Clause 83 - Case where person has not been convicted

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 14th January 2003.

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 3:15 pm, 14th January 2003

If I frighten my hon. Friend, I am very worried indeed, as I have heard him express views on all policy areas and fear is not usually apparent. In a case such as he describes, does not my hon. Friend have any faith in the judge's ability to decide that a summary is inappropriate and an improper reflection of the evidence supplied? We want evidence to be heard first hand, but that may not be possible, and the proposals enable it still to be heard.

At the other end of the spectrum, does my hon. Friend accept that, although the judge may feel comfortable about accepting police reports as evidence, he cannot do so currently? Individual police officers need to travel from jurisdictions abroad to provide the evidence and the judge has no discretion to decide when he is comfortable that the evidence is authentic and delivered properly. My hon. Friend would accept that the provision amounts to a boon in time saving and money saving, but no one wants to open the door to potential injustices. That is what my hon. Friend is frightened of, but in the light of the many conversations with him over the years, I am surprised that he has not been more frightened about other issues in the Bill.