Schedule 1 — Duty or power to suspend or resume investigations

Part of Coroners and Justice Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:30 pm on 12th November 2009.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice 12:30 pm, 12th November 2009

We all agree that the Lord Chief Justice, when deciding whether to appoint a particular judge, any other judge or no judge, will want to take into account whether he is satisfied that the normal inquest should be suspended. How else could he make a decision? My plea to the House is to bear in mind that there is no substantive difference between the two sides of the Chamber on the issue. We would waste time if amendment (a) were agreed to, because the matter would have to go to the other place and come back again. The hon. and learned Gentleman's point is covered by amendment 1B, with which we agree-let me just make that clear. There is no point in legislating unnecessarily. That amendment already says:

"has indicated approval to the Lord Chancellor, for the purposes of this paragraph".

The purposes of that paragraph-paragraph 3 to schedule 1 -is as clear as a pikestaff, because its heading is "Suspension pending inquiry under Inquiries Act 2005".

I think that I have made my point. I urge the hon. and learned Gentleman to recognise that I have given him 100 per cent. reassurance about the purpose of paragraph 3. I hope that we can make the rest of this debate very short, and get on to the next issue.

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