Deputy Jim O'Keeffe moved amendment No. 17 before the debate was adjourned. It was discussed previously on Committee Stage. We feel it is necessary to insert the words "prior to the execution of the warrant". A warrant should be a static document and all parties should be aware that everything in the document is exact and will not change at the whim of a Minister. The whole concept of retrospectivity in a document such as a warrant is a dangerous concept to enter into at this stage.
Transfer of Execution of Sentences Bill 2003 [Seanad]: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage.
I do not propose to accept the amendment. The amendment would provide that the Minister could go back to the High Court to seek a variation of a warrant for the arrest of the person only "prior to the execution of the warrant". That would limit the discretion of the Minister in a way that could be injurious to the interests of the sentenced person and to the interests of justice.
The Minister must be able to apply to the High Court at any time after the warrant is issued or executed if he becomes aware of new information that would justify him in going back to the court to seek a variation of the warrant. The amendment would limit the Minister's discretion in this regard.
The Bill, as presented, provides an opportunity for the Minister to bring any new information to the court's attention, regardless of when it arises. The amendment could remove that possibility and I do not think that is the intention behind the amendment. Perhaps the Deputy who moved the amendment was concerned that new information would become available that would alter the grounds for seeking the person's arrest. In such circumstances, the court will have its own inherent discretion about how to deal with such a situation, even where it has not been formally notified by the Minister of such developments.
In all the circumstances, I am satisfied the amendment is unnecessary, although I understand the thinking behind it.
Amendment No. 18 arises from committee proceedings.
I move amendment No. 18:
In page 8, line 2, to delete "inspector" and substitute "superintendent".
This is a fairly straightforward amendment which attempts to delete the word "inspector" and substitute the word "superintendent" in section 8 where the High Court may, upon the sworn information of a member of the Garda Síochána not below the rank of inspector, given with the consent of the Minister, issue a warrant for the arrest of any person.
I am moving this amendment because it is normal procedure that a member of the Garda Síochána of a rank not lower than superintendent would be entrusted with matters of an important nature, such as this. I do not know if there is any particular reason why we should depart from that normal practice. The rank of superintendent would seem to be the appropriate one and for that reason I suggest that we should substitute the word "superintendent" for the word "inspector".
I do not propose to accept the amendment. This amendment proposes that a warrant for the provisional arrest of a person may be issued by the High Court on the sworn information of, effectively, a superintendent or a more senior officer, rather than an inspector as is currently provided for in the Bill, given with the consent of the Minister, that a request for the person's provisional arrest has been made by the sentencing country.
The current provisions in the Bill providing for provisional arrest are in line with other legislative provisions dealing with provisional arrest such as section 27(1) of the Extradition Act 1965 and section 11 of the International War Crimes Tribunals Act 1998.
For example, section 27 of the Extradition Act 1965 provides that a judge of the High Court may, without a certificate of the Minister, issue a warrant for the arrest of any person on the sworn information of a member of the Garda Síochána not below the rank of inspector, that a request for the provisional arrest of that person has been made.
I am satisfied that a Garda inspector possesses sufficient experience and authority to handle such applications. To meet Deputy Costello's point, however, I draw attention to the added safeguard that before the member of the Garda Síochána, not below the rank of inspector, gives the required sworn information to the court, the Minister must have consented to the application being made to the High Court for a warrant for the person's arrest. In fact, therefore, this is more restrictive than the existing arrangements under the Extradition Act 1965. One would have to have a combination of an inspector or higher officer, plus the Minister, so this kind of thing is not going to be cooked up in the back room of a Garda station somewhere without adequate thought or preparation.
I am sure it would be a very sorry inspector who would try to challenge the Minister, as the latter must give his consent on the matter. Nevertheless, we are talking about sworn information and a provisional arrest. The Extradition Act 1965 is pretty much old hat at this stage given the changes that have taken place concerning the European arrest warrant and, therefore, the use of that Act will become largely redundant. I do not know if there is a reason for stipulating the rank of inspector. Why not pitch it at a level of senior rank that would be appropriate to legislation of this nature concerning the transfer of execution of sentences? It is a serious matter that somebody would have to give sworn information, even with the consent of the Minister, with regard to the issuing of the warrant and the provisional arrest taking place. Most issues of similar or equivalent importance in domestic law, or relating purely to a domestic area, as distinct either from extradition or the international dimension, would certainly be dealt with by a superintendent. I am not sure if the Minister can cite any example that refers to the issuing of a warrant in the domestic context.
