Report (1st Day)

Part of Immigration Bill – in the House of Lords at 6:30 pm on 1st April 2014.

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Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Conservative 6:30 pm, 1st April 2014

My Lords, I thank the mainly noble and learned Lords who have spoken, predominantly in support of the amendment. I am obviously disappointed by the Minister’s response to the concerns which have been properly outlined. He cites that it is a clear question of principle that the principal decision-maker is the Secretary of State, but the overriding interest in this matter is the principle of justice. As in the circumstances that I outlined, a matter may remain before the tribunal solely because a barrister makes every effort to avoid being at the hearing and cannot get hold of the Home Office to get a fresh decision made, and yet the tribunal is not allowed to take that conduct into account at all in determining whether the court can take the new matter—which may be impinged on by illness—into account. In these circumstances, one can only imagine the sense of injustice that will be felt, not only by the appellant but by their legal representatives who have gone to every effort to avoid that situation occurring.

I have listened carefully to my noble friend who says that there is no guarantee about bringing this back at Third Reading but that the Government will reflect on this matter. My knowledge of the Companion is not detailed enough for me to understand whether I am entitled to bring it back at Third Reading to determine the matter because I have never heard that phrase before in my three years in your Lordships’ House.