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 Clinton-Davis Lord Clinton-Davis Labour 5:30 pm, 30th October 2003

My Lords, I, too, support the amendment. The case made by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, is persuasive, compelling and unanswerable. From the point of view of those who subscribe to the view that civil liberties matter, it is important that this clause, or this part of the clause, should be disapplied.

I want to know from my noble and learned friend what he believes is the correct construction of Article 7 of the appropriate convention. What effect would he say it has? In my view, the case that has been put against the provision is totally unanswerable. As the clause is drafted, the police are put in a position which, while they may want it, is not in accordance with the civil liberties that I have advanced. The noble and learned Lord has prescribed making the offence prospective, which is entirely in accordance with common sense. I hope that my noble and learned friend the Attorney-General will conclude that what is proposed here is sensible and right.