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A further two judgments were handed down in the case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v AS. At the hearing on 6 and 8 October 2009, the court handed down a judgment in closed only requiring the Secretary of State to make further damaging disclosure
to comply with article 6 or to withdraw reliance on the relevant allegations. The Secretary of State elected to make some further disclosure to maintain the control order in force. In an open judgment handed down on 21 October 2009 the court set out the principles of how the court should apply the decision in AF & Others.
An interlocutory judgment was handed down in the case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v AN on 27 November 2009. The court handed down a judgment in closed only requiring the Secretary of State to make further damaging disclosure to comply with article 6 or to withdraw reliance on the relevant allegations. The Secretary of State elected to make some further disclosure to maintain the control order in force.
A further interlocutory judgment was handed down, about which it is not possible to say any more for legal reasons.
Two judgments have been handed down by the High Court in relation to modification appeals during this reporting period. The court handed down judgment in Secretary of State for the Home Department v BH on 17 November 2009. The court found that the Secretary of State's decision to refuse to modify BH's geographical boundary to let him attend legal appointment outside his boundary was lawful. This was against the background that the Secretary of State had offered to modify the control order to allow the visit subject to BH agreeing to submit to a personal search as part of a police escort to and from the appointment. BH had refused to agree to this condition and the Secretary of State had therefore refused the modification. The court decided this refusal was lawful, noting that BH's legal representatives were able to visit him within his boundary instead. However, he commented that in circumstances where it would not be proportionate to refuse to modify the boundary for a purpose such as attending an urgent medical appointment, the Secretary of State would not be able to insist that a controlled person be escorted by the police, if the police would not escort the individual without searching him first.
The court handed down a judgment in Secretary of State for the Home Department v AS on 23 November 2009. The court dismissed AS's appeal against the decision of the Secretary of State to refuse to modify his control order to enable him to stay overnight in London during the judicial review hearing of his control order.
During this reporting period, the Court of Appeal refused permission to appeal in one case. In Secretary of State for the Home Department v AU, the Court of Appeal found AU did not have any real prospect of success in his arguments that the judicial review of his control order had not been article 6 compliant and that when the Secretary of State decided to impose a control order in this case, he was not entitled to consider allegations which formed part of the previous criminal prosecution and sentence.
Full judgments are available at: http://www.bailii.org/
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Alan Campbell): I am pleased to announce the publication of a consultation document and partial impact assessment on enhanced (or top up) training for door supervisors renewing their licences.
Copies of the report will be available in the Vote Office and in the House Library.
The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Alan Johnson): The Hillsborough tragedy on 15 April 1989 at the FA Cup semi final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest was the worst disaster in British sporting history. Ninety-six people died and hundreds more were injured. The tragedy was of such national and international significance that it served to act as a watershed in the subsequent minimisation of safety risks at football matches and similar sporting events.
There have been a number of examinations of the circumstances surrounding the disaster over the years. Following the 20th anniversary of the tragedy in April 2009, the Prime Minister asked the then Secretaries of State for the Home Office and for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Justice Secretary, to consider how to bring about maximum possible public disclosure of governmental and other agency documentation on the events that occurred and their aftermath. In order to bring about this disclosure I am today announcing the creation of the Hillsborough independent panel.
The Hillsborough independent panel will work in partnership with Government and other public agencies to oversee the disclosure process. It will also consult those most affected by the disaster: the Hillsborough families. The panel will be chaired by the right reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool. The appointment of the rest of the panel will take place over the coming weeks in close consultation with the Hillsborough families and will be announced in due course. The panel will meet for the first time in Liverpool as soon as possible in the new year.
The independent panel will be provided with access to Hillsborough documentation held by Government and local agencies relevant to events surrounding the tragedy in advance of the normal 30-year point for public disclosure. The fundamental principles will be full disclosure of documentation and no redaction of content, except in the limited legal and other circumstances outlined in the full terms of reference and disclosure protocol which will be placed in the Library of the House and made available on the Home Office website at: www.homeoffice.gov.uk.
Recognising the volume of material that must be catalogued, analysed and preserved, the panel will seek to complete its work within two years.
