Clause 2 - Part 1 warrant and certificate

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 9th January 2003.

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Photo of John Maples John Maples Conservative, Stratford-on-Avon 10:30 am, 9th January 2003

I want to pursue the question of judicial authority with the Minister. He is right that the framework document states that this is a judicial decision. Article 6 states:

''The issuing judicial authority shall be the judicial authority of the issuing Member State.''

That is as it should be. However, subsection (5) does not state that the authority should be a judicial one, and does not refer to the framework document. It states that the authority

''has the function of issuing arrest warrants in the category 1 country.''

As the Minister said, there are several ways of issuing arrest warrants. It is possible that there are some people who can issue arrest warrants in a category 1 territory who would not qualify under the framework document, and others, such as judicial authorities, who would. I do not understand, therefore, why the Minister resists the insertion of ''judicial'' in the appropriate places, or why he does not include a cross-reference back to the framework document stating that the authority for the function of issuing arrest warrants is given under the framework document. That might be a cumbersome way of covering it, but it would probably do so.

I stress to the Minister the importance of inserting ''judicial'' in the appropriate places. That would ensure that the protection that he claims that the Government built into the framework document by insisting on the use of the ''judicial'' in three or four places is reflected in the legislation. It is the legislation under which people will be extradited, and not the framework decision itself. It seems to me that it is an easy concession for the Minister to make. I cannot see that it would create problems for the Government, and it would set the minds of several of us at rest.