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Extradition review begins

An independent panel will review the UK’s legal arrangements for bringing criminals to justice who flee overseas after committing a crime.

The arrangements - known as extradition - allow countries to make formal requests to each other for the return of suspects to stand trial for a crime in the same country it was committed.

Committed to in the coalition’s ‘Programme for Government’, the review aims to make sure that the UK’s legal arrangements work efficiently and fairly.

Five key areas

The panel will look at the following five areas:

  • the Home Secretary’s powers to stop extradition
  • the operation of the European Arrest Warrant, which deals with extradition requests between European countries
  • where a crime is mainly committed in the UK, whether the person should be tried here
  • whether the US-UK Extradition Treaty is unbalanced
  • whether requesting countries should be required to provide sufficient evidence to prove an allegation

Interests of justice

Theresa May said: ‘I am fully aware that there are a number of areas of the UK’s extradition arrangements which have attracted controversy in recent years.

‘This government is committed to reviewing those arrangements to ensure they work both efficiently and in the interests of justice.’

The panel will be appointed shortly and will be expected to report back by late summer 2011.

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