Criminal Justice Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 30th October 2003.

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Photo of Lord Cooke of Thorndon Lord Cooke of Thorndon Crossbench 7:15 pm, 30th October 2003

My Lords, given the observations of the noble Earl, Lord Russell, I should offer at least some reply on behalf of the Cookes. As the noble Lord knows well, Sir Edward Coke was a strong believer in the force of the common law. He believed that the common law could control even Acts of Parliament. I do not wish to enter into that debate this evening. I simply say that the common law would not be infringed by the measure which the Government are proposing—at least regarding the future. We are not concerned now with the element of retrospectivity. It is consistent—