Clause 39 - Position where asylum claimed

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 14th January 2003.

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Photo of Mr John Burnett Mr John Burnett Liberal Democrat, Torridge and West Devon 10:30 am, 14th January 2003

I shall speak to amendment No. 142, which is in my name and that of my hon. Friend the Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Carmichael). It would delete subsections (9) and (10).

Clause 39 relates to the interaction of asylum and extradition. As drafted, the clause, particularly subsection (9), removes all protection and the possibility of appeal when an asylum claim is rejected by the Secretary of State and certified as clearly unfounded. The certification procedures under the asylum legislation should not apply when the individual is subject to an extradition request. There is a danger of extradition being used to enable a state to persecute its own nationals. We must be particularly sensitive in these matters, and let the asylum and extradition procedures stand on their own merits. They should not be coupled together, as that could cause a serious failure of justice and give rise to events that all members of the Committee would find deeply abhorrent and thus deprecate.