Report (1st Day)

Part of Immigration Bill – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 1st April 2014.

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Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour 6:00 pm, 1st April 2014

My Lords, I support the amendment moved so ably by the noble Baroness, Lady Berridge, who is a colleague on the Joint Committee on Human Rights. I shall simply quote from what the committee said as I think it sums up the case now being made:

“we remain concerned, even after considering the Minister’s explanation of the purpose of the provision, about whether it is compatible with the right of access to court, the principle of equality of arms and the rule of law for the court’s power to consider a new matter to depend on the ‘consent’ of the Secretary of State. We are struck by the fact that the Government could not identify any other similar provisions in other statutory contexts”— as the noble Baroness has already pointed out—

“which confirms our sense that this provision crosses a line which has not previously been crossed”—

I think that is a very good point—

“in relation to an aspect of a tribunal’s jurisdiction being dependent on the consent of the Minister who is the respondent to the appeal”.

There is a basic principle here about justice being seen to be done. If this provision goes through as it stands, I do not think that justice will be seen to be done. As the noble Baroness said, perhaps the answer is for the Minister to give a commitment to come back at Third Reading with an amendment that is better expressed. However, I hope that the Government are listening and will respond positively to the amendment.