Clause 17 - Speciality

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:25 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 9:25, 14 January 2003

I shall try. I am not usually accused of being quiet.

We are not discussing the most serious crimes, but we would all accept that the interests of justice require

that those minor offences should be dealt with, and the person prosecuted. Is the amendment really proposing that before any effort can be made to enforce a minor offence—a parking ticket, to take a ridiculous example—the other state should seek our permission, and that we should hold a special hearing in order to consider the offence?

We are not frightened of the principles of mutual recognition. We believe that there are huge benefits to be gained from applying those principles to the victims of crime and to the interests of justice. However, amendment No. 95 completely rows back from what has long been accepted as standard. Amendment No. 94 would introduce a level of scrutiny by the UK authorities that, in the circumstances described, is not justified. I therefore ask the Committee not to support the amendments.