Whilst introducing the Second Reading of the Crime and Courts Bill, Home Secretary Theresa May announces that the Government intends to use it to amend the Extradition Act 2003 to include a Forum Bar and to further distance the Home Office from meddling in human rights appeals.
An Extradition Forum Bar should have allowed the trial of Gary McKinnon, the NatWest 3, Babar Ahmad, Christoper Tappin, Richard O'Dwyer etc. here in the United Kingdom rather than in the USA , but until the details are published, it is too early to welcome this news very much.
There is already Forum Bar legislation in the Extradition Act 2003 (section 19B and section 83A) on the Statute Book, introduced by the House of Lords in 2006, which has deliberately never been brought into force by the previous Labour or current Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition governments, who have never bothered to explain why not..
Mrs May: I thank my hon. Friend.
Finally, let me give the House notice of another set of amendments that we will table in Committee. Members will recall that on 16 October, when I made a statement on our extradition arrangements, I indicated that I would present legislation as soon as parliamentary time allowed to make two key changes to the Extradition Act 2003. The first would introduce a new forum bar to extradition, and the second would transfer to the High
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Court the Home Secretary's responsibilities for considering representations on human rights grounds. I have decided that we should seize the opportunity provided by the Bill so that we can give effect to the changes as soon as possible.