The remit of the independent panel will be to:
oversee full public disclosure of relevant government and local information within the limited constraints set out in the disclosure protocol;
consult with the Hillsborough families to ensure that the views of those most affected by the tragedy are taken into account;
manage the process of public disclosure, ensuring that it takes place initially to the families of the victims and other involved parties, in an agreed manner and within a reasonable timescale, before information is made more widely available;
in line with established practice, work with the Keeper of Public Records in preparing options for establishing an archive of Hillsborough documentation, including a catalogue of all central governmental and local public agency information and
a commentary on any information withheld for the benefit of the families or on legal or other grounds;
produce a report explaining the work of the panel and the extent to which disclosure adds to public understanding of the tragedy and its aftermath.
Where Government records are covered by the well established convention on access to papers of a previous administration-in particular papers which indicate the views of Ministers, such as Cabinet material or ministerial policy advice-representatives of the previous administration are being consulted and their consent to release of those papers sought.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Meg Hillier): I am pleased to announce the extension of the national identity service from the beginning of January 2010.
On 30 June, the Home Secretary confirmed that we would accelerate the roll-out of identity cards by extending the initial coverage from Greater Manchester to other locations in the north-west of England early in 2010. Following a successful implementation of the national identity service in Greater Manchester and at Manchester and London City airports on 30 November, the next phase of the roll-out will be commenced from Monday 4 January 2010. From that date, most citizens living or working in the north-west will be eligible to make applications for identity cards at a fee of £30.
Initially, they will be able to apply at the offices of the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) in Manchester city centre. From February 2010, they will also be able to apply at new enrolment facilities in existing IPS offices in Liverpool and Blackburn.
To find out more about identity cards, register interest in obtaining a card or to request an application pack, visit: www.direct.gov.uk/identity or call 0300 330 0000.
The Minister for Borders and Immigration (Mr. Phil Woolas): The first annual report of the independent Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency, John Vine, is being laid before Parliament today. The post and role of independent Chief Inspector was created in the Borders Act 2007 and extended in the Borders Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 to reflect the wider role of the new agency. The key focus of the Chief Inspector is the efficiency and effectiveness of the UK Border Agency. The role provides an external, independent and transparent assessment of the Agency and helps to provides reassurance to Parliament and the public. I therefore welcome this account of the first year's work of the Chief Inspector. The annual report sets out the work of the Chief Inspector in establishing his inspection methodology, inspection plan and staffing since the role commenced in July 2008 and summarises the findings from six early inspections. Copies of the report will be available in the Vote Office.
The Minister for Policing, Crime and Counter-Terrorism (Mr. David Hanson): I am today announcing the arrangements we are putting in place to take forward implementation of the national CCTV strategy and to approve an interim CCTV regulator with immediate effect.
CCTV enjoys a high level of public confidence in tackling crime. Home Office research published in 2005 showed that over 80 per cent. of respondents supported the use of CCTV to deal with crime in their neighbourhood. A similar high level of confidence is reflected in the Ipsos MORI poll conducted last year and which we will be publishing shortly. CCTV played a key role in a number of investigations including the London terrorist outrages in July 2005 and the Steven Wright murders in Ipswich as well as offences such as burglaries, robberies, violence and antisocial behaviour across the country. The changes are aimed at ensuring that those involved across the CCTV industry, whether from the public or the private sector, can be actively involved in the development and implementation of national standards on the installation and use of CCTV. Importantly, it also aims to maximise public engagement by raising public awareness of the benefits of CCTV and accountability of owners and users of CCTV systems.
It is important that we retain and build on that high level of public confidence by demonstrating the important contribution to preventing and detecting crime and antisocial behaviour which CCTV can make. We have already announced in Building Britain's Future that we will make sure that local people have a say on the use of CCTV in their area and will be publishing guidance for crime and disorder reduction partnerships next year on communicating with their community on the role of CCTV in public protection.
It is also important that we address public concern about how CCTV is used. I am, therefore, pleased to announce the appointment of the Forensic Science Regulator, Andrew Rennison, as the interim CCTV regulator with immediate effect. The interim CCTV regulator will advise the Government on matters surrounding the use of CCTV in public places, including the need for a regulatory framework overseen by a permanent CCTV regulator, which enables the police, local authorities and other agencies to help deliver safer neighbourhoods while ensuring that personal privacy considerations are appropriately taken into account with supporting safeguards and protections. The establishment of a permanent CCTV regulator would rightly be a matter for Parliament. That is why we are, at this stage, considering the regulatory arrangements function through an interim appointment and the revised governance structure for implementation of the national CCTV strategy.
