Clause 15 - Death penalty

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

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Photo of Mr John Burnett Mr John Burnett Liberal Democrat, Torridge and West Devon 5:00 pm, 9th January 2003

The death penalty should be an absolute bar to extradition to any category 1 country and no country with the death penalty should be accorded category 1 status. We discussed the amendment with Justice and there is no reason for including clause 15(2), which relates to category 1 countries.

Earlier, we debated an amendment that stipulated which countries should or could be category 1 countries. No country with the death penalty should be entitled to become a category 1 country. I know that the Government did not accept our amendment, but we are highlighting the fact that category 1 status confers immense privileges in respect of extradition. The abolition of the death penalty means a great deal to many hon. Members, and there should be no possibility of anyone's being extradited from this country to face the death penalty.

Subsection (2) is inconsistent with the UK's ratification of protocol 6 of the European convention on human rights, which abolishes the death penalty in peacetime, and the UK's recent signature on protocol 13, which abolishes the death penalty in all circumstances. I look forward to hearing what the Minister has to say about that. Can he envisage circumstances in which any country with the death penalty is admitted into category 1?