Clause 81 - Restriction on use and destruction of fingerprints and samples

Part of Criminal Justice and Police Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:20 pm on 8th March 2001.

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Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 5:20 pm, 8th March 2001

I am clear in my mind about the issue that arises from the amendments. If they allow the use of samples that had been illegally held before this Bill came into force to be held legally afterwards, could the Minister respond to the proposition that that would be in breach of various and fairly obvious provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the convention behind it, because the process would have been rendered fair where it would have been unfair at a previous time? We therefore get into arguments about a potential breach of articles 6 and 13 of the European convention. Under the 1998 Act, both are part of domestic law. My understanding is that the original subsection (5) of clauses 81 and 82 is regarded by those who have considered it as within the Act and compatible with the convention, but the amendments are much less so. They would argue that the amendments are not consistent with the convention.