Qualifying Bodies

Part of Clause 12 – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th July 1976.

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Photo of Mr Ivor Stanbrook Mr Ivor Stanbrook , Bromley Orpington 12:00 am, 8th July 1976

It is quite clear from the enthusiasm of Labour Members that in respect of this clause they have no interest in maintaining the rule of law, the presumption of innocence or that great distinction, in relation to crime in this country, of the necessity to prove it before any penal consequences arise. That is what is happening. The Home Secretary is directly responsible for this fudging of responsibility and for criminality being introduced under the guise of some civil concept. Yet this is the sort of criminality which, while not designated as such, has far weaker rules and far direr consequences for some people than any criminal law would have if dealt with in the proper way. The Home Secretary should consider this problem.

I am glad that the Home Secretary is here to listen to my speech, because he makes a practice of leaving the Chamber when I get up. That is a great shame, because I am sure he misses many useful points that I wish to make.

I had the good fortune to serve on the Committee which considered the Rehabilitation of Offenders Bill. That Bill was something I disapproved of.