing. Such rights are a broader issue. We are strong supporters of the European Union's attempts to negotiate a framework agreement with Libya that will provide a platform for dialogue on co-operation in the wide area of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

What have we done to assist the Libyan authorities in any way? Since 2004 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has funded a large prison project, which is being implemented by the International Centre for Prison Studies in King's College. Clearly, there are advantages to the United Kingdom in assisting Libya. Although there are rightly still criticisms of the Libyan record on human rights, it is a fact that it has improved. The Libyan media is not as free as we would wish, and domestic political opposition is clearly not as free and open as it should be. However, those issues can be better addressed in an ongoing, collaborative new relationship with that country. In that sense, the more we can build in treaties, milestones and even cornerstones, the easier it will be to build normal relationships-not only as we understand them in this country but as they are understood, and will be understood in the future, in many parts of the world where, at the moment, perhaps they are not.

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To the extent that I have failed to answer the questions, I shall certainly look at Hansard and give both noble Baronesses a detailed reply. I commend the order to the Committee.

Baroness Hamwee: I obviously did not make myself clear. I was not asking about the prima facie evidence of the alleged crime, or about general improvement of human rights in Libya. It was a narrower question. The legislation refers to a person; I do not know whether he is the accused, an appellant or someone else in a particular situation. If that person seeks to rely on the provisions of the Extradition Act, to which a judge must have regard in considering whether to grant the extradition order, what must the individual do? Is he able to point only to the general human rights situation and argue that because of that context he would be in danger; or must he go further and give evidence of his own position and particular threats against him and people who have done what he is alleged to have done? I suggested that some of that might be very difficult. If the Minister can answer this now, that would be helpful. If he cannot, I just want him to be clearer than I have obviously been able to make it about what my question is.

Lord Brett: The noble Baroness is absolutely right and I apologise to her. I did not understand the point and that must be down to my stupidity rather than her putting it unclearly.

Baroness Hamwee: I did not suggest that.

Lord Brett: In truth, that is the case because the noble Baroness gave me notice of the question and I managed to misinterpret it in my own mind, and then in seeking expert opinion, I misled the experts.

When looking at the ECHR and other issues, the important thing I have been asked is whether the district court will have to look at the regime generally or at the specific circumstances of the case. That is the question as I now understand it. The answer is that it will have to consider both. The person whose extradition is being sought will be able to draw the court's attention to the circumstances in Libya generally. If it concerns a crime with a sentence of more than 12 months for something that we may not recognise in the United Kingdom as being an offence, such as freedom of association, the rights of the media and so on, that can be brought to the attention of the court. Moreover, the person can bring in their personal circumstances in terms of whether they would be in danger and whether it is likely that they would be given a fair trial. A case could be made on the ground that extradition would risk a breach of the judgments reached by the European Court of Human Rights. That would be a factor that had to be taken into account by the district judge. I hope that my rather clumsy attempt to answer the question is sufficient. For my own conscience, if nothing else, I will write to the noble Baroness with a more articulate and expanded version of this response.

Motion agreed.

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Gambling Act 2005 (Operating Licence Conditions) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

Considered in Grand Committee

6.17 pm

Moved By Lord Davies of Oldham

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The purpose of these regulations is to increase the maximum participation fee for prize gaming in bingo premises and the maximum amounts that may be paid in prize money in respect of such gaming. The regulations we are debating today refer to a type of gaming where players are notified of the prizes in advance rather than where the winnings are made up from the stakes of the participants.

Prize gaming forms an integral part of the business model for the bingo industry. Many operators have traditionally offered what is referred to as "prize" or "interval" bingo under prize gaming rules; that is, smaller, faster games run in between sessions of mainstage bingo. The industry generally regards prize or interval bingo as an essential revenue stream that can account for up to 20 per cent of bingo sales in some clubs.

The Committee will be aware that in June last year, the Government introduced the Gambling Act 2005 (Limits on Prize Gaming) Regulations 2009. The regulations increased the limits on participation fees and prize levels for prize gaming in a number of different types of premises. It was the Government's original intention that all venues entitled to offer prize gaming should benefit from an uplift in stake and prize levels. However, prize gaming in relation to bingo premises is regulated under a separate framework within the Gambling Act and is governed by a separate parliamentary procedure. I know that the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, will recall this from our deliberations on the Gambling Bill that we so much enjoyed a number of years ago. As a result, the 2009 regulations could be applied only to adult gaming centres, family entertainment centres and fairs, and not to bingo halls.

