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International Criminal Court

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will make a statement about recent activities of the Government relating to bilateral agreements with the United States concerning the International Criminal Court; [111806](2) what implications the recent Extradition Treaty signed with the United States has for the treatment of those suspected of committing war crimes who might be tried by the International Criminal Court. [111808]

On 31 March 2003, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, together with the US Attorney General, signed a new bilateral Extradition Treaty between the United Kingdom and the USA. Article 16.2 of the Treaty contains a standard provision precluding the UK from transferring persons extradited from the US elsewhere without US consent, and vice versa. Such a provision features in the existing (1972) UK/US Extradition Treaty.At US request, the UK has provided a side letter to the new Treaty confirming that the UK understands this provision to preclude the onward surrender to the International Criminal Court (ICC) of a person extradited from the US; and that the UK would contest any request from the ICC for such a surrender, as being incompatible with Article 98.2 of the ICC Statute.Article 98.2 provides for non-surrender of an individual to the ICC where the requested State has an international obligation that gives the right of consent to the sending State.There have been no other discussions with the US in respect of agreements relating to Article 98.2 of the ICC Statute since officials met at US request on 17 October 2002. I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 26 February 2003,

Official Report, column 595W.