Clause 126 - Consent to other offences being dealt with

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:45 pm on 14th January 2003.

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Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath 3:45 pm, 14th January 2003

I am grateful to the Minister and welcome him to the Committee. It has been a brief appearance, but a helpful one.

The Minister has set out the reasons why the Secretary of State has a wider discretion. I understand entirely what he says, and the contrast that he has drawn between the mandatory nature of what a district judge has to do under clause 52 in relation to part 1 countries, and the provision relating to the Secretary of State, which uses the word ''may'', provides residual discretion, and involves decisions that are judicially reviewable.

Nevertheless, I hope that the Minister will at least keep the matter under review, and consider whether, in addition to the word ''may'' in clause 126(7), it might in future be helpful, for the sake of clarity, for all the bars to be listed. I did not hear him argue that it would be entirely wrong or inappropriate to insert references to clauses 78, 92 and 93. He is simply saying that we do not need to, but I think that that would provide helpful clarification, because even though the word ''may'' is in clause 126(7), it makes it look as if the Secretary of State considers only one bar. I do not think that it would damage the legislation to make it clearer that he uses his discretion to consider all the bars. If the death penalty issue is raised in clause 91, why not also include clauses 78, 92 and 93?

The Minister seems to be saying that the Secretary of State has to consider those points anyway—that he has to exercise his discretion and consider the whole prima facie case. I therefore hope that the Minister will keep that under review and perhaps consider tabling a Government amendment at a later stage just to make the position clearer. At this stage, however, having probed the Minister and heard his reassurances, which could be considered by a court in future under the rule in Pepper v. Hart, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 126 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 127 to 140 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Further consideration adjourned.—[Derek Twigg.]

Adjourned accordingly at twelve minutes to Four o'clock till Thursday 16 January at twenty-five minutes past Nine o'clock.