Lisbon Treaty (No.1) — (1st Allotted Day)

Part of Business of the House (Lisbon Treaty) (No.2) – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 29th January 2008.

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Photo of Patricia Hewitt Patricia Hewitt Labour, Leicester West 6:15 pm, 29th January 2008

The right hon. Gentleman is being very generous. He is developing an argument, as did his Front-Bench colleagues, against the idea of legally binding minimum standards that result from co-operation between member states and with the European institutions, particularly in the protection of criminal suspects. However, does he not accept that we have been doing that for years through a different institution, namely the European convention on human rights and the European Court of Human Rights, which have long had the power and responsibility in that area? Indeed, in many cases the Court had to hear cases from the United Kingdom because they were not directly judiciable in the British courts. That system has set minimum standards across all the convention's signatory countries, rather than reducing them as his Front-Bench colleagues seemed to fear, thereby helping to protect and in many cases improve them for his and my constituents?

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