Clause 4 - Person arrested under Part 1 warrant

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:45 pm ar 9 Ionawr 2003.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Ceidwadwyr, Surrey Heath 3:45, 9 Ionawr 2003

I did not expect the Minister suddenly to agree to our proposals, but I remind him that we are talking about a new kind of procedure. The European arrest warrant is a major departure. We are talking about a small number of requests each year. It seems appropriate, particularly when some of the problems of extradition cases have taken up the time of the superior courts—we talked this morning about the Pinochet case having to go up to the House of Lords not once but twice—and when we are talking about a massive extension in the law and erosion of our civil liberties, that a High Court judge should consider these matters.

I accept entirely the strictures of the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland about Scotland, but it would be difficult for me to draft detailed amendments about the difference between the High Court and the High Court of Justiciary in Scotland because I do not have the knowledge. I am glad that there is something called a High Court judge who would be one of 26 or 27 who could consider this. Given that we would be talking

about criminal cases, perhaps it would be appropriate for a High Court of Justiciary criminal judge to consider them north of the border.

Because of the seriousness of the proposed extension of the powers, we felt it important to provide that a High Court judge should examine these cases. We remain of that view and I want to put the matter to a vote.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 3, Noes 11.