Clause 171 - Codes of practice

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

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath

Given what I said earlier, in the light of the Minister's helpful reference to the clause, I need not say much now. We talked about the codes of practice and early drafts of them, and the Minister said that he will do what he can. He said also that we need not debate the matter in detail now, because Parliament will have a good opportunity to consider it when the affirmative resolution procedure is used and the codes will be laid before Parliament.

Given that the Minister relies so much on parliamentary scrutiny of the codes, as I do, and given that this is such a large part of the Bill, is there a chance that, when the affirmative resolution procedure is used, the codes will come before the House of Commons as a whole, rather than just a Committee? I am not sure whether he can answer that question today, but if he can at least say that he will consider it with the Home Secretary and officials, I will be grateful.

Photo of Michael Wills Michael Wills Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Criminal Justice System IT)

As the hon. Gentleman well knows, I cannot give that commitment. At this stage, I can only say that we will consider the matter. I am sure that the business managers will have a view, but we will consider carefully what the hon. Gentleman has said.

Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath

I did not expect the Minister to say anything other than that, but at least I have said on the record that it would be helpful for the Government to consider the issue. It would be helpful if the business managers, notwithstanding the constraints on time, allowed the codes to come before the House as a whole. I say that because the Minister stresses that Parliament will have an opportunity to consider the matter when we have the codes. If we end up with only a short debate in Committee, that would not fulfil what he said earlier, which is why I am flagging up the issue now.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 171 ordered to stand part of the Bill.