HC Deb 21 July 1967 vol 750 cc2673-4

Lords Amendment No. 3: In Page 14, line 45, at end insert: () Without prejudice to subsection (2) of this section, this Act applies to offences committed before as well as after the passing of this Act".

Mr. Taverne

I beg to move, That this House cloth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

The purpose of this Amendment is to make it clear that if the new Fugitive Offenders Act has been brought into operation in relation to any country and the old Act of 1881 has been repealed, any new application made to this country for the return of a fugitive offender will be dealt with under the provisions of the new Act even though the offence complained of was committed before the new Act was actually in force.

Mr. Buck

This is a commonsense Amendment, although we on this side of the House have considered it with some care because it smacks of a legislation of a character about which we are not entirely happy, because it provides that a person who has committed an offence in the past and who may have anticipated being dealt with under the old procedure will now be dealt with under the new. There is, therefore, an element of retrospection in some sense. We do not like retrospective legislation unless on the whole it confers a benefit, and perhaps this Amendment has an element of conferring a benefit, because the new procedure, under which an alleged offender will be dealt with, will be more advantageous than the old.

While being guarded about this element of retrospection, on the whole we welcome the Amendment.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords Amendment No. 4: In page 14, line 45, at end insert: () In paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 to the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967, the reference to the Fugitive Offenders Act 1881 shall include a reference to this Act".

Mr. Taverne

I beg to move, That the House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

This Amendment speaks for itself. Under the Parliamentary Commissioner Act, 1967, the Parliamentary Commissioner cannot conduct an investigation into actions taken by the Secretary of State under the Extradition Act, 1870, or under the Fugitive Offenders Act, 1881, and the purpose of the Amendment is to apply a similar exemption in respect of action taken under the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

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