Criminal Justice Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 30th October 2003.

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Photo of Lord Renton Lord Renton Conservative 5:30 pm, 30th October 2003

My Lords, the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, has made an overwhelming case for preventing the retrospective effect of Clause 60. The clause is controversial and, in my opinion, bad enough as it is, but to go and make it retrospective is contrary to the fundamental principles of justice in English law. I cannot understand how the Government got themselves into this position.

I would hope that, in view of the very strong case made by the noble and learned Lord, we can quickly dispose of subsection (6), which would enable a retrial to take place after a person has already been acquitted. To do so in a case that is entirely retrospective is even more wicked. I hope that the Government will see that and agree with the amendment.