Clause 3 - Arrest under certified Part 1 warrant

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 9th January 2003.

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Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Shadow Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change) 3:15 pm, 9th January 2003

I apologise to the Committee for having thrown a red herring into the debate on the previous group of amendments. It was my fault that we started talking about the deletion of subsection (2)(c). The benefit is that it allows me to ask the Committee to disregard anything that I said previously.

I cannot see the need for this provision because it does not leave the arresting officer in any different position. If it did not exist, a European arrest warrant could be exercised and executed in the same way as any other arrest warrant. Why is it necessary to have express provision if the document need not be in the possession of the arresting officer or the person executing the warrant? I do not understand. The Minister will say that greater clarity could have been achieved, if it was needed, by providing that the warrant would be subject to the same law as governs the execution of any other warrant in any jurisdiction in the United Kingdom. I do not see what has been achieved.

I do not agree with the hon. Member for Surrey Heath's comment that the only reason the person making the arrest would not have a warrant on them would be incompetence. In my experience, warrants of arrest are often executed when a person comes to the attention of the police or, as it will apparently be, the appropriate person in relation to another matter, which might be something as trivial as a speeding or other traffic offence. At that point, it is routine for the police officer on the beat to radio the station to say, for example, ''We have someone who says that he is Alexander Morrison Carmichael, date of birth 15 July 1965. Can you tell us whether there are any warrants outstanding for his arrest?'' As I am a Liberal, I have no convictions, so it should not be a problem. That was a wee bit subtle, so I will try not to do that again.