Baroness Clark of Calton: To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the resignation of the Advocate General for Scotland on 16 September, what progress they have made in appointing a successor; and in the absence of any such successor, who is responsible for (1) the Advocate General for Scotland's statutory duties, and (2) litigation in the courts in Scotland where the Advocate General would be named.
Baroness Clark of Calton: To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that people, including pedestrians, are protected from the risk of negligent injury and death caused by users of hired e-scooters in the e-scooter rental trials; and whether any such plans include (1) requiring compulsory insurance by users of hired e-scooters; (2) establishing a Government-funded compensation scheme for those...
Baroness Clark of Calton: To ask Her Majesty's Government why they have not included the identity of the designated authority in the Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill; who the proposed designated authority is for the purposes of that Bill; and what plans they have to include the identity of that authority in that Bill.
Baroness Clark of Calton: To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for the designated authority in their proposed changes to extradition in the Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill; and whether any such changes will be independent of (1) ministerial, and (2) police, influence.
Baroness Clark of Calton: To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review their decision to designate the National Crime Agency as a designated authority for extradition purposes in the explanatory memorandum for the Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill; and what assessment they have made of the case for any such designated authority being one which is independent of the (1) police, and (2) Government...
Baroness Clark of Calton: To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Scottish Government about the Government's proposed changes to extradition law, and in particular any changes to the role of the judiciary in Scotland; and what were the outcomes of any such discussions.
Baroness Clark of Calton: To ask Her Majesty's Government how many requests for arrests were made from police in England and Wales to judges in (1) Scotland, and (2) the rest of the United Kingdom, in (a) 2016–17; (b) 2017–18; and (c) 2018–19; and in how many such cases a delay resulted in a failure to arrest.
Baroness Clark of Calton: My Lords, it is a great privilege to appear again and speak in your Lordships’ House after a long absence. I listened with interest to the Minister’s speech about the Bill’s context and purpose. I also thank her for being so open and willing to meet with people to discuss it. The extradition Bill might appear deceptively modest, but does it propose a mere technical amendment? In...
Baroness Clark of Calton: My Lords, I have listened with great attention to the many expert contributions that have been made in this interesting and constructive debate. The contributions came fast, but not furious, and I shall respond in that spirit. I want to associate myself with the tributes paid to the noble Lord, Lord Mawhinney, for his most useful analysis and comments in his maiden speech. Noble Lords tell me...
Dr Lynda Clark: Since 8 February, 95 devolution issues have been intimated to me. Of the 66 civil cases, one related to failure to transfer a patient from a state hospital and the remainder concerned prison conditions. Of the 29 criminal cases, 19 concerned pre-trial delay.
Dr Lynda Clark: As with all individual cases, each case will be assessed on its merits either by the court—if it goes to the court and is determined by the court—or in discussions between the parties. I am not party to those cases; it is not part of my task to assess the compensation. The claims range from very small amounts to fairly substantial amounts, and the outcome is difficult to predict. I can...
Dr Lynda Clark: Scottish Ministers are obliged to act in accordance with European law. If a challenge were made on the ground that they had not fulfilled that legal obligation, I would assess that as well as my powers under the Scotland Act. These issues can be complex, and there is room for more than one view. If necessary, the court would ultimately determine the matter.
Dr Lynda Clark: It is kind of the hon. Lady to speculate on these matters. I must say that, bearing in mind how much this Government have done to help individuals—particularly those in her constituency—I find it very difficult even to speculate on the idea of a change of Government.
Dr Lynda Clark: I have had no discussions with the Scottish Executive on the transfer of Mr. al-Megrahi. I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin), gave on this matter on 9 March.
Dr Lynda Clark: If the Foreign Office is going to the Crown Office, as my hon. Friend suggests, I am sure that it is capable of dealing with it directly. I understand his frustration with this process, but the division concerning these matters arises as a result of devolution. So I repeat what I have told him before: this issue forms no part of my role as Advocate-General.
Dr Lynda Clark: Accurate information is of course extremely important, and it is always very useful for Members of Parliament, particularly those with prisons in their constituencies, to exercise their visiting rights, which I understand that they have as MPs.
Dr Lynda Clark: This action was formally directed against me in accordance with section 1 of the Crown Suits (Scotland) Act 1857. As section 2 of that Act makes clear, responsibility for defending the action lies with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence. I am advised that the action is being defended on behalf of the Secretary of State for Defence.
Dr Lynda Clark: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given today by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland.
Dr Lynda Clark: Since 11 January 2005, 55 devolution cases have been intimated to me, all of which have raised human rights issues. All of the 45 civil cases intimated to me concern prison conditions. Of the 10 cases relating to criminal law, eight related to pre-trial delay, one to delay in hearing an appeal and one to the detention and questioning of a 14-year-old boy.
Dr Lynda Clark: I have every respect for Lord Fraser; he is of course entitled to his interpretation. His inquiry predates the Bill to which the hon. Lady refers. Therefore, I do not think that I can further assist her.