Clause 2 - Part 1 warrant and certificate

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 9th January 2003.

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 10:15 am, 9th January 2003

I am grateful to hon. Members for tabling the amendments. The Committee knows that part 1 gives effect to the framework decision of the European arrest warrant. All hon. Members will have studied that document, Let us try to ensure that we examine the issue by reading those two documents together. The Committee will find that there is no huge issue of principle between us, but perhaps there will be.

It may emerge during the course of debate. I ask the hon. Member for Surrey Heath at least to accept that we have no intention of conning Committees at this or any other stage.

Article 1 of the framework decision states:

''The European arrest warrant is a judicial decision issued by a Member State''.

More pertinently, article 6 states:

''The issuing judicial authority shall be the judicial authority of the issuing Member State which is competent to issue a European arrest warrant by virtue of the law of that State.''

That could not be clearer. There is no suggestion, nor even the possibility, that a police officer can issue a European arrest warrant without being in breach of the framework decision. That ties in with the legislation quite clearly, because clause 2(5) states that

''the authority which issued the warrant has the function of issuing arrest warrants in the category 1 territory.''

The function takes us straight back to those authorities that have that function as laid out in the framework document being judicial authorities under the law of the issuing state. There is no attempt to renege on any commitments that were given in previous Committees. The framework document could not be clearer. We sought safeguards during the negotiation of the document to ensure that we protected rights in the way that the hon. Gentleman suggests we should.