Detainee Mistreatment: Judge-Led Inquiry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:41 pm on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State (Cabinet Office) 3:41 pm, 15th July 2019

Obviously I will not pre-empt the content of the Government’s statement later this week, but I think it is clear from the way in which the right hon. Lady has posed her questions that it is acknowledged on both sides of the House that this is an extremely important as well as an extremely sensitive decision. What I will say to her is that the protections against involvement in the use of torture apply to this and any future Government in the United Kingdom, not least by virtue of Ministers’ obligations to obey the law. That includes our international legal obligations, including those set out both in the United Nations convention against torture and the European convention on human rights.

In recent years we have seen not only a much stronger and, for the first time, a statutory role for the Investigatory Powers Commissioner—who now reports annually on his work, including the application of detainee policy—but enhanced powers for the Intelligence and Security Committee, notably the power that enables it, in law, to require rather than just request information from the security and intelligence agencies.