Clause 105 — Removal from most senior judicial offices

Part of Orders of the Day — Constitutional Reform Bill [Lords] — [2nd Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:15 pm on 1st February 2005.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Attorney General 4:15 pm, 1st February 2005

I agree with my hon. Friend. Pending devolution, responsibility lies squarely with Parliament and the Government. As the maintenance of a sound judiciary is very much one of our parliamentary responsibilities, I am coming to the conclusion—it was not my position when we started debating the clause; it had never occurred to me—that unless the Minister gives me an assurance that he will revisit the matter and table necessary amendments if required, I shall invite the House to divide on clause stand part. The House should not abdicate to the Prime Minister, the Lord Chancellor or anybody else its central responsibility, if it considers that a judge within its area of jurisdiction is misbehaving, to move a motion for his removal.

I hope the Minister will respond positively. The matter has arisen in the course of debate, but it is more than academic.