I am not in a position to come up with such an example off the top of my head, but such examples do exist in the domestic context. The 1965 Act is not that old hat. We operated it until very recently and nobody ever made a complaint on the basis of the rank involved.
The Minister has virtually got rid of it now.
Is the amendment being pressed?
Amendments Nos. 19, 19a and 20 are related and will be discussed together.
I move amendment No. 19:
In page 8, line 38, to delete "in custody".
This seeks to ensure that provision would be made for remanding a person who might be arrested subject to this section not necessarily in custody but on bail. I welcome the Minister's tabling of amendment No. 19a, which has much the same import, namely, to insert “or on bail” after “custody”. As such, section 8(4) would read that the High Court “shall ... remand the person in custody or on bail pending the production to it of a certificate”. It meets the needs sought by my amendment which I am happy to withdraw.
Arising from a discussion that Deputies Ó Snodaigh and Costello participated in, this matter was readdressed. I see the force of the amendments and the reason they were tabled. I must indicate that I prefer the wording prepared by the Parliamentary Counsel to either of the two contending amendments, Nos. 19a or 20. I am grateful to the Deputies for drawing my attention to the omission of a reference to bail in this context. Including it improves the Bill.
The effect of this amendment is to allow the High Court full discretion in how it deals with the remand of a person, which is the intended effects of both Deputies' amendments. As a result of my proposed amendment, the Bill is in line with the provision of section 27(6) of the Extradition Act 1965 as amended by the Extradition (European Union Conventions) Act 2001. Therefore, it continues the general approach of aligning the provisions in this Bill with those in the extradition Acts.
Amendment No. 20 raises the issue of access to legal advice and representation. These matters are available as a right to all persons and legal aid for that purpose is available in appropriate cases. We can rely on the courts to ensure that a person is fully informed of his or her rights. A person's entitlement to advice and representation does not need to be spelled out in every statute dealing with how the courts deal with people brought before them. Therefore, it is not necessary to make explicit provision for these matters in the Bill.
Before leaving these amendments I wish to reiterate a central point in this Bill. Section 9(2)(f) ensures that all the issues covered in amendments Nos. 19 and 20, plus many more, are taken care of. That paragraph provides that the safeguards available under Part 3 of the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003 are also available to persons arrested under this Bill. Those safeguards are very extensive. They include all the protections available under the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights as well as several anti-discrimination matters listed in Part 3. I am satisfied that section 9(2)(f) will prove very valuable should any question arise as to the arrested person’s rights and entitlements.
I welcome the Minister's amendment.
I remind the Deputy that we are discussing amendments Nos. 19, 19a and 20 together.
I refer to amendment No. 20. I welcome the Minister's guarantee. I tabled amendment No. 20 to seek clarification on the access to legal aid issue. I will withdraw amendment No. 20 in favour of amendment No. 19a.
I move amendment No. 19a:
In page 8, line 38, after "custody" to insert "or on bail".
Amendments Nos. 23 and 24 are related. Amendment No. 25 is an alternative to amendment No. 24. Amendments Nos. 23 to 25, inclusive, will be discussed together.
I move amendment No. 23:
In page 10, line 24, before "Any" to insert "The High Court shall direct that".
This amendment arises from recommendations on the observations of the Human Rights Commission. In its document it asked that the Bill be amended to provide that the High Court shall direct that all sentences imposed in a designated country shall be excised of any condition or additional element that would not be imposed by an Irish court. This is my intended effect. Will the Minister accept amendments Nos. 23 and 24 to ensure that the High Court shall direct on these issues?
My amendment addresses a relatively similar point, namely, that the Human Rights Commission has made a number of recommendations on this matter, of which I am sure the Minister is well aware. The amendment is to the effect that the court is not obliged under the legislation to eliminate conditions on a sentence that are not available by law in Ireland. It could result in a change or more severe conditions being imposed. For example, we do not have a sentence of hard labour in Ireland. Areas of remission and so on are also involved.
The difficulty would not be in that area but with any type of unusual conditions that could pertain in a country other than Ireland. We should have the discretion and flexibility to ensure that it did not take place. Sentences should be subject to any directions the High Court may give in respect of these matters and on how a sentence may be served. We want to ensure that new and unusual types of conditions are not applicable in another jurisdiction.
