21 November 2002

S1M-3608 Extradition Bill

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Mr Murray Tosh): The next item of business is consideration of motion S1M-3608, in the name of Mr Jim Wallace, on the Extradition Bill, which is proposed United Kingdom legislation.
... ... ...
Stewart Stevenson (Banff and Buchan) (SNP): That was quite the most disgraceful speech that I have heard for some considerable time. The member knows perfectly well that we will have one piece of legislation on the matter; we are debating only where it will be passed. I do Angus MacKay the honour of saying that he cares about crime, because I know that he does, but we care about crime every bit as much as he does.
In more moderate terms, I say that I do not think that we have double jeopardy in Scotland—we thole the assize—but I understand that the minister may be fair trachled after his exertions today.
I raised the question of extradition with Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, because we have a system of warrants with other legal systems within the United Kingdom. The European framework directive seeks to cover the whole of Europe with a similar system. We adhere to the view that we are not dealing with extradition, because one of the fundamental proposals in part 1 of the Extradition Bill is the substitution of decisions by ministers with decisions by courts. That is fundamental; it is not incidental. It is only through the choice of the drafters of the bill that the process is called extradition; the bill is about European arrest warrants.
The real issue is that in the Justice 2 Committee we are at stage 2 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill, and there are a number of crossover points that will cause difficulties. Richard Simpson's amendment 16 to the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill, on electronic communications and electronic storage, for example, interacts in an adverse way with clause 62 of the Extradition Bill, which relates to the use of facsimiles and the way in which they may be used. That is an unhelpful interaction.
There are also interactions on legal aid. I believe that the provisions in the Extradition Bill, whether enacted at Westminster or here, will speed things up—I hope that they do—but they will also increase the number of cases and therefore, potentially, the burden on the legal aid system. It appears to be entirely improper for us to address clause 182 of the Extradition Bill.
Sections 54 and 55 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill contain measures that are not entirely dissimilar to measures in the Extradition Bill, and so will interact in an adverse way, in particular in relation to age. Sections 54 and 55 relate to offences that are committed by agents of Scottish companies, persons, partnerships and so on, and who may be prosecuted. We now have a curious situation which, because there is legislation at Westminster and legislation here, we might be unable to resolve satisfactorily. Someone could be extradited—I use the minister's term for the sake of argument, but in our terms it is transfer under a European arrest warrant—from the Scottish jurisdiction to elsewhere in Europe based on a crime that has actually been committed in, for example, Thailand without necessarily having the kind of protection that we have in our criminal justice system.
If my speech raises a series of complex, technical issues, it does so because separating out a significant change to the criminal justice system while we are legislating on criminal justice is a recipe for confusion and disaster.

Stewart Stevenson
does not gather, use or
retain any cookie data.

However Google who publish for us, may do.
fios ZS is a name registered in Scotland for Stewart Stevenson

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP