Clause 6 - Person arrested under section 5

Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 9th January 2003.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath

I do not wish to spend much time discussing this clause. However, some external organisations have suggested that the required period should be shorter than 48 hours, thus exerting more pressure in the exceptional circumstances of clause 5, which we have already said goes too far. Section 6 rows back to some extent in that it provides a degree of protection.

I did not believe it necessary to table a separate amendment seeking to shorten the period, given that we were objecting to the whole of clause 5 on principle, but I wanted to raise the point in the stand part debate on clause 6 to elicit the Minister's response.

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The clause stipulates that the person must be brought before an appropriate judge—a district judge or the equivalent—within 48 hours. The relevant certified part 1 warrant must be produced for the judge at that hearing, and if either condition is not met, the person must be discharged.

The second function of the clause is to ensure that the person can be legally detained for the period between his arrest and the initial hearing. That is a necessary precaution to ensure that the person can be held for a brief period after his arrest. I do not see the need to shorten the 48-hour period, although I can see that difficulties might arise in some circumstances. However, I ask the Committee to accept that that is a reasonable period to require as a maximum.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 6 ordered to stand part of the Bill.