Clause 153 - Service personnel

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 16 January 2003.

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 10:00, 16 January 2003

It is already possible under the Armed Forces Act 1989 for the UK services to make a request for those who have committed military offences to be extradited. The clause clearly states that such requests can be made only for those subject to military or air force law or the Naval Discipline Act 1957.

Members of the Committee have spoken about the British armed forces. Let me emphasise that these

requests are rare, but we have allowed them in the past and see no reason for change. Any such arrangements would require the Secretary of State to make an order to apply part 3 provisions. Outgoing requests to category 2 countries would have to be made via the royal prerogative.

It is necessary to specify which persons are able to issue outgoing requests—who is entitled to do so under military discipline. It will be different people under the different military laws, and it will be different from civilian law. The people issuing the request will be those entitled to exercise military discipline. Modifications will need to be made to limit the provisions to military offences.