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Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill completes passage through both Houses

15 October 2020

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The Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill returned to the Lords for consideration of Commons amendments in ‘ping pong’ on Wednesday 14 October.

Members discussed clarification of the designated authority for arrest certificates.

Baroness Hamwee (Liberal Democrat) put forward an amendment (4A) that the House disagree to the Commons amendment (4), which removes the limitation placed on the Secretary of State to add, vary or remove no more than one territory at a time from the list of Category 2 extradition territories.

Following the debate, the amendment was put to a division (vote). Members voted 136 in favour and 259 against, so the amendment was not agreed to.

Members also discussed the progress of the bill through the House at its conclusion of Lords stages.

As both Houses have agreed on the text of the bill it now awaits the final stage of Royal Assent. It will then become an Act of Parliament (law).

A date for Royal Assent is yet to be scheduled.

Third reading: Monday 15 June

Members discussed amendments (changes) including the time taken to bring a person before a judge after arrest and requirements before adding, removing or varying references to an extradition territory.

There were also two divisions (votes) on proposed changes (amendments) to the bill.

The first vote was on a section of the bill regarding certificates to enable provisional arrest. The amendment required the government to meet the following criteria prior to making regulations on this section:

  • consult with the devolved administrations and any non-governmental organisations with a relevant interest
  • provide Parliament with an assessment on the risks of any changes
  • lay before Parliament a statement to confirm, if applicable, that when a new overseas territory is added to the provisions of the law, that territory does not abuse the Interpol Red Notices system.

275 members were in favour of this amendment, with 256 against, and so the change was made.

Members also considered another change on the same section of the bill, which sought to ensure that only one territory be added under the provisions of the law with each new set of regulations.

This change would allow Parliament to more easily accept or reject on the inclusion of each new territory individually.

314 members were in favour with 230 against, and so this change was also made.

Following completion of third reading, the bill now passes to the Commons for its consideration.

Report stage: Monday 23 March

Members discussed:

  • the period within which a person must be brought before a judge
  • requirements before adding, varying or removing a reference to a territory.

Committee stage: Thursday 5 March

The committee stage of this bill took place in Grand Committee, away from the chamber. In Grand Committee, any member can take part and decisions on amendments (changes) can be made but no votes can take place.

Members discussed a range of topics, including:

  • reporting on the reliability of Interpol Red Notices as a basis of arrest
  • production of an annual statement on the number of individuals arrested and their protected characteristics.

 Second reading: Tuesday 4 February

Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative), Minister of State in the Home Office, opened the debate on the bill and responded on behalf of the government.

Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill summary

This bill will amend the Extradition Act 2003 to provide law enforcement officers with the power to arrest individuals, without a warrant, for the purpose of extraditing people for serious offences.

Further information

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