Lammy Review

Justice – in the House of Commons on 14th July 2020.

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Photo of Lilian Greenwood Lilian Greenwood Chair, Finance Committee (Commons), Chair, Finance Committee (Commons)

What progress he has made on implementing the recommendations of the Lammy review, “An independent review into the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals in the Criminal Justice System”, published in September 2017.

Photo of Imran Hussain Imran Hussain Shadow Minister (Employment Rights and Protections)

What progress he has made on implementing the recommendations of the Lammy Review, “An independent review into the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals in the Criminal Justice System”, published in September 2017.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

We remain absolutely committed to taking forward every recommendation that falls to Government and to completing the action on all those within our responsibility over the next 12 months. Recently, in February, we provided a further progress report in which we describe the undertakings to which we have committed the Department in relation to the recommendations.

Photo of Lilian Greenwood Lilian Greenwood Chair, Finance Committee (Commons), Chair, Finance Committee (Commons)

Black and minority ethnic young people already face discrimination in the jobs market, and those with a criminal record are doubly disadvantaged. By putting barriers in the way of young people who have changed and present no significant risk to others, the criminal records system traps them in their past. The Taylor review recommended reform to ensure that young people are not unnecessarily held back by childhood offences, but my right hon. Friend Mr Lammy called for a new approach, learning from the system for sealing criminal records adopted in many US states. When will the Government implement Lammy review recommendation 34 and allow young people to demonstrate that they are more than their past?

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for that question. She will be glad to know that only last Thursday the relevant statutory instrument was laid before the House to remove both the requirement for automatic disclosure of youth cautions and the multiple conviction rule, which cause problems for people who have old convictions, regardless of their nature or the sentence. I want to go further. I have considered carefully the recommendation of Mr Lammy, and the sentencing White Paper later this year will have further proposals for reform of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Photo of Imran Hussain Imran Hussain Shadow Minister (Employment Rights and Protections)

Stop-and-search is a misused, overused and discriminatory police tactic disproportionately applied to black, Asian and other minority communities, which results in deep resentment and distrust towards the police and the Government. Will the Government, at the very least, hold their hands up and accept that many black, Asian and other minority men, women and children are stopped and searched not on the grounds of evidence or reasonable belief but because of the colour of their skin?

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

I share with the hon. Gentleman a deep abhorrence of arbitrary use of police powers, including stop-and-search. We have committed—as we should—to a principle of intelligence-led policing. That means police officers acting lawfully, on reasonable grounds, and not profiling or stereotyping any person because of the colour of their skin. There should be no place for that in our society.

Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

As we have heard, recommendation 34 of the Lammy review said that the criminal justice system

“should learn from the system for sealing criminal records employed in many US states.”

I welcome the Government’s finally responding last week, after 18 months, with plans to comply with the major Supreme Court decision on filtering youth cautions, and the indication that I think the Secretary of State has given on meeting recommendation 34. Will he undertake to consult with Unlock and other groups who have campaigned long on this issue and speak to me in preparation for bringing forward those planned guidelines?

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman, who has always come to this matter with great responsibility and constructive engagement. In that spirit, I am more than happy to continue engaging with him. I will, of course, speak to the charities he mentioned, whom I know well, and other major stakeholders such as Lord Ramsbotham, in pursuance of preparation of a policy that I very much hope will command the support of all corners of the Chamber.