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Northern Ireland: Justice

Volume 716: debated on Wednesday 27 January 2010

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty’s Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 14 December 2009 (WA 184), when they instructed the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland and the Crown Prosecution Service not to pursue outstanding extradition proceedings against convicted fugitives appearing to qualify for early release under the terms of the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998; by what means they issued those instructions; and whether the policy was subjected to an equality impact assessment in Northern Ireland. [HL1061]

Neither the Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland nor the Crown Prosecution Service has any role in respect of the extradition of individuals who have already been convicted, whether or not they would appear to qualify for early release under the terms of the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998.

The general policy on extradition requests was subject to equality screening as part of the Northern Ireland Office’s initial screening of policies following its designation as a public authority under Section 75. This screening found that no impact assessment was necessary. The decision not to pursue the extradition of convicted fugitives appearing to qualify for early release involved consideration of the public interest in relation to a limited number of specific cases and was not subject to an equality impact assessment.