Equality Bill [HL]

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 9th November 2005.

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Photo of Lord Lester of Herne Hill Lord Lester of Herne Hill Advisory Team On Legal Matters, Non-Departmental & Cross Departmental Responsibilities 3:15 pm, 9th November 2005

My Lords, WC Fields had to be reminded that even children are human beings. Speaking as a lawyer, I am quite sure that the amendment is technically unnecessary because children are, undoubtedly, within the ambit of the Bill. However, speaking as a human being rather than a lawyer—the two are not necessarily identical—I can quite see the presentation value of such an amendment. I therefore support it with one caveat, which I will express to my old friend, the noble Baroness, Lady Howe of Idlicote. She spoke twice of children being central to the work of the commission, but all the vulnerable groups are central to the work of the commission. I would not like the commission ever to be captured by one vulnerable group. All of them must have parity of concern, esteem and care. Subject to that caveat, I am in favour of the amendment.