Theresa May: aides looking at revising extradition law
Home Secretary Theresa May told the House of Commons that the strong likelihood that Asperger’s syndrome suffering Gary McKinnon would harm himself if extradited meant that doing so would be a breach of his human rights under EU law.
The ruling has triggered calls for the current extradition deal between the two countries – signed in 2003 in the aftermath of the terror attacks on New York and Washington DC – to be torn up and renegotiated.
According to a report in London-based newspaper, the Law Gazette, Ms May has announced that her officials will be looking at creating a ‘forum bar’, which would determine where a person should stand trial in allegations of a cross-border crime.
A leader article in The Times newspaper points to the main inconsistency in the Extradition Act 2003 – that it requires the UK to prove a prima facia case before a US citizen can be extradited to Britain, while all the US authorities must show in the reverse circumstances is a ‘reasonable suspicion’.
Supporting reform of the legislation, The Times says ‘... an act framed to deal with suspected terrorists has caught a wider group in its net, including businessmen and UK citizens whose offences were arguably committed on home soil’.