Amendment to the Motion

Part of Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2019 - Motion to Approve – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 20th May 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Butler-Sloss Baroness Butler-Sloss Crossbench 4:00 pm, 20th May 2019

My Lords, I am happy about the breadth of the instrument. I see very well the points that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, made, but I am also unhappy at the suggestion that if someone is told that their past is about to be disclosed, they can go to judicial review. That is a very unsatisfactory system. As I understood it, the Government were doing their best to reduce judicial review rather than increasing the opportunities for it. As the noble Lord, Lord Hodgson, said, that is indeed not a very satisfactory way to proceed.

Could there be some sort of filter, by which I mean: is it possible to keep the instrument as it is but require a chairman? I was chairman of various inquiries over the years, one of which was under a previous Act, the Cleveland child abuse inquiry, so I have some experience of the requirements of a chairman balancing public and private interests. I can see that it is highly desirable not to bring this back to the House again and again, but I wonder whether the Minister could go back to the Ministry of Justice to find out whether any chairman who wanted to invoke that would have to go through some procedure for it to be checked as to whether it was appropriate.