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 4:45 pm on 1st February 2005.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Attorney General 4:45 pm, 1st February 2005

I thank the Under-Secretary for giving way, which will give him an opportunity to read the next note that has landed on his lap.

The 2002 Act did not envisage the position that clause 105 sets out, but that of an operating devolved Administration. As the Under-Secretary knows, the chances of a devolved Administration, especially after recent announcements by the Prime Minister and others, are low for the foreseeable future. Surely that in itself is a reason why a measure that might have been justified as an extremely short-term arrangement, lasting a few months pending the devolved structures coming into operation, cannot possibly be justified in terms of removing a fundamentally important right of this House and the other place, when there is no foreseeable date for the new system to come into operation. I hope that, even at the eleventh hour, the Minister will think again and give an assurance to the Committee that he will table an appropriate amendment to restore our right, and that of the other place, to move a motion to remove a judge if we think it right to do so.