HC Deb 16 April 1999 vol 329 cc363-4W
Mr. McNamara

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to her answer of 9 February 1999,Official Report, column 125, on arrest warrants, if she will list the definition and procedural arrangements for review for each of the five categories of arrest warrant and indicate what bodies might constitute the issuing authority in each case; how many extradition warrants were issued to which countries in each of the last 20 years; and how many warrants led to successful extradition. [80613]

Mr. Ingram

Bench/Arrest warrants and Extradition warrants are issued by an RM or a JP and remain current until executed or withdrawn. There is no statutory requirement to periodically refer back to the issuing authority. The term "Extradition Warrant" includes, inter alia, an arrest warrant issued:

  1. (a) by JPs under Article 20 of the Magistrates Courts (NI) Order 1981; or
  2. (b) by Crown Court judges; or
  3. (c) by JPs under Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 which seek the arrears of convicted persons who have escaped from or are otherwise unlawfully at large from prison.

Committal warrants and Distress warrants are issued by an RM or JP or Clerk of Petty Sessions and are required to be returned to the issuing authority for cancellation or re-issue if they have not been executed within a reasonable time determined by reference to the circumstances of each case. Enforcement of Judgement warrants are issued by the Chief Enforcement Officer and are cancelled or re-issued if not executed within 12 months.

The following table reflects the number of extradition requests made to foreign jurisdictions since 1979 (per person sought). The figures do not show the number of warrants issued in respect of each person as on many occasions a large number of warrants could be issued for the one individual.

Country Persons sought Successful extraditions
USA 8 11
Holland 2 2
France 1
Germany 1 1
Republic of Ireland 238 106
1 4 on-going


Formal records were not kept in this format prior to 1990. Figures before 1990 have been compiled from other sources and may therefore be subject to amendment.