§ Mr. Hanley
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has proposals for amending the United Kingdom's extradition treaty with the United States of America; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Brittan
Agreement has been reached with the United States Government on a supplementary treaty to the United Kingdom/United States extradition treaty for which, in due course, the United States Senate's advice and consent to ratification will be sought and an order under the Suppression of Terrorism Act laid before Parliament for approval. The effect of the supplementary treaty would be to deny fugitives accused or convicted of certain serious offences of violence the ability to avoid extradition on the grounds that their offences were political. Both Governments believe that the present political offence exception to extradition, as it applies to286W violent offences, is not suitable to extraditon arrangements between two democratic countries sharing the same high regard for the fundamental principles of justice and operating similar independent judicial systems. The supplementary treaty would represent a most significant contribution to the efforts now being made by Western democracies to counter the threat posed by international terrorism. It is also intended to make some further, minor amendments to the present treaty.