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 Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath 11:00 am, 21st January 2003

The Minister wonders about putting a provision in the Bill, and I argue clearly that we should. For the foreseeable future, people in this country will look to this Bill to cover the whole law of extradition. In the light of lessons learned from what happened to Pinochet, the protection available ought to be clearly stated in the Bill, even if other Acts offer greater protection to British Ministers and officials than was available to Pinochet. This Bill, in whatever final form it takes before becoming an Act of Parliament, will be our extradition legislation. Everything to do with extradition ought to be in it.

The Bill already contains provisions to do with the Secretary of State's decisions on national security. It ought also to contain something—perhaps along the lines of our proposed new clause—that sets out what protection is available for people who are acting in the national interest. That ought to be put into the Bill before it becomes an Act. I hope that the Minister will consider that point very seriously.