Baroness Butler-Sloss: Can the noble Lord deal with the issue of how it was generally the practice for Back-Benchers to be appointed to committees, but it appears that a number of Front-Benchers are now being appointed? Is that a change of practice and, if so, is it a good idea?
Baroness Butler-Sloss: My Lords, why can the Government not get the sentences equal before the Law Commission reports? That could be done in any of the other legislation that comes through.
Baroness Butler-Sloss: My Lords, I am chairman of the Ecclesiastical Committee and confirm what the right reverend Prelate said. We heard oral evidence from Church House and were satisfied that this is a non-controversial Measure, which I am happy to commend to the House. As the right reverend Prelate said, we held that it is expedient, which is our duty.
Baroness Butler-Sloss: My Lords, I am happy about the breadth of the instrument. I see very well the points that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, made, but I am also unhappy at the suggestion that if someone is told that their past is about to be disclosed, they can go to judicial review. That is a very unsatisfactory system. As I understood it, the Government were doing their best to reduce...
Baroness Butler-Sloss: My Lords, as a former family judge, I have worked very closely with social workers. Will the Minister consider the aspect of lack of respect and status? If they were given a better status, they would be much easier to recruit and retain.
Baroness Butler-Sloss: My Lords, I chair a commission on forced marriage. Will the Minister keep in mind that victims of forced marriage are often victims of domestic abuse? Many are extremely young and sometimes need rather better accommodation than the refuges provided—when they are provided—for victims of domestic abuse. They are also victims of domestic abuse, but in forced marriage.
Baroness Butler-Sloss: My Lords, at this late stage I shall be very brief—I confess of course that I am a lawyer—and say something about adversarial and inquisitorial, because there may be some misconceptions. I am delighted to hear that there will be a panel of investigators. I would expect most of them not to be lawyers, but to be able to do practical investigation. That seems to be entirely sensible. We need...
Baroness Butler-Sloss: I entirely agree. I have chaired commissions, committees and so on, particularly the Cleveland child abuse inquiry, where there were a great many lawyers. I am not suggesting any of that for this, but I think we need to adjust the way in which the issue is tried according to its seriousness and the likely outcome, if it goes the wrong way, for the Member of this House who will be permanently...
Baroness Butler-Sloss: I wonder whether the noble and learned Lord understands that none of the investigators will be lawyers.
Baroness Butler-Sloss: But it is true.
Baroness Butler-Sloss: My Lords, what will the Government do about young children with British citizenship whose parents have been deprived of British citizenship? It will be extraordinarily difficult to look after the children if you do not also look after the mother.
Baroness Butler-Sloss: Will the noble Lord answer the points of concern of the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, as to why Amendment 7 is needed?
Baroness Butler-Sloss: My Lords, why are the Government not asking for an extension?
Baroness Butler-Sloss: My Lords, I am the chairman of a forced marriage commission. Do the Government recognise that in forced marriages there is often domestic abuse, that the many victims of forced marriage who suffer domestic abuse need special care, and that the current refuges for them are not necessarily all that satisfactory?
Baroness Butler-Sloss: My Lords, I am sad to have to disagree with the noble Lord, Lord Grocott, with whom I very often agree. I had intended not to speak, but we are now less than three months from the deadline, so I feel that I have to add something. I am so shocked and alarmed by the feeling of drift and national crisis shared by many people outside Parliament and the failure to make decisions which are more...
Baroness Butler-Sloss: My Lords, if we do actually crash out on 29 March, what happens to the Northern Ireland border?
Baroness Butler-Sloss: My Lords, I am chairman of the Ecclesiastical Committee. These four Measures came before 18 members of the committee, and we have reported. We found each of the Measures expedient and we were happy to support them as I am happy to support them today.
Baroness Butler-Sloss: I wrote a letter.
Baroness Butler-Sloss: My Lords—
Baroness Butler-Sloss: My Lords, your Lordships will be relieved to hear that I have cut out almost everything I was going to say, but I wish to say something about the future. I do not apologise for this, as I wrote to the chairman of the Committee for Privileges and Conduct three weeks ago, and have not yet had a reply. As a result, I need to say it here, in case it is not taken seriously. The committee may, and...