Clause 161 - Search of person on arrest

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:00 pm on 16th January 2003.

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Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath 3:00 pm, 16th January 2003

My hon. Friend goes to the heart of the debate that we had when we considered the 1994 Bill. It was made clear that the Government would not have been able to accept the amendment that Mr. Butler and I proposed if it had applied to turbans. The Rastafarian hat has never been accepted by the British courts as being part of the religion, unlike turbans, which have. That is the distinction. I am not surprised that my hon. Friend immediately went to one of the points that were raised at the time. It may seem trivial, but it is in fact a matter of some substance. That is why I mentioned that the police had written to both of us—Mr. Butler and myself—to say that the amendment had been useful. Even a one word three-letter amendment can have some relevance. I know that the Minister cannot give me an answer today but I hope that he will consider the point.