Clause 191 - Bail

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 16 January 2003.

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Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath 4:00, 16 January 2003

Of course I do. The hon. Gentleman has heard me talk about the presumption of innocence in moving some amendments, but the presumption of innocence is different from a so-called right to bail. The most important function of any criminal justice system is to protect its citizens. If someone had a propensity to commit serious offences, especially if they had a record of having done so on bail, it would go too far for any legislation to refer to a right to bail. It certainly goes much further than the presumption of innocence in which every proper citizen of this country and all legally qualified people should and do believe. Having got that off my chest, I hope that the Minister will address the narrower point of how the change to the Bail Act 1976, which we welcome, will interlink with other current Government proposals. Will he also set out how it differs from the arrangements for bail under the previous extradition legislation?