Amendment 167A (to Amendment 167)

Part of Victims and Prisoners Bill - Committee (7th Day) (Continued) – in the House of Lords at 9:15 pm on 12 March 2024.

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Photo of Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede Shadow Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 9:15, 12 March 2024

My Lords, as the noble Baroness, Lady Fox, rightly said, the Opposition do not support resentencing. I reflected on the reason for that during this debate and the debates that we had earlier. I think the reason is actually simple: the IPP prisoners will have been assessed, many of them on multiple occasions, by the Parole Board, which is made up of lawyers, lay people, experts, psychologists and psychiatrists. They will have made this assessment and they will have decided that, on that occasion, that particular prisoner would not be released. If one went down the resentencing route, it would put any judge who made that resentencing assessment in an invidious and difficult situation where they would have effectively, or potentially, to go against these multiple assessments made by the Parole Board. So it is for quite a simple reason that the Opposition do not support this approach.

We have had a number of calls to be bold. I support being bold. I think the boldness is in group 2, to which we spoke earlier. There are a number of ideas that we have backed and which we may well want to pursue at a later stage of this Bill. So we support boldness, but the single solution of resentencing that has been put forward by the noble Baroness, Lady Fox, is not appropriate for the reason that I just set out.