Feeds

Coalition launches extradition treaty review

Aims for fairness across the pond

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The controversial extradition treaty between the US and the UK is to be reviewed by the government.

Critics argue the current system is unfair because it allows British suspects to be extradited to the US without the need to present evidence before a British court. British requests to extradite US suspects here, by contrast, require evidence before proceeding.

Home Secretary Theresa May announced plans for a review of UK extradition procedures to both the US and Europe via a written statement so the House of Commons on Tuesday.

There are a number of areas of the UK’s extradition arrangements which have attracted significant controversy in recent years.

The government understands that these are long-standing concerns and the review will therefore focus on five issues to ensure that the UK’s extradition arrangements work both efficiently and in the interests of justice.

These issues are:

  • breadth of Secretary of State discretion in an extradition case;
  • the operation of the European Arrest Warrant, including the way in which those of its safeguards which are optional have been transposed into UK law;
  • whether the forum bar to extradition should be commenced;
  • whether the US-UK Extradition Treaty is unbalanced;
  • whether requesting states should be required to provide prima facie evidence.
The review will be conducted by a small panel of experts who we are now seeking to appoint. We expect the review to report by the end of the Summer 2011.

Criticism of the current system has been highlighted by the long-running campaign to save Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon from extradition.

According to a recent Freedom of Information Act request, 33 people have been extradited to the UK since the current extradition arrangements between the US and UK came into force at the start of 2004. Three of these people were US nationals or holders of dual citizenship.

By contrast 62 people, including 28 UK nationals or dual citizenship holders, have been extradited from the UK to the US. None have been extradited for terrorist offences despite that fact that the perceived need to fast-track terrorist extradition was one of the main reasons given for changing previous extradition procedures that applied before 2004.

The government-sponsored review may result in changes to extradition proceedings that mean foreign authorities would be obliged to provide more evidence before British courts grant extradition requests. The Home Secretary might also be given more scope to intervene in extradition proceedings. Rules for deciding to try a suspect in the UK as an alternative to extradition might also be considered. Alternatively the experts may decide not to recommend any alteration of the existing arrangements.

The review fulfils a promise made when the ConLib coalition government was formed back in mid May to "review the operation of the Extradition Act – and the US/UK extradition treaty – to make sure it is even-handed". ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.