Clause 158 - Warrants: special procedure material and excluded material

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 16 January 2003.

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Photo of Mr John Burnett Mr John Burnett Liberal Democrat, Torridge and West Devon 2:45, 16 January 2003

Committee sittings are useful to tease out the Government's underlying thought processes and to place certain matters on the record. The clause contains powers to allow seizure of excluded material and, I presume, powers to enter premises without consent. I draw the Committee's attention to subsection (6), which is an important provision. It states:

''Material falls within this subsection if it would be likely to be admissible evidence at a trial in the relevant part of the United Kingdom for the offence specified in the application for the warrant''.

I presume the Minister will confirm that in this case dual criminality still applies. We are talking about offences in this country rather than one of the 32 offences that we have criticised in the past because of their nebulous and uncertain nature. We talked about swindling, racism, xenophobia and so forth. I would like to know whether dual criminality is being preserved in subsection (6).

I turn to subsection (8), which concerns the requirement. I should like to know a little more from the Minister about paragraph (c), which specifies that

''the material contains information which is subject to a restriction on disclosure or an obligation of secrecy contained in an enactment''.

I would also like confirmation on the record that the material that might be sought will not breach the principle of legal privilege, so documents and notes kept by lawyers on behalf of an individual will not and cannot be sought by this enactment.