These amendments relate to the powers of the High Court to ensure that any aspect of a sentence other than its duration that is less favourable than the equivalent Irish sentence shall not be imposed. Clear examples might be penal servitude or hard labour, as Deputy Costello mentioned. In practice, we may find that some other conditions are also incompatible with Irish sentencing provisions. Without surveying sentencing law throughout the world it would be difficult to be absolutely sure. Currently, the Bill states that those less favourable aspects shall not apply if the High Court so directs. If the High Court hears of less favourable conditions, it is empowered to direct that they shall not apply.
Amendment No. 25 proposes that the onus should be shifted the other way and less favourable aspects shall not apply subject to any directions that the High Court may give. This places the High Court in the position of giving directions about whether regimes in foreign states should apply. The difference between the two is negligible but it concerns me that the directions given by the High Court as to the non-application of less favourable aspects could involve the High Court making quite complex decisions. I think it would be better to leave matters as they stand. It is a case of six of one and half a dozen of the other. The amendment could introduce uncertainties and I believe it would hinder rather than help proper application of the provision which is to confer on the High Court a discretion to exempt somebody from less favourable conditions in the requesting country. I therefore do not propose to accept the amendment.
Amendments Nos. 23 and 24 direct the High Court not to apply those less favourable aspects. The matter should be left to the discretion of the High Court, especially since, as I mentioned earlier, cases may arise where it simply will not be clear that the sentence as imposed is incompatible with our sentencing regime. There will be argument about whether the regime is incompatible or what the conditions are in our jail or in other jails, or whether Irish prisoners are required to work, tidy up their cells or do prison tasks of that kind. It is better to leave it and to let the High Court use its discretion and common sense on a case-by-case basis.
I move amendment No. 26:
In page 11, after line 36, to insert the following:
Additional Protocol To The European Convention On The Transfer Of Sentenced Persons
The member States of the Council of Europe, and the other States signatory to this Protocol,
Desirous of facilitating the application of the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons opened for signature at Strasbourg on 21 March 1983 (hereinafter referred to as "the Convention") and, in particular, pursuing its acknowledged aims of furthering the ends of justice and the social rehabilitation of sentenced persons;
Aware that many States cannot extradite their own nationals;
Considering it desirable to supplement the Convention in certain respects,
Have agreed as follows:
1. The words and expressions used in this Protocol shall be interpreted within the meaning of the Convention.
2. The provisions of the Convention shall apply to the extent that they are compatible with the provisions of this Protocol.
Persons having fled from thesentencing State
1. Where a national of a Party who is the subject of a sentence imposed in the territory of another Party as a part of a final judgment, seeks to avoid the execution or further execution of the sentence in the sentencing State by fleeing to the territory of the former Party before having served the sentence, the sentencing State may request the other Party to take over the execution of the sentence.
2. At the request of the sentencing State, the administering State may, prior to the arrival of the documents supporting the request, or prior to the decision on that request, arrest the sentenced person, or take any other measure to ensure that the sentenced person remains in its territory, pending a decision on the request. Requests for provisional measures shall include the information mentioned in paragraph 3 of Article 4 of the Convention. The penal position of the sentenced person shall not be aggravated as a result of any period spent in custody by reason of this paragraph.
3. The consent of the sentenced person shall not be required to the transfer of the execution of the sentence.
Sentenced persons subject to an expulsionor deportation order
1. Upon being requested by the sentencing State, the administering State may, subject to the provisions of this Article, agree to the transfer of a sentenced person without the consent of that person, where the sentence passed on the latter, or an administrative decision consequential to that sentence, includes an expulsion or deportation order or any other measure as the result of which that person will no longer be allowed to remain in the territory of the sentencing State once he or she is released from prison.
2. The administering State shall not give its agreement for the purposes of paragraph 1 before having taken into consideration the opinion of the sentenced person.
3. For the purposes of the application of this Article, the sentencing State shall furnish the administering State with:
(a) a declaration containing the opinion of the sentenced person as to his or her proposed transfer, and
(b) a copy of the expulsion or deportation order or any other order having the effect that the sentenced person will no longer be allowed to remain in the territory of the sentencing State once he or she is released from prison.
