Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill - Committee (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:00 pm on 29th October 2018.

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Photo of Lord Judge Lord Judge Judge 7:00 pm, 29th October 2018

I am sorry. I shall not go through the various arguments. I put my name to this amendment. It is a closed list. Different aspects of it need to be considered and various points have been raised around the Committee. The principle needs be accepted by the Government that we are dealing with the designated areas legislation. The designated areas cannot be considered in relation to just new Section 58B, but to new Section 58C, which will enable the Secretary of State to decide where an area should be designated for the purposes of new Section 58B. Therefore, the imperative is not just to have a vague reasonable excuse defence, but to say that there are certain situations in which, if an individual goes to an area that has been designated by regulation by the Secretary of State, no offence would be committed. That is the end of it. It is not a question of him or her advancing a defence and saying, “This is my reasonable excuse”.

I implore the Government not be put off by the fact that this will take some sorting out. We need to sort it out. An offence will not be committed if you go on, for example, humanitarian grounds. There are plenty of different reasons, but if you are not committing an offence then that is the end of it. Given the nature of the offence that is being created related to designated areas, that is what needs to be achieved.