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Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [HL] - Committee (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:15 pm on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Lord Touhig Lord Touhig Labour 10:15 pm, 22nd October 2018

My Lords, I have spoken several times in Committee about my concern that the Bill as it stands is an assault on human rights. I have also mentioned in past debates that I am proud of the reputation of the all-party British delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, so ably led by Sir Roger Gale, which has a proud record of defending human rights in that body. Article 5 of the ECHR protects our right to liberty and security. It focuses on protecting individuals’ freedom from unreasonable detention as opposed to protecting personal safety. As a result of Article 5, your Lordships and I have a right to personal freedom. That means we must not be imprisoned or detained without good reason. The Bill before us is about the quality of life, the care and the respect of some of our most vulnerable fellow citizens. This amendment is about giving our fellow citizens, who may not have the capacity to defend themselves in the way that we take for granted, the same rights that we enjoy.