Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill [HL] - Commons Amendments

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:30 pm on 11th February 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister for Equalities (Department for International Development) 3:30 pm, 11th February 2019

My Lords, the central point here is whether or not we are in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. My view is that we are not. Article 1 of the 13th protocol does not prevent member states providing assistance to a third country, where that assistance contributes to the use of the death penalty by that country. Even if the amendment related to the use of the designation power, under Section 52 of the 2016 Act—which would be the gateway for the flow of information from the UK—it would still not prevent designation in the absence of assurances about the use of our material. That is not to say that we will be sharing information for the pursuit of the death penalty. Noble Lords have heard, on many occasions, that I am not going to pre-empt our negotiations with the US, but this shows that not only is the amendment unnecessary but it may not do what its sponsors hope.

The case of the foreign fighter, which the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, talked about, shows that we are compatible with the ECHR, for the reasons outlined by the noble Lord, Lord Pannick. The noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, and the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, said that any agreement would have to be put before Parliament. That is absolutely the case. The noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, talked about this being the negotiation stage. I would put it further back than that: it is the pre-negotiation stage. It is a framework Bill, on the basis of which treaties would be negotiated and made.