Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill - Committee (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:30 pm on 14th November 2018.

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Photo of Lord Paddick Lord Paddick Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 6:30 pm, 14th November 2018

My Lords, I do not want to add to the comments that I made in the debate on whether Clause 21 and Schedule 3 should stand part of the Bill, which echoed the comments of other noble and noble and learned Lords.

As the noble Lord, Lord Anderson of Ipswich, has said, regulations that we recently considered that were made under the Investigatory Powers Act radically redefined “serious crime” to mean offences which carry a minimum sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment but also all offences involving communication or the invasion of privacy. The Government are quite capable of redefining—and in fact have redefined—serious crime to fit more precisely the powers referred to in different pieces of legislation, even regulations made under a piece of legislation in which the definition of serious crime is different. So I do not agree with the noble Baroness, Lady Manningham-Buller, who mentioned earlier that it would not capture Official Secrets Act offences, because the Government, as has been suggested, can change, have changed and could change the definition of serious crime in relation to Schedule 3 powers.