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Prevention of Terrorism Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 10th March 2005.

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Photo of Robert Marshall-Andrews Robert Marshall-Andrews Labour, Medway 6:30 pm, 10th March 2005

That intervention would be valid were that the test, but it is not. As my hon. and learned Friend well knows, the test is whether the judge feels, not that the decision was wrong based on the facts, but that it was obviously flawed—not that the decision is wrong, or that the judge disagrees with it, but that it was obviously flawed. That is the test of judicial review.

I am not entirely sure what "obviously" means in the present circumstances. Can a judge say, "Well, I thought the decision wasn't obviously flawed. Having looked at the background, I think it was flawed, but initially it was not obviously flawed"? What is a judge to make of the provision? I have not the remotest idea. It is bad to pass a statute that affects the liberties of our citizens based on such an amount of doubt. I simply ask hon. Members to take that on board when making their decision on this particular issue.