Report (3rd Day)

Part of Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill – in the House of Lords at 7:00 pm on 12th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Judd Lord Judd Labour 7:00 pm, 12th March 2012

My Lords, the noble and learned Lord has reminded us very powerfully of the damage that can be done to our whole system of the administration of justice. Perhaps I may briefly make two wider points arising from that. One is that the Government are always telling us how they seek to play a constructive and powerful part in the deliberations of the international community in finding the solutions that matter for humanity as a whole. I can think of no more calculated way of undermining the respect in which we are held and the influence that we bring to bear than if there seems to be specific, mean action of the kind proposed. I do not want to exaggerate, as it would be quite wrong and irresponsible to do so, but I sometimes get very vexed. We all recognise the importance of joined-up government and we all recognise that we want to build a stable and secure world, but how does it help if there are increasing numbers of embittered and frustrated people having a bad experience at the hands of our legal administration in this country? How does that help to build international security and stability? I say no more.