Results 81–100 of 600 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Claire Ward

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: Perhaps I can enlighten the hon. and learned Gentleman. Section 3.144 of the Law Commission's report, on page 65, states: "Under our approach provocation should not be left to the jury in such a case because we do not see how any reasonable jury, properly directed, could conclude there had been gross provocation or that a person of ordinary tolerance and self-restraint might have acted in the...

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: I think that a very important principle is at stake here: whether or not this House believes-it has already put its views on this matter on the record-that when a person commits sexual infidelity they in some sense bring upon their own death at the hands of their partner, husband or wife. That surely cannot be the way in which we should proceed. The reality is that in many court cases, it was...

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: I do not think it is a matter for me to set out the circumstances; it would depend on the context, which is what the court would have to consider. We are simply saying that sexual infidelity in itself cannot and should not be an acceptable reason for a defence for murder.

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: I do not for a moment deny that passions will be incredibly high when such personal relationships are under pressure in the circumstances that many Members are describing, but surely the hon. Lady would agree that this House and our legislation should not say that dealing with such matters in such a violent way is acceptable. It is not and cannot be acceptable-and we want to make it perfectly...

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: I certainly agree with my hon. Friend. Of course we do not believe that fidelity, however desirable, is appropriately or effectively championed by treating the victims of infidelity, who go on to kill their unfaithful partner, more leniently. That is essentially the issue.

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: I shall give way for the very last time, as I need to make some progress.

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: We need to look at the reality and at what we believe is acceptable. I have to say again that it cannot be acceptable for a man, for example, who finds his wife in a state with her lover and decides to kill her to use the fact of her sexual infidelity as a partial defence. That is not an acceptable way for our legislation to proceed.

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: I want to make some progress and deal with a couple of other issues that have been raised in the debate. The core argument against this provision, as put forward in the other place, centred on the notion that the Government were not prepared to trust the common sense of the jury. I believe that that is essentially the argument put by the hon. and learned Member for Beaconsfield. That argument...

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: I am going to make some progress; I will come back to the hon. and learned Gentleman. In modernising the law in this matter, we have purposely set a very high threshold for the circumstances in which killing in anger could ever be treated as manslaughter rather than murder. The words and conduct limb of the partial defence is the main plank for achieving this, but we also believe that in...

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: The hon. Gentleman would therefore leave in some doubt whether there were circumstances in which sexual infidelity would be acceptable as a defence for murder.

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: That is not what I am saying. There are circumstances-the prime example is of a wife seeing her husband having sex with their child or a stepchild-in which sexual infidelity has taken place, but that would not be the primary issue on which the defence would, or could, rely under our legislation. They would rely on the extremely grave set of circumstances of the abuse of that child.

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: The example does work, because the hon. Gentleman's amendment would still allow sexual infidelity to be used as a partial defence. [Interruption.] Having looked at the matter carefully, I am afraid that that is the case. Under the amendment as drafted, the moment that a person perceived that sexual infidelity had taken place-as they would if they saw their husband have sex with their...

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: I beg to move, That this House disagrees with Lords amendment 55.

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: The Government cannot accept the amendment passed in the other place to remove the sexual infidelity exclusion in the new partial defence of loss of control. The history of the partial defence of provocation has led to a commonly held belief that this defence can be abused by men who kill their wives out of sexual jealousy- [ Interruption. ]

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The history of the partial defence of provocation has led to a commonly held belief that this defence can be abused by men who kill their wives out of sexual jealousy or revenge for infidelity. This erodes the confidence of the public in the fairness of the criminal justice system. Even accepting that a great deal has been done in recent years to address this...

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: The hon. and learned Gentleman is right to raise that recent case, but the reality is that there is still an opportunity under existing law for that defence to succeed. The jury in that case decided that it was not appropriate, but it remains possible that a different jury, in different circumstances, might decide that it could succeed.

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: The general issue around provocation, and the change of defence, has been accepted by both Houses. The issue here is in respect of sexual infidelity. In respect of the particular case that the hon. and learned Member for Beaconsfield (Mr. Grieve) mentioned a moment ago, the jury came to a considered view on the attempted use of the defence of sexual infidelity, but that case also...

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: However, there is now a commonly held belief that cases exist in which that defence has been used successfully. We want to put the matter beyond any doubt.

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: Frankly, we do not think that it is appropriate, in this day and age, for a man to be able to say that he killed his wife as a result of sexual infidelity. That is essentially the reason. If other factors come into play, the court will of course have an opportunity to consider them, but it will not be able to make the decision exclusively on the ground of sexual infidelity. The sexual...

Bill Presented: Clause 45 — Meaning of "qualifying trigger" (9 Nov 2009)

Claire Ward: The court may of course take into account whether there has been abuse, as well as other factors, but it will not be able to take into account a set of circumstances in which the defendant kills someone in an attempt to punish them or carry out some form of revenge purely as a result of sexual infidelity. I am really quite surprised that the hon. and learned Gentleman thinks that it is...


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