The interim appointment will be for a period of up to 12 months. The appointment is an important step in implementation of the national CCTV strategy. The interim regulator will work with the national CCTV strategy board on six key areas. These are to: develop national standards for the installation and use of CCTV in public space; determine training requirements for users and practitioners; engage with the public and private sector in determining the need for and potential
content of any regulatory framework; raise public awareness and understanding of how CCTV operates and how it contributes to tackling crime and increasing public protection; review the existing recommendations of the national CCTV strategy and advise the strategy board on implementation, timelines and cost and development of an effective evidence base; and promote public awareness of the complaints process and criteria for complaints to the relevant agencies ( for example, Information Commissioner, local authority or private organisation) or how to deal with complaints relating to technical standards.
The appointment of the Forensic Science Regulator will bring to his CCTV role the expertise, knowledge, and standing he has gained in operating a suitable framework for forensic services. He will play a leading role in identifying and helping meet the needs of both users and the public.
While the interim CCTV regulator will not have responsibility for deciding whether individual cameras are appropriately sited or how they are used, he will be able to help explain to the public how they can complain about intrusive or ineffective CCTV placement or usage.
Part of the process of promoting greater accountability is engaging directly with key stakeholders. We will shortly be establishing an independent advisory group with representatives from business, CCTV operators, community and third sector groups to monitor and provide direction on implementing the national strategy. The advisory group will advise the interim CCTV regulator and the national CCTV strategy board. These arrangements provide for partnership working at strategic and neighbourhood level. Through these new arrangements, we intend to ensure that CCTV continues to be an important tool available to communities to help tackle crime and antisocial behaviour.
The Secretary of State for International Development (Mr. Douglas Alexander): I have today laid before Parliament my Department's autumn performance report for 2009. The report is in the Library of the House and copies are available for hon. Members from the Vote Office.
The report provides details of progress on DFID's departmental strategic objectives and value for money as well as progress on Public Service Agreement 29: Reduce poverty in poorer countries through quicker progress towards the millennium development goals.
The Secretary of State for International Development (Mr. Douglas Alexander):
I have carefully considered the views received in response to the public consultation on air access for St. Helena. I have also considered the reasonableness of proceeding with funding an airport in the prevailing economic conditions and the urgent
requirements upon the Department to protect vulnerable countries around the world from the impact of the global downturn.
The present calls on DFID funding, and the current economic conditions, mean that proceeding with the project would not be appropriate at this time. DFID is committed to supporting the people of St. Helena and so, rather than make a decision at this juncture, I have instructed my officials to conduct a further analysis of two particular issues that have been brought to my attention through the consultation, and require more detailed scrutiny:
potential cost savings to the airport contract which might be enabled by recent technological developments
options for funding the capital cost of the airport through a possible public private partnership.
In addition, my officials will also analyse further the costs and options for a replacement ship.
I expect this to take around six months and will make a further statement when it is complete.
The director responsible for the overseas territories will be visiting St. Helena in the first quarter of 2010 to discuss this announcement with both Government and private sector.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Claire Ward): I have today laid before Parliament the report of the inquiry that the Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice, Member for Dewsbury (Shahid Malik) announced on 23 February 2009 into the death of Bernard Lodge, who died at HMP Manchester on 28 August 1998.
I would like to thank the Chair of the inquiry, Barbara Stow, and the solicitor to the inquiry for the way in which they handled the inquiry and for fulfilling the terms of reference so efficiently.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Bridget Prentice): In accordance with the Government's legislative programme for 2009-2010, the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor has today laid before Parliament the draft Civil Law Reform Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny (Civil Law Reform-A Draft Bill Cm 7773).
The draft Bill contains provisions to:
reform the law of damages to provide a fairer and more modern system, particularly in relation to bereavement and dependency damages under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.
give greater flexibility in setting the interest rate on pre-judgment debt and damages and on judgment debts so that it can be adapted more readily to different circumstances, making it fairer to debtors and creditors alike.
reform the law relating to the distribution of estates of a deceased person where an inheritance is forfeited or disclaimed, so that where a person is disqualified or refuses an inheritance, his or her heirs are not disinherited.
bring the disciplinary hearing appeal process for barristers into line with the appeal process for solicitors by transferring the jurisdiction to hear appeals to the High Court.
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