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Immigration Bill — Committee (5th Day) (17 March 2014)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: My Lords, if Clause 60 operates in accordance with the Government’s intentions, it is bound to increase statelessness in the world. The noble Baroness, Lady Lister, has already reminded the Committee of the words spoken by Hannah Arendt many years ago, that statelessness deprives people of the “right to have rights”. It brings about a bleak, hopeless status, or rather a...

Immigration Bill — Committee (5th Day) (17 March 2014)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: Before the Minister sits down, will he respond directly to the suggestion made by the noble Lord, Lord Dubs, that the purpose of the present policy is to make life in the United Kingdom so unattractive for these vulnerable people that they leave?

Assisted Suicide — Question for Short Debate (5 March 2014)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Baroness for initiating this debate. It is, as she says, a difficult and sensitive subject. My years as DPP brought home to me, in concrete examples day after day, the power that the law has to protect vulnerable people, but also its great capacity to inspire awe and therefore to deter cruelty and abuse. In the case of assisted suicide, the law must do both....

Justice and Security Bill [HL]: Commons Amendments (26 March 2013)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: My Lords, I speak to Amendment 6B in my name. Everyone accepts that CMPs represent a significant departure from normal rule of law principles. Many people accept that they also contain a strong strand of unfairness, and that this unfairness consists in the exclusion of one of the parties from a critical part of the proceedings, perhaps even that very part of the case in which the defining...

Written Answers — House of Lords: Libya (21 January 2013)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken, or intend to take, to address the failure of Libya to surrender Abdullah Al-Senussi to the International Criminal Court in violation of the Order of that Court on 10 December 2012; and whether they have brought the situation to the attention of the United Nations Security Council, or intend so to do.

Written Answers — House of Lords: Libya (21 January 2013)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any information indicative that the Government of Libya paid, or promised to pay, a sum of money to the Government of Mauritania in return for the transfer of Abdullah Al-Senussi to Libya on or about 5 September 2012.

Written Answers — House of Lords: Libya (21 January 2013)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any of their servants or agents have taken part in the questioning of Abdullah Al-Senussi during the period of his detention in Mauritania or during his period of detention in Libya, either directly or by providing questions or lines of questioning to be put to him in interview.

Justice and Security Bill [HL] — Report (2nd Day) (Continued) (21 November 2012)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: I am going to be fairly brief. I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Reid, will accept that I have an abiding interest in national security. I was Director of Public Prosecutions and chief prosecutor for some of the period that he was Home Secretary, and during the worst of those years that he has been referring to, between 2003 and 2008. We had the London bombings on 7 July, the attempted...

Justice and Security Bill [HL] — Report (2nd Day) (Continued) (21 November 2012)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: I understand that. What I want to do is to return, I am afraid, to the legal context. I will be fairly brief. I want to address three questions in the context of closed material procedures: one is public confidence; one is fairness; and I think the most important one is the delivery of justice, as this has been a large part of the Government's argument. To what extent can closed material...

Justice and Security Bill [HL] — Report (2nd Day) (21 November 2012)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: My Lords, I can be very brief. Following the publication of the Green Paper, the Government indicated a concession that the Green Paper's proposals were drawn far too widely and that the legislation that they would bring forward for consideration would be far tighter. In particular, they indicated that a judge rather than a Minister would have the final say and that closed material procedures...

Justice and Security Bill [HL]: Second Reading (Continued) (19 June 2012)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: My Lords, I declare an interest as chair of Reprieve, an NGO campaigning against the death penalty and secret prisons around the world. It was involved in the Binyam Mohamed case. I start by acknowledging two things. First, the Bill is a significant improvement on the Green Paper that preceded it, and a very welcome improvement. Secondly, there may be a very limited category and number of...

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill: Commons Reasons and Amendment (25 April 2012)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: My Lords, I spoke on the issue of domestic violence on a number of occasions during the Bill's passage. As the noble and learned Baroness, Lady Scotland, said, domestic violence is a phenomenon that breeds insecurity, violence and, as we know, sometimes death. Perhaps as bad as any of those, it travels across generations, repeating itself over and over, in worse and worse spirals of crime. In...

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill: Report (5th Day) (20 March 2012)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: I rise even more briefly to support the amendment. I do not know of a single lawyer, prosecutor, judge or prison officer who does not believe that women's prisons are full of people who should not be there and, worse, who are being further damaged by being held there. The scandal is that we have all known this for years. Ministers know it, but nothing is done about it. The amendment is a...

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill — Committee (5th Day) (Continued) (24 January 2012)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: How did the Minister know what I was going to say? He is quite right. I said this at Second Reading. I agree with everything that has been said. The Minister has given a clear indication that the Government will withdraw the proposal that there should be some future means-testing. In those circumstances, the Government's response is appropriate. Let us see what the amendment will be and, if...

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill — Committee (5th Day) (Continued) (24 January 2012)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: I beg leave to withdraw the amendment. Amendment 100 withdrawn. Amendments 101 to 102 not moved. Clause 12 agreed. Clause 13 agreed. Clause 14 : Advice and assistance for criminal proceedings Amendment 103 Moved by Lord Bach 103: Clause 14, page 10, line 8, at end insert- "( ) individuals who are involved in investigations which may lead to a caution or warning,"

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill — Committee (5th Day) (Continued) (24 January 2012)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: My Lords, this amendment addresses Clause 12, which considers the important issue of criminal legal aid in the context of advice and assistance for individuals in police custody. The clause raises the spectre that some time in the future legal aid in police stations could be subject to some form of means testing. In other words, what is now an unfettered right, applied with ease, efficiency...

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill — Committee (5th Day) (Continued) (24 January 2012)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: My Lords, I have never achieved such remarkable success with so few words. In those circumstances, I shall withdraw my amendment. I thank my noble friend for what he has just said.

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill: Committee (4th Day) (18 January 2012)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: My Lords, I wish to speak to Amendments 43 and 44, to which I have attached my name, and to a part of the group which focuses on the question of domestic violence and the way in which the Bill approaches domestic violence. The history of the justice system and domestic violence is not a very happy one. For many years, crimes within the home were hardly regarded as the business of the state;...

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill: Committee (4th Day) (18 January 2012)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: I am certain that the points that I and other noble Lords made were carefully considered by the Government, who I hope will continue to consider the points. My point was that frequently victims of domestic violence seek support other than from the authorities, for obvious reasons; they seek it from doctors, support organisations, social services and the like. Material from these sources...

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill: Committee (4th Day) (18 January 2012)

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: One can imagine a category of abuse that is primarily financial. Of course, it could carry in its train some of the other features that the noble and learned Lord has alluded to, but it adds something to the definition of domestic violence. We all know that financial power is an important aspect of the power relationship that can exist between men and women, particularly, as he indicates,...

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