Motion

Part of Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Bill - Third Reading – in the House of Lords at 1:40 pm on 8th September 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Barker Baroness Barker Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Voluntary Sector), Deputy Chairman of Committees 1:40 pm, 8th September 2020

My Lords, I do not normally take part in Bills of this type on this sort of subject, but it has been a great privilege to do so this time. Let me put on record my thanks and that of others to Mrs Marie McCourt, Helen McCourt’s mother, who is responsible in effect for the Bill coming to this place. She has worked tirelessly and with great dignity, not just on her own behalf but on behalf of the small number of families who find themselves in this most awful position. Mrs McCourt was very generous with her time and gave me an understanding of why the Bill is necessary. I pay tribute to the Opposition Front Bench for the collaborative way in which they worked with us, particularly to bring about the amendment which will strengthen the requirement on the criminal justice system actively to keep up-to-date records of victims and families.

The one thing this Bill cannot do is bring about a situation in which every family will have the justice that they seek because it cannot compel people to bring forward information about where victims are buried. However, we have done our very best in this House to take these measures as far as we can and I sincerely hope that as a result of that the number of people who find themselves in the dreadful position where they do not know what has happened to their relatives becomes smaller and smaller.