4. Any person transferred under the provisions of this Article shall not be proceeded against, sentenced or detained with a view to the carrying out of a sentence or detention order, for any offence committed prior to his or her transfer other than that for which the sentence to be enforced was imposed, nor shall he or she for any other reason be restricted in his or her personal freedom, except in the following cases:
(a) when the sentencing State so authorises: a request for authorisation shall be submitted, accompanied by all relevant documents and a legal record of any statement made by the convicted person; authorisation shall be given when the offence for which it is requested would itself be subject to extradition under the law of the sentencing State or when extradition would be excluded only by reason of the amount of punishment;
(b) when the sentenced person, having had an opportunity to leave the territory of the administering State, has not done so within 45 days of his or her final discharge, or if he or she has returned to that territory after leaving it.
5. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 4, the administering State may take any measures necessary under its law, including proceedings in absentia, to prevent any legal effects of lapse of time.
6. Any contracting State may, by way of a declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, indicate that it will not take over the execution of sentences under the circumstances described in this Article.
Signature and entry into force
1. This Protocol shall be open for signature by the member States of the Council of Europe and the other States signatory to the Convention. It shall be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval. A Signatory may not ratify, accept or approve this Protocol unless it has previously or simultaneously ratified, accepted or approved the Convention. Instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
2. This Protocol shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the deposit of the third instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval.
3. In respect of any signatory State which subsequently deposits its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval, the Protocol shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of deposit.
1. Any non-member State which has acceded to the Convention may accede to this Protocol after it has entered into force.
2. In respect of any acceding State, the Protocol shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of the deposit of the instrument of accession.
1. Any State may at the time of signature or when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, specify the territory or territories to which this Protocol shall apply.
2. Any Contracting State may, at any later date, by declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, extend the application of this Protocol to any other territory specified in the declaration. In respect of such territory the Protocol shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of receipt of such declaration by the Secretary General.
3. Any declaration made under the two preceding paragraphs may, in respect of any territory specified in such declaration, be withdrawn by a notification addressed to the Secretary General. The withdrawal shall become effective on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of receipt of such notification by the Secretary General.
This Protocol shall be applicable to the enforcement of sentences imposed either before or after its entry into force.
1. Any Contracting State may at any time denounce this Protocol by means of a notification addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
2. Such denunciation shall become effective on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary General.
3. This Protocol shall, however, continue to apply to the enforcement of sentences of persons who have been transferred in conformity with the provisions of both the Convention and this Protocol before the date on which such denunciation takes effect.
4. Denunciation of the Convention automatically entails denunciation of this Protocol.
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall notify the member States of the Council of Europe, any Signatory, any Party and any other State which has been invited to accede to the Convention of:
(a) any signature;
(b) the deposit of any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession;
(c) any date of entry into force of this Protocol in accordance with Articles 4 or 5;
(d) any other act, declaration, notification or communication relating to this Protocol.
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto, have signed this Protocol.
Done at Strasbourg, this eighteenth day of December 1997, in English and in French, both texts being equally authentic, in a single copy which shall be deposited in the archives of the Council of Europe. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall transmit certified copies to each member State of the Council of Europe, to the other States signatory to the Convention and to any State invited to accede to the Convention.
I move amendment No. 27:
In page 11, after line 36, to insert the following:
Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 between the Governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the gradual abolition of checks at their common borders
Official Journal L 239, 22/09/2000 P. 0019 — 0062
IMPLEMENTING THE SCHENGEN AGREEMENT
of 14 June 1985
between the Governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the gradual abolition of checks at their common borders
The KINGDOM OF BELGIUM, the FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY, the FRENCH REPUBLIC, the GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG and the KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS, hereinafter referred to as the "Contracting Parties",
TAKING as their basis the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 on the gradual abolition of checks at their common borders,
HAVING DECIDED to fulfil the resolve expressed in that Agreement to abolish checks at their common borders on the movement of persons and facilitate the transport and movement of goods at those borders,
WHEREAS the Treaty establishing the European Communities, supplemented by the Single European Act, provides that the internal market shall comprise an area without internal frontiers,
WHEREAS the aim pursued by the Contracting Parties is in keeping with that objective, without prejudice to the measures to be taken to implement the provisions of the Treaty,
WHEREAS the fulfilment of that resolve requires a series of appropriate measures and close cooperation between the Contracting Parties,
HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:
For the purposes of this Convention:
internal borders: shall mean the common land borders of the Contracting Parties, their airports for internal flights and their sea ports for regular ferry connections exclusively from or to other ports within the territories of the Contracting Parties and not calling at any ports outside those territories;
external borders: shall mean the Contracting Parties' land and sea borders and their airports and sea ports, provided that they are not internal borders;
internal flight: shall mean any flight exclusively to or from the territories of the Contracting Parties and not landing in the territory of a third State;
third State: shall mean any State other than the Contracting Parties;
alien: shall mean any person other than a national of a Member State of the European Communities;
alien for whom an alert has been issued for the purposes of refusing entry: shall mean an alien for whom an alert has been introduced into the Schengen Information System in accordance with Article 96 with a view to that person being refused entry;
border crossing point: shall mean any crossing point authorised by the competent authorities for crossing external borders;
border check: shall mean a check carried out at a border in response exclusively to an intention to cross that border, regardless of any other consideration;
carrier: shall mean any natural or legal person whose occupation it is to provide passenger transport by air, sea or land;
residence permit: shall mean an authorisation of whatever type issued by a Contracting Party which grants right of residence within its territory. This definition shall not include temporary permission to reside in the territory of a Contracting Party for the purposes of processing an application for asylum or a residence permit;
application for asylum: shall mean any application submitted in writing, orally or otherwise by an alien at an external border or within the territory of a Contracting Party with a view to obtaining recognition as a refugee in accordance with the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951, as amended by the New York Protocol of 31 January 1967, and as such obtaining the right of residence;
asylum seeker: shall mean any alien who has lodged an application for asylum within the meaning of this Convention and in respect of which a final decision has not yet been taken;
processing applications for asylum: shall mean all the procedures for examining and taking a decision on applications for asylum, including measures taken under a final decision thereon, with the exception of the determination of the Contracting Party responsible for processing applications for asylum pursuant to this Convention.
POLICE AND SECURITY
TRANSFER OF THE ENFORCEMENTOF CRIMINAL JUDGMENTS
The following provisions shall apply between the Contracting Parties which are Parties to the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons of 21 March 1983, for the purposes of supplementing that Convention.
1. The Contracting Party in whose territory a penalty involving deprivation of liberty or a detention order has been imposed by a judgment which has obtained the force of res judicata in respect of a national of another Contracting Party who, by escaping to the national's own country, has avoided the enforcement of that penalty or detention order may request the latter Contracting Party, if the escaped person is within its territory, to take over the enforcement of the penalty or detention order.
2. The requested Contracting Party may, at the request of the requesting Contracting Party, prior to the arrival of the documents supporting the request that the enforcement of the penalty or detention order or part thereof remaining to be served be taken over, and prior to the decision on that request, take the sentenced person into police custody or take other measures to ensure that the person remains within the territory of the requested Contracting Party.
The transfer of enforcement under Article 68 shall not require the consent of the person on whom the penalty or the detention order has been imposed. The other provisions of the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons of 21 March 1983 shall apply mutatis mutandis.
1. An Executive Committee shall be set up for the purposes of implementing this Convention.
2. Without prejudice to the special powers conferred upon it by this Convention, the overall task of the Executive Committee shall be to ensure that this Convention is implemented correctly.
1. Each Contracting Party shall have one seat on the Executive Committee. The Contracting Parties shall be represented on the Committee by a Minister responsible for the implementation of this Convention; that Minister may, if necessary, be assisted by experts, who may participate in the deliberations.
2. The Executive Committee shall take its decisions unanimously. It shall draw up its own rules of procedure; in this connection it may provide for a written decision-making procedure.
3. At the request of the representative of a Contracting Party, the final decision on a draft on which the Executive Committee has acted may be postponed for no more than two months from the date of submission of that draft.
4. The Executive Committee may set up working parties composed of representatives of the administrations of the Contracting Parties in order to prepare decisions or to carry out other tasks.
The Executive Committee shall meet in the territory of each Contracting Party in turn. It shall meet as often as is necessary for it to discharge its duties properly.
The provisions of this Convention shall apply only in so far as they are compatible with Community law.
The provisions of this Convention shall apply subject to the provisions of the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951, as amended by the New York Protocol of 31 January 1967.
1. A Contracting Party which envisages conducting negotiations on border checks with a third State shall inform the other Contracting Parties thereof in good time.
2. No Contracting Party shall conclude with one or more third States agreements simplifying or abolishing border checks without the prior agreement of the other Contracting Parties, subject to the right of the Member States of the European Communities to conclude such agreements jointly.
3. Paragraph 2 shall not apply to agreements on local border traffic in so far as those agreements comply with the exceptions and arrangements adopted under Article 3(1).
This Convention shall not be the subject of any reservations, save for those referred to in Article 60.
