HL Deb 15 March 2002 vol 632 cc106-7WA
Lord Lester of Herne Hill

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether it is their policy to seek to ensure that British citizens who are tried overseas on criminal charges are tried fairly by independent and impartial courts or tribunals established by law in accordance with the principles prescribed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. [HL3042]

Baroness Amos

HMG seek to ensure that British prisoners overseas receive a fair trial in accordance with international norms. However, we cannot interfere in the judicial processes of other countries. Consular staff overseas have contact with prisoners at an early stage and assist them in contacting a local lawyer.

Where we have concerns as to whether a prisoner has received a fair trial, we can put the prisoner in touch with a member of the FCO pro-bono panel of lawyers who will help draw up a strategy for any subsequent appeal. Where we have prima facie evidence of a denial or miscarriage of justice and all legal remedies have been exhausted, we will consider making representations to the appropriate authorities. Where those representations fail to secure a remedy we will consider supporting an appeal for clemency on the prisoner's behalf.

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