New Clause 4 - Compatability with Crime

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:45 pm on 21st January 2003.

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 3:45 pm, 21st January 2003

I got a bit carried away in my enthusiasm to knock down the hon. Gentleman's outrageous allegation.

New clause 5 would require the Secretary of State to produce an annual report to Parliament on the operation of the Bill. Given that we do not believe that the Secretary of State should perform the roles assigned to him by some of the amendments, it will not surprise the Committee to know that I do not share the hon. Gentleman's enthusiasm for his new clause. Home Office Ministers are and will remain accountable to Parliament. They are obliged to answer parliamentary questions on the operation of our extradition legislation and on every other part of their responsibilities.

It is not necessary to go further and to add a requirement to give an annual report to Parliament on the operation of extradition procedures. There is no need for a formal annual report. Annual reports on the operation of legislation are not a common feature. There is no such requirement in relation to our existing extradition arrangements. Why should the Bill warrant such treatment? The Opposition would probably reply that it is a radical departure.