Clause 13 - Extraneous considerations

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:00 pm on 9 January 2003.

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 5:00, 9 January 2003

I cannot remember who is giving way to whom. I gave way to a long intervention, so I still have the Floor.

The dangers that the hon. Gentleman mentioned are not a problem. The proposal simply gives the defendant and his representatives the opportunity to claim, if they so wish, in front of a district judge that a fair trial would not be granted to them for the reasons mentioned. If they can satisfy the district judge that that is so and that they would not receive a fair trial for the reasons stipulated in the clause, within the time frames required by the procedure in part 1, there is a bar to extradition. The clause gives an opportunity to make the case.

In response to the hon. Gentleman's question, that point is covered in the preamble to the framework decision, paragraph (12) of which states:

''This Framework Decision respects fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised by Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union and reflected in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Chapter VI thereof. Nothing in this Framework Decision may be interpreted as prohibiting refusal to surrender a person for whom a European arrest warrant has been issued when there are reasons to believe, on the basis of objective elements, that the said arrest warrant has been issued for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing a person on the grounds of his or her sex, race, religion, ethnic origin, nationality, language, political opinions or sexual orientation, or that that person's position may be prejudiced for any of these reasons.''

The proposal was included in the Bill at the request of the Joint Committee on Human Rights. There are few, if any, circumstances in which someone will be able to satisfy a judge that such conditions apply to a European partner, but if they are able to make such a case, it must be within the time framework of the European arrest warrant, not over five years, as in the case of certain individuals.