Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Bill
Mr George Osborne (Tatton, Conservative)
He is not here because, I believe, he has a dinner; we dealt with that earlier in Committee. [Hon. Members: "Oh."] Well, I am here, so I should like to say that, in my view, the sunset clause only makes part 4 less bad than it was. We are undermining the basic, historical liberties that have been established over hundreds of years of common law—basic liberties such as the right to a writ of habeas corpus, the right to normal legal proceedings, the right to know what a person is accused of and the right to challenge that evidence in a court of law. I notice that, in the report of the Select Committee on Home Affairs, which it did extremely well to produce in such a short time, Lord Donaldson, the former Master of the Rolls, is quoted as follows:
"The right of an individual to apply to the courts by judicial review for a writ of habeas corpus . . . is one of the foundations of the rule of law and . . . previous attempts by Parliament and others to exclude the supervisory jurisdiction of the courts in various contexts . . . have"
"been held to be ineffective."
We know where the Government are coming from on this, because in recent weeks the Home Secretary has made no secret of the disdain in which he holds lawyers. He expressed it in his speech to the Labour party conference. He expressed it in his article in The Times after his conference speech, in which he said that
"British democracy was not created by lawyers and judges"—
which I believe to be a misunderstanding of the history of this country, because we cannot point to a single—