As regards the French Republic, the provisions of this Convention shall apply only to the European territory of the French Republic.
As regards the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the provisions of this Convention shall apply only to the territory of the Kingdom in Europe.
1. This Convention shall be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval. The instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, which shall notify all the Contracting Parties thereof.
2. This Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the deposit of the final instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval. The provisions concerning the setting up, activities and powers of the Executive Committee shall apply as from the entry into force of this Convention. The other provisions shall apply as from the first day of the third month following the entry into force of this Convention.
3. The Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg shall notify all the Contracting Parties of the date of entry into force.
1. Any Member State of the European Communities may become a Party to this Convention. Accession shall be the subject of an agreement between that State and the Contracting Parties.
2. Such an agreement shall be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by the acceding State and by each of the Contracting Parties. It shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the deposit of the final instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval.
1. Any Contracting Party may submit to the depositary a proposal to amend this Convention. The depositary shall forward that proposal to the other Contracting Parties. At the request of one Contracting Party, the Contracting Parties shall re-examine the provisions of the Convention if, in their opinion, there has been a fundamental change in the conditions obtaining when the Convention entered into force.
2. The Contracting Parties shall adopt amendments to this Convention by common consent.
3. Amendments shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date of deposit of the final instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval.
1. When Conventions are concluded between the Member States of the European Communities with a view to the completion of an area without internal frontiers, the Contracting Parties shall agree on the conditions under which the provisions of this Convention are to be replaced or amended in the light of the corresponding provisions of such Conventions.
The Contracting Parties shall, to that end, take account of the fact that the provisions of this Convention may provide for more extensive co-operation than that resulting from the provisions of the said Conventions.
Provisions which conflict with those agreed between the Member States of the European Communities shall in any case be adapted.
2. Amendments to this Convention which are deemed necessary by the Contracting Parties shall be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval. The provision contained in Article 141(3) shall apply on the understanding that the amendments will not enter into force before the said Conventions between the Member States of the European Communities enter into force.
In witness whereof, the undersigned, duly empowered to this effect, have hereunto set their hands.
Done at Schengen, this nineteenth day of June in the year one thousand nine hundred and ninety, in a single original in the Dutch, French and German languages, all three texts being equally authentic, such original remaining deposited in the archives of the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, which shall transmit a certified copy to each of the Contracting Parties.
For the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium
For the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany
For the Government of' the French Republic
For the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
For the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands".
I thank Deputies for their contributions to the debate on this Bill today and on previous occasions. The Bill enables Ireland to meet its international obligations in respect of persons who fled from the state in which they were sentenced without having served or completed the sentence imposed by the sentencing state. The arrangements under this Bill will complement the extradition arrangements already in place and provide a useful additional option when dealing with fugitives from justice.
As has been noted at various times during the debate on this Bill, the new arrangements have all the protections currently available to a wanted person under our extradition law. As a result, a person who is sought under these new arrangements will be treated in the same way by our courts in substance as if they were the subject of extradition proceedings.
I emphasise that it is for the courts to satisfy themselves about each request to be processed under this legislation.
I thank the Ceann Comhairle and the Deputies for their co-operation in dealing with this Bill.
I thank the Minister for his courtesy and co-operation regarding a number of amendments and in dealing with the Bill in general. The Bill is worthwhile legislation. My only concern is that with regard to such legislation relating to framework issues in European Union countries we seem to have some difficulty from time to time aligning the provisions among the countries. While the purpose of this legislation is to ensure that fugitives do not escape justice by fleeing to another country, there are nevertheless some instances whereby the manner in which legislation has been introduced makes it difficult to prevent some fugitives from taking refuge in another country and being dealt with in a proper fashion. I suggest the Minister raise the issue at the Council of Ministers to allow for some supervisory structure to enable these EU provisions to be implemented in domestic legislation. I thank the Minister.
I thank the Minister and his officials for the time and work put into this Bill. Fine Gael welcomes the overall concept of the Bill. We tabled some amendments which were relatively minor concerns in the context of the overall Bill. Generally speaking, the Bill is to be welcomed.
Like the other Deputies, I welcome the Bill. It has been changed and made better by some of the amendments which the Minister has accepted. He did not take on board everything that the Opposition sought but he took some measures on board. His officials were helpful in providing explanations to the House on the reason certain amendments tabled by the Opposition would not be beneficial to the Bill. It is to be welcomed that the Bill has been passed.
A message shall be sent to the Seanad acquainting it accordingly.