HC Deb 24 February 2003 vol 400 c242W
Mr. Austin Mitchell

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will consult the authorities in(a) Jersey, (b) Guernsey and (c) the Isle of Man about the extension of the clauses relating to the inspection of bank accounts in the Crime (International Co-operation) Bill to them. [98428]

Ms Rosie Winterton

No, we have not consulted the Islands about extending the Bill to them as they customarily enact their own legislation in the area of criminal justice—for example, in the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) (Jersey) Law 2001, the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2001 and the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (of Tynwald).

The clauses referred to implement the 2001 Protocol to the Mutual Legal Assistance Convention 2000. To opt in to this Convention, and the protocol, the Islands would first need to join the 1959 Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Assistance. They have passed the necessary legislation and any subsequent decision on whether to apply further agreements is a matter for them.

A copy of the Bill will be sent to the Insular Authorities once it receives Royal Assent and becomes an Act. Then it will be a matter for the Islands' discretion as to whether they wish to introduce any similar provisions into their own legislation. I would refer my hon. Friend to the Official Report of the Grand Committee on the Bill in the other place, columns GC42-GC46 (3 February 2003).