A new bill will regularise extradition proceedings between Ireland and Britain.
On 24 July 1965, President Éamon de Valera signed a new Extradition Bill. The new bill attempts to bring the legislation in the Republic of Ireland in line with new legislation being enacted in Britain. While the bill has been signed by the President it will not come into effect until a date is set by Minister for Justice Brian Lenihan.
Brian Lenihan explains the rationale behind negotiating a new treaty.
Previously, prisoners were extradited automatically between Ireland and Britain by the police and without any recourse to the courts. The Quinn case of 1964 identified this procedure as faulty and contrary to constitutional rights. The new bill allows a criminal the right to appear before a court before being extradited.
There are now revenue, political, and military exemptions from extradition. The cases in respect of these offences must now be presented to court.
These three exemptions have been traditionally exempted between every country in the world.
Ireland has been used by some British criminals as a place to to hide out. The minister says,
We have about seventy or eighty criminals from England who have sought to use Ireland as a haven of escape from British justice over the past twelve months.
Brian Lenihan claims that when the extradition bill becomes law, planned for 16 August, such criminals can be extradited under the provisions of the new act.
Brian Lenihan explains that this new rule works both ways meaning that individuals in Britain wanted in Ireland could be extradited.
The minister says negotiations about the new treaty were straight forward as neither country wants to be used as a haven for criminals.
While the treaty is important for Anglo Irish relations, there are elements of the treaty that apply to every other country in the world.
Brian Lenihan believes that the act puts the law above suspicion and guarantees the rights of citizens to a trial in court.
An excellent protection of human rights.
Work will continue on further amendments to deal with the enforcement of court orders, specifically in relation to husbands who desert their wives and are able to travel freely between Ireland and Britain.
This episode of 'Newsbeat' broadcast on 23 July 1965. The reporter is Patrick Cosgrave.