Report (1st Day)

Part of Immigration Bill – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 1st April 2014.

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Photo of Baroness Smith of Basildon Baroness Smith of Basildon Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 6:15 pm, 1st April 2014

My Lords, I rise briefly to comment that the noble Baroness, Lady Berridge, has done a service to your Lordships’ House because she has given the Minister the opportunity to think again and to take advice from some of the best legal minds that the country has. I hope that he will take that opportunity.

I am not a lawyer, but one thing that strikes me is the issue of fairness. The noble Baroness, Lady Berridge, raised the point when she used a football analogy—not something that I would normally do in any event whatever. My noble friend Lord Bach laughs, because he knows my loathing of the obsession with football.

But the idea that the scope of the tribunal’s jurisdiction should depend on the consent of one of the parties to the appeal is something that offends a great many noble Lords and their sense of justice and fairness.

My only question to the noble Baroness, which I asked her when saw that she had raised this matter, was whether the Government had ever raised any concerns and whether this proposal would make it more difficult for them, given their problems in deporting foreign criminals. She was able to assure me that it has never been raised by the Government as causing any concern whatever. I think that the Minister should take the opportunity that has been presented to look at this again. The noble Baroness says that the amendment is not perfect, but it does not need to be perfect to take it away and give some further consideration to what has given a lot of concern to noble Lords across the House.