Sir Scott Baker has been appointed to lead a review into the UK’s legal arrangements for bringing criminals to justice who flee overseas.
Known as extradition, the arrangements 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.
The review aims to make sure that the UK’s legal arrangements work efficiently and fairly and was committed to in the coalition’s ‘Programme for Government’.
Lord Scott Baker was called to the Bar in 1961, and was appointed as a High Court judge in 1988.
He has presided over two major cases: the trial of Great Western Trains following the Southall rail crash and the inquest into the death of Princess Diana.
Independent lawyers - and extradition experts - David Perry QC and Anand Doobay will assist Sir Baker.
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
Home Secretary Theresa May said: ‘This government is committed to reviewing our extradition arrangements to ensure they work both efficiently and in the interests of justice.
‘I am pleased that Sir Scott Baker has agreed to undertake this important review and can draw on the expertise of David Perry QC and Anand Doobay.’
The panel is expected to report back to Government by late summer 2011.