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Clause 29

Part of Counter-Terrorism Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 8th May 2008.

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Photo of Elfyn Llwyd Elfyn Llwyd Shadow Spokesperson (Innovation, Universities and Skills), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Chief Whip (Commons), Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Justice) 3:30 pm, 8th May 2008

I understand that point, but does not my point undermine the idea that in terrorist offences, juries might find it easier to go for the softer option and so on? I fully accept what the right hon. and learned Gentleman says: we need to keep juries away from sentencing. I have no doubt about that. But there is a huge difference between an offence involving terrorism and an offence presumably not involving terrorism, and on that basis alone, the jury should have a say in that determination. Then, of course, it will be entirely open to the judge to decide, if one can imagine, and I use the phrase advisedly, a minor terrorist offence: one on that side of the scale, as opposed to one at the very top. There is good sense in the amendment and it is worth having the debate, but I must confess that, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman said, we need to be cautious with it. It should not, however, be dismissed out of hand.