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Justice: Arrest Warrants

Volume 718: debated on Thursday 25 March 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government which United Kingdom citizens have been extradited under the European arrest warrant; for which alleged crimes; to which European countries; and how long they have spent in custody awaiting trial. [HL2940]

The Serious Organised Crime Agency and Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (for Scotland) are the designated authorities in the UK responsible for processing European arrest warrants (EAWs). It is not possible from current systems to break down the number of EAWs received by the UK into nationality, alleged offence type and requesting EU member state. To do so would require a manual examination of all files and incur disproportionate cost. Once a person has been extradited from the UK to another jurisdiction, the designated authorities’ involvement in the EAW process ceases.

How long a person is held on remand awaiting trial, whether in custody or on bail, is governed by the law of the requesting state and this can vary from country to country. Internationally accepted standards usually allow for a two-year period of detention before trial, depending on the circumstances of the case. While the UK is unable to interfere in the legal processes of another country, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, if appropriate, will consider making inquiries with local authorities to establish the reason for any delay in trial proceedings for any British national held on remand for more than 24 months.