Clause 40 - Withdrawal of warrant before extradition

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

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 10:30, 14 January 2003

As the Committee knows, the Bill was published in draft in July. Several of those who commented on it, including the Home Affairs Committee, were concerned about the provisions for discharge of fugitives, which is the point that the amendments address. The Home Affairs Committee was concerned about the discharge of fugitives in cases in which requests were withdrawn or the courts found in the fugitive's favour. We redrafted the relevant parts of the Bill as a result of the comments that we received on the draft Bill to make it clear that we expect this to happen immediately. That should surely be so if the case is found in favour of the fugitive or if it is withdrawn. There is no reason why this should not happen at once. The hon. Gentleman says that the amendments are substantive and that they make a difference, but I ask him to accept that they would not.

Indeed, the amendments could be erroneously interpreted as giving the judge some leeway in deciding the speed at which he should discharge the fugitive. I ask the hon. Gentleman to consider that and to withdraw the amendment.