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Posted March 24, 2008
A TIMELY REMINDER ON EXTRADITION ¿To extradite or not to extradite, that is the question!¿
The last edition still available stated the law as at 1st June 2001 and this one updates it. In New York, the world was reminded why we need to have much greater mutual assistance across the planet. Alun Jones is the master of the intricacies of extradition eccentricity. Throughout, he retains a blatant fairness which surrounds the emotive procedures often adopted. As he points out, over half of the copies of the book will be purchased by overseas customers. The ten page introduction gives a flavour of current concerns as we have only had minor statutory changes in the last six years. The nineteen chapters cover much useful ground and Jones gives well-deserved credit to those who contributed indirectly to the contents. The book has three parts covering the historical and international context, extradition to and from the United Kingdom, and mutual legal assistance. There are also substantial appendices to cover statutes, statutory instruments and other relevant instruments. In part three Jones has an extremely able co-author in Laura Davidson and, together, they have produced two excellent chapters to cover the more difficult issues of what is termed `mutual assistance¿. Unreported cases and Clear Procedures. As is so often the position now, the role of unreported cases receives special treatment. There are a large number in the book together with high profile cases such as the Pinochet case where Alun Jones was leading counsel. I was particularly taken with the coverage of procedural issues - the bane of existence for many lawyers! However, Jones explains the process with immense clarity and sets out the remedies which can be sought. I have often been asked why `so-and-so¿ has not been brought to justice to be followed by a lengthy dissertation on our `appalling¿ extradition laws. I have the remedy for this social chit-chat - read Jones on Extradition. If it doesn¿t shut them up it will certainly send them to sleep. Probably, this is for the best because a deft hand is needed when dealing with arrangements between ourselves and other nations. Notice that I have deliberately ignored the word `diplomatic¿, probably because I do feel diplomacy to be an irrelevance once a cast-iron agreement between countries can be achieved. It is at this time that a well-oiled extradition mechanism can work. Human Rights and the Avoidance of Delay. However, I cannot get away without mentioning the increasing importance of human rights issues in this area. Comment has been made of the conflict between human rights and the powers a state requires when combating terrorism. If critics of the current Afghan War attack powers taken by the Government to restrict some aspects of human rights, they might take the trouble to see how carefully our extradition procedures are moulded to preserve rights where possible. My only grave concern is the sheer amount of time it takes before justice can complete its course. I thought Jones could have been more forthright when reviewing the proposals for reform and the discretionary powers of the Home Secretary of the day. But he did highlight the Home Secretary¿s difficulty when trying to resolve questions of fact such as those in Saifi. Implications of EU membership. Any reader tempted to support UK withdrawal from the EU should read the new part C very carefully indeed. What I found of particular importance was the detail contained in the section on the National Criminal Intelligence Service (`NCIS¿). The re-organisation of the NCIS after 1 April 1998 surely sets us on the path towards a fully integrated national police force for the United Kingdom in the years to come. To test whether this will actually work in practice, or not, will probably now be seen by the success of the war against international terrorism naw being waged. It is fortuitous that this excellent book has arrived at just the right time for the debate to get underway. I may add that, as many practitioners will know from experience, our relationshWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.