Clause 174 - Extradition to commonwealth countries etc.

Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 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

I need not detain the Committee long, but it might be helpful, with regard to the first amendments relating to Commonwealth countries and others, to have a brief stand part debate. We

understand that counterpart provisions are needed on extradition to Commonwealth countries, British overseas territories and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.

Will the Minister clarify whether there are any changes in this legislation as compared with the previous extradition law? Obviously, one change since the late 1980s or early 1990s is that there was no such thing as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and special arrangements may have been made after Hong Kong became such a region after the lease came to an end. Will the Minister say briefly what changes, if any, the Bill introduces? I thought this the appropriate moment to raise that general point. I have specific queries on one or two clauses, but at this stage I should be grateful if the Minister would just give us the background.

Photo of Michael Wills Michael Wills Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Criminal Justice System IT) 3:30 pm, 16th January 2003

I can be brief. The Committee is aware that clause 174 provides that an Order in Council may apply any relevant extradition provision—that is, those that would apply to extradition from the United Kingdom to certain category 2 territories—to a British overseas territory in modified form. These provisions, when applied, will govern the extradition arrangements of that British overseas territory when extraditing to Commonwealth countries, other British overseas territories and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The clause allows part 2 provisions to apply between British overseas territories and Commonwealth countries, or other British overseas territories or the HKSAR by Order in Council. The part 2 provisions can be applied with special modifications. It is in line with the Extradition Act 1989 that we make provision for the British overseas territories to be subject to an extradition request, and the clause enables us to do that. With that explanation, I hope that the clause will stand part of the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 174 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 175 to 177 ordered to stand part of the Bill.