All 18 results for speaker:Lord Cooke of Thorndon

Sexual Offences Bill [HL] (2 Jun 2003)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: My Lords, I do not often trouble your Lordships, being constrained by the convention that one does not speak in your Lordships' House unless one knows something about the subject. But it chances that I have a certain degree of expertise in the matter of non-consensual sex. It leads me to a position in principle not far removed from that of the previous four speakers in the debate. In New...

Sexual Offences Bill [HL] (2 Jun 2003)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: My Lords, that is substantially correct, but it must be remembered that the number of convictions for rape has dramatically increased. However, the rate of convictions as against complaints—complaints have also increased—is about 35 per cent.

Sexual Offences Bill [HL] (9 Jun 2003)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: My Lords, I support the noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Alloway. The Minister tabled an amendment to Clause 1(3) to introduce a partly objective test in cases where the victim does not in truth consent, but the defence of honest belief in consent is raised. The element of objectiveness under the amended test would be whether, "in all the circumstances (including any steps A has taken to...

Sexual Offences Bill [HL] (17 Jun 2003)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: My Lords, before the noble Baroness replies, I rise to sound a partly wistful but nevertheless supportive note. Previously in the House, I gave support in the light of the experience of New Zealand to the inclusion of some objective element in the defence of belief in consent when rape is charged. As the debate then developed, the House appeared to be in sympathy with that view. The then...

Criminal Justice Bill (15 Jul 2003)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: I regret that on this matter I must differ from some respected, eminent and eloquent colleagues of Bench and Bar. It may well be that I swim against the tide of sentiment, but is it not indeed largely a tide of sentiment and myth? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights do not speak of a...

Criminal Justice Bill (15 Jul 2003)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: I thank the noble and learned Lord for his reference to that paper. Indeed, I had not seen it, but speaking from experience I fundamentally disagree with it. My own experience as a judge working in this field in New Zealand was in an appellate capacity where quite frequently in my court over the years we heard appeals from convictions entered by judges who had tried a case alone on the...

Criminal Justice Bill (17 Jul 2003)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: I had not intended to speak on Part 10 because I am sympathetic to what one might call the "DNA aspect" of the proposed changes. But the remarks of a constellation of distinguished speakers today have led me to think that the clauses may not be tightly enough drafted. I suggest to the noble and learned Lord the Attorney-General that if the possibility of retrial was limited to new and...

Supreme Court (8 Sep 2003)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: My Lords, I quote: "Our judiciary enjoy the highest international standing. The Government wants to ensure that the way in which they are selected is as well regarded". So runs the consultation paper. There is an implicit dichotomy in that. The suggestion appears to be that the rest of the world admires the quality, integrity and independence of the judges of England and Wales, but questions...

Criminal Justice Bill (15 Sep 2003)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: I, too, support the opposition to Clause 91 of my noble and learned friend Lord Ackner. On another controversial issue—that pertaining to jury trial—I have unsuccessfully, and against fearful odds, supported the Bill in principle. But so far I have not been reconciled to the excessively complex provisions of this chapter. To me they are redolent of a drawing board in a government office...

Criminal Justice Bill (18 Sep 2003)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: The noble Baroness has just stated the existing law with perfect accuracy. However, it is not clear to me, and, if I may say so, it has become increasingly unclear as the debate has proceeded, what function Clause 93 is intended to serve. Is it intended to change the existing law or is it not? If the emphasis is still to be on the judge having a duty to weigh probative value against...

Criminal Justice Bill (18 Sep 2003)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: Perhaps it will assist the noble Baroness if I suggest that, when the measure reaches Third Reading, instead of having the abstract discussion that has occurred today, in which she has acquitted herself brilliantly, she could introduce an element of what one might call brass tacks on the matter of balance. Either the Bill makes a significant change to the balance between the prosecution and...

Criminal Justice Bill (18 Sep 2003)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: I offer qualified support for this chapter, chiefly because it contains Clause 107(1)(d), which I see as its great merit. I cannot therefore support Amendment No. 149, and I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Thomas of Gresford, will give the matter further consideration. The reason for my qualified support of the chapter is that, to one's regret, there has been a failure by the English courts to...

Criminal Justice Bill (14 Oct 2003)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: If I understand the Bill correctly—and I may well not have—I support what the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, said. Taken as a whole, the sentencing directions in the Bill are detailed to a degree perhaps unprecedented anywhere else in the English-speaking world. They could certainly hardly be supported by any strict adherent to the separation of powers. Overall, they could...

Criminal Justice Bill (30 Oct 2003)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: My Lords, I rise to make a simple point. I have listened, I hope carefully, to the debate having come to it without any firm view one way or the other. I am in sympathy with the general concept that for the future at least an acquittal should not always be sacrosanct; and that, in particular, if new and compelling evidence—which could not have been adduced at the first trial—comes to...

Criminal Justice Bill (30 Oct 2003)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: My Lords, given the observations of the noble Earl, Lord Russell, I should offer at least some reply on behalf of the Cookes. As the noble Lord knows well, Sir Edward Coke was a strong believer in the force of the common law. He believed that the common law could control even Acts of Parliament. I do not wish to enter into that debate this evening. I simply say that the common law would not...

Criminal Justice Bill (30 Oct 2003)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: My Lords, I defer to the noble Earl's infinitely greater knowledge of the subject and will refrain from entering into that in any more depth. Whatever view is taken of that question, on the issue of whether the proposed legislation is in any way contrary to the spirit of the common law, that is not so as far as concerns the future. Surely, it is consistent with the common law that in future a...

Constitutional Reform Bill [HL] (11 Oct 2004)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: In considering Amendment No. 86 and other amendments that may result from the retention of the office of Lord Chancellor and, I hope, the role of the Law Lords, which we shall discuss later, there is a dimension that your Lordships may care to bear in mind. That is the impact on international perception of the United Kingdom's constitutional arrangements. From an international point of view,...

Constitutional Reform Bill [HL] (11 Oct 2004)

Lord Cooke of Thorndon: As the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, has implied, Clause 17, together with other provisions, notably Clause 34, is intended to deprive your Lordships' House of one of its primary functions. It would be wrong to think of the House as primarily a legislative body. As the noble Lord, Lord Renton, and the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Salisbury have pointed out, for centuries the House has...


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