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War Crimes: Arrest Warrants

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 14 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer of 27 October 2008, Official Report, column 755W, on war crimes: arrest warrants, (1) if he will take steps to consult all interested parties before bringing forward any proposals to amend legislation relating to the issue of arrest warrants under section 51 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001; (309751)

(2) what recent representations he has received in respect of changes to the law relating to the issue of arrest warrants from (a) the Israeli government, (b) other governments, (c) UK-based organisations and faith groups and (d) victims of war crimes;

(3) what recent consideration he has given to whether the Attorney-General’s consent should be required in respect of the issue of (a) all arrest warrants, (b) arrest warrants issued in respect of charges of war crimes, (c) arrest warrants issued in respect of charges of war crimes against individuals whose home jurisdiction is a party to the International Criminal Court, (d) arrest warrants issued in respect of Israeli nationals and (e) arrest warrants issued in respect of those who are in the UK for meetings with Ministers and officials;

(4) what progress has been made in the consideration of whether to bring forward legislative proposals in respect of the issuing of arrest warrants without the consent of the Attorney-General; and whether any changes to this process will require Parliamentary approval.

We are looking at this issue as a matter of urgency. No decisions have yet been made. Any changes in this area of the law would require primary legislation.