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 Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden 3:41 pm, 15th July 2019

I hear what my right hon. Friend says about obeying international law, but it is clear from the Prime Minister’s apology to the Libyan victims alone that the British Government, at very best, came perilously close to breaching article 3 of the European convention on human rights, which forbids torture but also its facilitation or complicity in it. Moreover, without an independent judge-led inquiry, the Government may now be in breach of article 13, which, as well as encapsulating centuries of established common law, provides for the right to “an effective remedy”.

I do not know what is making the Government take so long to decide whether to pursue a judge-led inquiry. It may be pressure from the agencies, although I doubt that now, or it may be pressure from allies who were complicit or involved in this. Whatever it is, I hope that what I shall say next will help my right hon. Friend in his argument with them. If he does not announce an independent judge-led inquiry in his statement later this week, or next week, I will certainly seek advice on whether we have broken either of those articles, and, if need be, use the proper judicial mechanisms to ensure that the Government are put back within the bounds of the law.