Clause 193 - National security

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 21st January 2003.

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 11:00 am, 21st January 2003

The hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon raised a serious point in a serious manner. I sought advice rather than answering off the top of my head. I could do no other than report that advice to the Committee. The circumstances that the hon. Gentleman mentioned would be covered, and nothing in the Bill makes the position any weaker than it already is. The hon. Gentleman seems to be arguing that we should strengthen that position by putting a provision into the Bill. However, nothing in the Bill detracts from the protections that already exist. Those protections cover officials who are acting in an official capacity, diplomats who are acting on behalf of the Government, and Heads of State. Nothing detracts from the existing ramifications of international law.