Case of the week

If ever there was a case for reform of the House of Lords, Home Secretary Jack Straw has found it. Straw had doubtless been fervently hoping that the Law Lords would quietly dispose of the small matter of having to decide whether to extradite former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet to Spain on human rights charges. Instead they voted by 6-1 to effectively put the ball back in his court and he will now have to make a political decision on what to do with Pinochet. Of course some of the Law Lords may see this as sweet justice for all the Home Secretaries who have in the past tried to overrule their publicly unpopular decisions for political gain.