Results 1–20 of 271 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Lord Brennan

Law and Order (17 May 2000)

Lord Brennan: My Lords, I declare an interest as a practising barrister. I make that declaration with pride, and I must add to it a disappointment for the noble Lord, Lord Tebbit: as chairman of the Bar last year, I was described by The Times as the "antithesis of establishment man". Although the contrast between what I am about to say (following the traditions of this House) and what has just been said...

EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (16 Jun 2000)

Lord Brennan: My Lords, I ask the forgiveness of the noble Baroness, Lady Billingham, and other Members of this House for having to listen to yet another barrister. But I want to reassure your Lordships that some of us earnestly wish to be regarded as ordinary human beings as well. I am a member of each of the Bar committees that put forward a paper to the Select Committee; however, I speak on my own...

EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (16 Jun 2000)

Lord Brennan: My Lords, perhaps I may remind the noble Lord that a few moments ago he described how one could have a binding charter with accession later. I had the same view in mind. If I expressed it with a lack of felicity, I apologise, but there is no inconsistency.

Peruvian Elections and Democracy (28 Jun 2000)

Lord Brennan: My Lords, I declare an interest as one of the patrons of the Peru Support Group. Is my noble friend aware of the particular concern of many people that a consequence of this election is a potential risk to the human rights situation in Peru? With that concern in mind, will she confirm two aspects of the Anglo-Peruvian agreement: first, that this Government will continue to give unremitting...

Vaccine Damage (28 Jun 2000)

Lord Brennan: My Lords, I speak in this debate as someone with personal experience of litigation involving those affected by vaccine damage; and I regret to say that it was a negative involvement. It is well known that I advised the Legal Aid Board a number of years ago that the medical science in this field did not show a definitive connection between the vaccine and its neurological effect, as alleged....

Vaccine Damage (28 Jun 2000)

Lord Brennan: My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down, perhaps I may invite him to agree that it is important in a debate such as this that unreasonably high hopes are not sent out to the affected parents. Is he really suggesting that the problem which we face should be dealt with by full compensation, which, on my calculation, would amount to between £1.5 billion and £2 billion? That is beyond the...

Criminal Justice (Mode of Trial) (No. 2) Bill (28 Sep 2000)

Lord Brennan: My Lords, an occasion for a debate such as this presents an almost irresistible opportunity to my barrister colleagues to make resounding jury speeches. I propose to decline that temptation because it has led some of them, in their forensic enthusiasm, to assign motives and strategies to the Government--and to the Home Office in particular--which I completely reject. This Government and the...

Burma (2 Oct 2000)

Lord Brennan: My Lords, we are many who denounce genocide and the breach of human rights in Burma; they are few who are prepared to make the kind of sacrifice that James Mawdsley made. For those people who suffered that genocide and those breaches, entering Burma legally, passing out leaflets that said no more to the people around him than that they should stand up for democracy, he was arrested, quickly...

Criminal Justice and Court Services Bill (4 Oct 2000)

Lord Brennan: I am sure that I speak on behalf of all Members of the Committee in acknowledging the value to us, and to the community, of listening to the views of the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chief Justice on the matter of sentencing with which we are concerned tonight. We shall need carefully to consider what he said in relation to the structure of legislation about future sentencing because that...

Criminal Justice and Court Services Bill (4 Oct 2000)

Lord Brennan: I speak to Amendment No. 157A on behalf of the noble Lord, Lord Hylton. Circumstances have conspired to raise a matter of considerable importance at a time which is not at all propitious to your Lordships' timetable. I propose to be brief but, nevertheless, direct about the importance of the matters with which I am now going to deal. Amendment No. 157A seeks to enlarge upon paragraph (4) of...

Environmental Court (9 Oct 2000)

Lord Brennan: rose to ask Her Majesty's Government whether they propose to establish a specialist environmental court for England and Wales. My Lords, I rise to speak to the Question to Her Majesty's Government, "whether they propose to establish a specialist environmental court for England and Wales". I regret having phrased the Question in that form as those around me leave the Chamber. It is a matter of...

Freedom of Information Bill (17 Oct 2000)

Lord Brennan: In some Bills a purpose clause is appropriate. However, for the following reasons, I do not believe that this is such a Bill. First, I hope that the English language has not reached such a level of semantic poverty that the words "freedom of information" cannot be understood and their message be plain to read. We do not want a purpose clause in this Bill because its Short Title is explicit,...

Freedom of Information Bill (17 Oct 2000)

Lord Brennan: The noble Lord, Lord Lester, anticipated my final point: that the need for a purpose clause is obviated by the attention which we should pay to the construction of the rest of the Bill in determining in each clause, item by item, the proper balance between government interest and that of the public. However, in examining in detail what we intend to do, I hope that we shall bear in mind the...

Freedom of Information Bill (17 Oct 2000)

Lord Brennan: Before the Minister replies, perhaps I may invite him to deal with the practical application of subsection (1)(b) so far as concerns government employees and the public. The Committee has just listened to a classic example of the fear I expressed not more than half an hour ago that when you set lawyers onto this Bill they will have a field day. We have had one on this subsection, but that is...

Freedom of Information Bill (17 Oct 2000)

Lord Brennan: I have a concern about the structure of the Bill in relation to the effect on third parties of applications for information which might involve confidential data. If I understand the Bill correctly, Clause 7 is the trigger for the request for information; and Clause 41 identifies certain commercial information as being "exempt", as it is defined. But on the face of the Bill there is no...

Freedom of Information Bill (17 Oct 2000)

Lord Brennan: I invite the Minister to clarify the approach that is likely to be taken in these regulations. It seems that they ought to be constructed with great sensitivity for the following reasons. The first is a practical one. In every field of litigation and contact between citizen and state there is a small number of people who find such contact therapeutic. They are called vexatious litigants in...

Freedom of Information Bill (19 Oct 2000)

Lord Brennan: I should like to raise a question which springs both from the amendments and from this, the first of 20 exemptions, that we are about to consider. I wish to raise the matter of the relationship between this Bill and the administration of justice, both criminal and civil. I invite the Minister--either at this stage or on Report if that is thought to be more appropriate--to confirm and clarify...

Freedom of Information Bill (19 Oct 2000)

Lord Brennan: I intervene not to support the amendment, but to invite the Minister, in responding, to clarify for my benefit, if I have not properly understood the Bill, the relationship between Members of this House and the other place when they request information compared with the ordinary citizen who requests information. That may occur by parliamentary Question, but it can often be done by...

Freedom of Information Bill (19 Oct 2000)

Lord Brennan: Perhaps I may ask for a little further clarification. Does that mean that, when Members of this House ask a parliamentary Question, they will not be faced by a Minister relying on the terms of this Act?

Freedom of Information Bill (19 Oct 2000)

Lord Brennan: I apologise for taking up the time of the Committee so late in the evening, but this is a matter of great public concern. Many of us think that Clauses 28 and 29 are at the heart of the Bill. I do not wish to engage in a legal debate on the meaning of these clauses but to ask the Minister a plain series of questions by examples as to whether the Bill would allow access by the public to...


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