Since June 2009, therefore, the Government have held discussions with a number of stakeholders about whether these new prize gaming limits ought to be applied to prize gaming in bingo halls. Following the completion of those discussions, there is no reason why not. Throughout the discussions there have been three key points for the Government to consider: first, whether the economic and social case for increasing prize gaming limits in adult gaming centres, family entertainment centres and fairs could equally be applied to the bingo industry; secondly, whether any new

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limits could translate straight across into the bingo industry's business model or would need to be refined in order to meet its needs; and, thirdly, whether increasing limits for prize gaming risked undermining the character of bingo premises as softer gambling environments.

When the Government reviewed stake and prize levels for category C and D gaming machines in 2008, they included proposals for prize gaming. That was in response to a number of compelling points made by stakeholders. The Government could not ignore the fact that issues raised around prize gaming and the needs of small businesses such as seaside arcades were comparable to those raised in connection with the category C and D machines.

In June 2009, following two public consultation exercises, the Government duly increased the participation fee and prize levels for prize gaming in certain venues accordingly-that is, to a maximum £1 participation fee and £70 prize. It soon became clear in discussions with the industry that a similar case existed in relation to bingo, in terms both of the needs of the industry and of the risk to the licensing objectives.

Many bingo premises continue to feel the effects of a severe long-term economic downturn across the industry, and while the Government have stepped in to help where they can-most notably when in February last year we increased the number of B3 gaming machines that bingo premises could offer-many operators still appear to be facing difficult trading conditions.

Prize bingo generates significant levels of income for many bingo clubs, and the Government want to see these businesses benefit in the same way as adult gaming centres and family entertainment centres did in June 2009. The regulations that we are debating today will therefore not only allow bingo operators to retain an important revenue stream but also enable them to develop and maximise that revenue to its fullest potential.

We should be aware that the current regulations governing prize gaming limits in bingo premises operate on a slightly different basis from those in respect of other types of premises. They specifically distinguish between premises where games are played in the presence of children and where they are not. This allows the operators to offer different maximum prize limits accordingly, thus reflecting the different levels of risk that each type of premises poses in relation to the licensing objectives of the Act.

At present, bingo clubs can offer a maximum stake of 50p and a maximum prize of £35 where children are permitted on the premises, and a maximum prize of £50 where they are not. Following discussions with a number of stakeholders, we have concluded that this difference in maximum prize levels between games played in the presence of children and those that are not should indeed be preserved; in our view, to do otherwise would run the risk of undermining an important revenue stream, especially for many smaller and medium-sized clubs.

These regulations will introduce a new maximum stake of £1 and a maximum prize of £70 where those under 18 years of age are permitted on the premises when a game is being played. Where under-18s are not

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present, we propose a maximum prize of £100. Of course, the Government are keeping the licensing objectives at the forefront as well as the risks that the new limits might pose to them.

As the Committee will know, the prize gaming limits implemented through the Gambling Act are intended to reflect Parliament's view that prize gaming should remain a low-risk gambling activity suited to venues that are more oriented towards the family or the wide community. The limits were considered necessary in order to mitigate the effects of any significant commercial exploitation of the prize gaming rules that might undermine the nature and character of prize gaming as a low-level gambling activity.

Such concerns were paramount when the Government's original proposals regarding prize gaming were included as part of the two public consultation exercises carried out in 2008. None of the responses to these consultations raised any issues that would suggest problems with these similar proposals, so the Government wrote to stakeholders informing them of their plans and, following further discussions, we are confident that these new limits for bingo balance the needs of the industry with the Government's commitment to consumer protection.

The regulations will ensure that the bingo industry can, in these difficult economic times, secure established revenue streams and develop further a product that is highly popular with players, while retaining the character of prize gaming originally intended through the Gambling Act. We are confident that these regulations do not prejudice the licensing objectives and in particular the protection of children and the vulnerable.

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