Charges of and Penalty for Conspiracy to Defraud

Part of Orders of the Day — Criminal Justice Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:30 pm on 14th May 1987.

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Photo of Mr Gerry Bermingham Mr Gerry Bermingham , St Helens South 4:30 pm, 14th May 1987

I echo and endorse what the right hon. and learned Member for Warrington, South (Mr. Carlisle) said in perhaps his last contribution. He will be sadly missed. He brings much wisdom and learning to these debates and we all learn much from listening to him.

I support, as I did in Committee, the view of the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Stanbrook). The sooner we bring the extradition laws up to date, the better. We had an opportunity, on a matter which was not disputed in Committee, to rectify a series of glaring omissions from the extradition law. When crime becomes international, as it has, we must make it easier for people to be extradited to the country where the offence took place or to seek and obtain the extradition of people who have committed crimes in this country. The matter is not politically sensitive; it comes in the international context of the pursuit of crime, and our laws must be updated and modernised.

I asked my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith) for an undertaking that, in the event of our forming the Government after 12 June, the provisions will be brought back to the House at the earliest opportunity. I received such an assurance. I ask the Minister whether, in the event of his party forming the next Government, the same assurance can be given. It is of international importance that we pursue crime wherever it is committed and that our law should facilitate such pursuit.