There are a wide variety of measures embraced by the conclusions of the Justice and Home Affairs Council of 20 September concerning the fight against terrorism. A number of these will require legislation to give them effect while others can be implemented on an administrative basis. The requirements of our law, including constitutional requirements, are naturally taken into consideration in determining both how to implement the measures in question and, where negotiations on instruments are ongoing, our approach to those negotiations.
Measures which will necessitate legislation include the requirement for all member states to give effect to a number of pre-existing European Union and United Nations Conventions relevant to the fight against terrorism. The instruments specifically mentioned in the Council conclusions in this respect were: the 1995 and 1996 EU Conventions on Extradition; the 1999 UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism; and the 2000 EU Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and the Protocol to that Convention.
The position in regard to those conventions is as follows: the Extradition (European Union Convention) Bill, 2001, which I published on 9 November will give effect to the first two of those conventions – the 1995 and 1996 EU Conventions on Extradition. The Bill therefore provides for a system of simplified extradition where a person whose return is being sought consents to extradition in accordance with the 1995 Convention. It also provides, in accordance with the 1996 Convention, for an extended range of extraditable offences, for extradition in the case of revenue offences and for the modification of the rule of specialty as between the member states of the EU as well as providing for a central authority which will be responsible for receiving and transmitting extradition requests which in future will also be capable of being transmitted by facsimile.
The United Nations Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism was signed on behalf of Ireland on 15 October as an indication of our determination to proceed quickly with the legislation necessary to give it effect. Work on that legislation has already begun with a view to the submission of my proposals in the matter to Government and publication during the current session.
The Council of Ministers has asked member states to ratify the EU Mutual Assistance Convention on Criminal Matters and its Protocol during 2002. Work on the legislative proposals necessary for this purpose is proceeding with a view to those proposals being brought forward in 2002.