Clause 25 - Physical or mental condition

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 14th January 2003.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath 10:15 am, 14th January 2003

I beg to move amendment No. 35, in

clause 25, page 10, line 34, at end insert

', or

(c) order the person's detention for treatment if the person would pose a risk to the public if not detained'.

I want to make it clear that this is a probing amendment. Did the Minister and his advisers at least consider whether protection for the public needed to be introduced into the Bill when considering what the judge's power should be in the case of someone with a physical or mental condition? Let us say that someone appears before a judge, and the decision is taken that, because of their mental condition in particular, they are not fit enough to be extradited. Clearly, someone in that mental state might pose a risk to the public.

The Government have sought to encourage an expansion of the law in relation to mentally disordered people who may pose a risk to the public, and they have received strong support from the Opposition Members. There has been strong support from me, from my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset and from the shadow Health Secretary, my hon. Friend the Member for Woodspring (Dr. Fox), about the need for more secure accommodation for mentally disordered offenders. The Government, including the Minister, know that they will always receive great support from us on tougher powers for the courts in respect of those who may be mentally disordered and may pose a risk to the law-abiding public.

I wondered whether there was an opportunity to put in the Bill something along the lines that I suggested. I do not claim that my wording is perfect, but I am interested to hear whether, even if the Minister cannot accept this wording, the hon. Gentleman might be prepared to reconsider the matter and table a Government amendment.