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War Crimes: Arrest Warrants

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) which overseas governments have made representations to the Government to change legislation on war crimes to prevent the issuing of arrest warrants without the approval of the Attorney General; (229570)

(2) when he plans to announce whether he plans to propose changes to legislation on war crimes to prevent the issuing of arrest warrants without Attorney General approval; and whether such changes would require primary legislation.

The Israeli Government have previously raised the Almog case. The content of those discussions is confidential.

The prosecution of certain offences, including war crimes and other offences under section 51 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001, requires the consent of either the Attorney-General or the Director of Public Prosecutions. Such consent is not required for the issue of an arrest warrant. The Government are continuing to consider whether and, if so, how to change the law in this area. Any proposals for legislation would be announced to Parliament in the normal way.