Viscount Hailsham: My Lords, would my noble friend agree that often, and for short-term economic reasons, health authorities have a tendency to settle low-value claims even though the justification for them is sometimes very slight? Does not this practice encourage further claims, very often backed by no-win no-fee agreements?
Viscount Hailsham: My Lords, I encourage my noble friend to be very cautious about this for two reasons. First, by definition, it is not under judicial supervision. Secondly, extending the time limits would encourage the police to be rather dilatory in their inquiries.
Viscount Hailsham: My Lords, I rise very briefly to express my views on this amendment. I have a lot of sympathy in general with the proposition that we need a review. However, I cannot support it on this occasion for two reasons. The first is, I admit, wholly pragmatic; this is going to go nowhere. This matter was discussed in the House of Commons. The noble Lord, Lord Marks, will know that there were two...
Viscount Hailsham: My Lords, I rise only briefly. First, I apologise for not participating in the Second Reading debate. I had a professional engagement that I thought would go on all day, so I did not put my name down to speak, but I have been present throughout almost all the debate, so I am familiar with the arguments that have been articulated. Turning directly to the comments and the amendment of the noble...
Viscount Hailsham: Will my noble friend consider the possibility that control orders, which are less confining, are an alternative to indefinite sentences?
Viscount Hailsham: Will my noble and learned friend remind the House whether the Parole Board has to consider any burden or standard of proof? Is there any provision, statutory or otherwise, for the Parole Board to obtain a letter or opinion from the trial judge as to the dangerousness of the prisoner concerned?
Viscount Hailsham: My Lords—
Viscount Hailsham: My Lords, I apologise to the noble Baroness, Lady Bonham-Carter. Unfortunately, I am deaf in one ear and I do not always spot where people are speaking from. I hope that she will forgive me. I must ask my noble friend: if the facts were so clear and in accordance with precedent, why did several respectable journalists from respectable organisations feel they had to leave as a protest?
Viscount Hailsham: My noble friend said that those seeking a loan have to bring the appropriate papers. Would my noble friend be good enough to say what those papers are?
Viscount Hailsham: My Lords, my noble and learned friend has said that no terrorist offender will be released before the end of the full custodial sentence, or something very like that, unless the Parole Board agrees. Provided that the class of offender is not too broadly defined, that seems a very sensible approach. My noble and learned friend has already addressed this matter in part, but what additional...
Viscount Hailsham: My Lords, Ministers constantly say that we are not going to align. Would it not be wise for the Government and, indeed, all Ministers to remind businesses seeking to trade into the European Union that they are going to have to comply with regulations set by the European Union, regulations which now, post Brexit, we will have no hand in setting?
Viscount Hailsham: My Lords, my contribution will be very brief. I support the principle enshrined in these regulations, but I share and strongly echo two concerns expressed by the noble Lord, Lord Beecham—and I do so as one who was until relatively recently on the monitoring board of a local prison. My first point relates to the availability of relevant courses for prisoners to take in order to demonstrate...
Viscount Hailsham: Would my noble friend tell the House whether he thinks there are any negotiating advantages that flow from this clause?
Viscount Hailsham: My Lords, I associate myself with the remarks made by the noble Lord, Lord Newby, and indeed with the remarks I suspect will be made by the noble Baroness, Lady Hayter. I will not go into the detail of the matter because it has been very eloquently argued by the noble Lord, Lord Newby. I will confine myself to three general points. The first is that the position that the Government are now...
Viscount Hailsham: Hundreds of thousands is quite a lot.
Viscount Hailsham: Might I make a suggestion to the Government through the noble Baroness? One way would be having an extended sunset clause—for five years, for example—with a power to extend it further through an affirmative resolution procedure if, as the noble Baroness suggested, it appears to be working all right.
Viscount Hailsham: My Lords, I very gratefully support the points made by the noble Baroness, Lady Hayter. I entirely agree with her; I think it is necessary to have a sunset clause, and if it is not necessary it behoves the Minister to tell us why. One of the central problems arising all the time is whether secondary legislation, whether affirmative or negative—I acknowledge that in this case it is very...
Viscount Hailsham: That is a serious statement to make. My noble friend is saying that Parliament cannot do its job. Does that not mean that these matters need to be considered by the commission on the constitution—and preferably a royal commission?
Viscount Hailsham: I was not trying to suggest that, for example, striking down the Prime Minister was in any way wrongful. I would have done so if I had been in the Supreme Court. What I am suggesting is that quite often courts do intervene on executive matters. I certainly do not include in that the decisions made by the Supreme Court at the back end of last year, which I profoundly supported.
Viscount Hailsham: Will my noble friend give way?