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Prisoners: Repatriation

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 12 June 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice pursuant to the answer of 22 May 2007, Official Report, column 1257W, on prisoners: repatriation, when she expects discussions with other Governments regarding prisoner transfers to commence. (141925)

The United Kingdom has prisoner transfer arrangements with 96 countries and territories. The majority of these countries are signatories to the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. On 3 and 4 of May 2007 preliminary discussions were held in Strasbourg to discuss a Greek proposal for a second additional protocol to the Convention. This would extend the circumstances under which a prisoner can be transferred without his or her consent. The United Kingdom is supporting this proposal.

The UK has concluded 20 bilateral prisoner transfer agreements from which we hold about 400 sentenced prisoners. While this number is not insignificant, resources are at present dedicated towards negotiating agreements that are likely to deliver significant benefits such as the EU prisoner transfer agreement and the second additional protocol to the Council of Europe Convention.