Police and Justice Bill — extradition to the US — 1 Nov 2006 at 18:02
Those voting Content successfully carried an amendment that would mean the United States would still have to meet a prima facie case to extradite someone from the United Kingdom. This was the second time this was voted on in the Lords, and would be implemented by removing the United States from the list of Part 2 Territories under the Extradition Act 2003.
The reasons behind this division were as follows: Up to this point, extradition between the United Kingdom and the United States was covered by the extradition treaty of 1972. Under this, if the United States had wanted to extradite someone from the United Kingdom, it had to meet a prima facie case to succeed; if the United Kingdom had wanted to extradite someone from the United States, it had to meet the test of probable cause. Prima facie is a more onerous requirement than probable cause.
The new extradition treaty that was signed on 31st March 2003 by David Blunkett (while Home Secretary) and by John Ashcroft (while Attorney General of the United States) – and without parliamentary scrutiny – tried to address this imbalance: Britain would still have to show probable cause but the United States would no longer have to meet the prima facie case and could show reasonable suspicion instead. Reasonable suspicion is not the same as probable cause but, given the differences between the two countries' legal systems, it was argued that this was the fairest option.
The United States was slow to ratify the 2003 treaty meaning that the 1972 treaty should still have been in effect. However, in November 2003, the Extradition Act was passed by the United Kingdom with the result that the United States did not have to provide the United Kingdom with any evidence for extradition (not even reasonable suspicion) while the United Kingdom still had to show the United States probable cause. (For more explanation of this controversy see here).
This lack of balance caused controversy in the United Kingdom - for example with the extradition of the Enron bankers. In spite of the fact that the 2003 Extradition Treaty had now been ratified by the United States and there was now a greater degree of reciprocity in extradition proceedings, those voting Content still argued that the proceedings were not reciprocal.
Lords for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party are marked in red. Also shows which lords were ministers at the time of this vote. You can also see every eligible lord including those who did not vote in this division.