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Lord Shore of Stepney: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for allowing me to intervene. On a point of clarification, when this matter came before the previous Parliament in 1995, were the war crimes listed in the detail of the Bill, as they are in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b)? Did any serious debate take place about particular methods of war and the actions there enumerated?

Lord Howell of Guildford: My Lords, I cannot answer the noble Lord's second point because I was not here.

As regards his first point, I imagine that the Geneva Convention and its protocols were in print and available for any noble Lord to read in the Library, in the knowledge that they were a part of international law. However, they did not then form a part of the statute law of this country, nor was there in place an international jurisdiction which had the last word in their interpretation and could bring forward allegations against individuals whom we might regard as perfectly sensible public servants in our Armed Forces. However, as soon they are named in a military investigation, their careers are ruined. I think that, sometimes, the handlers of the law do not understand that point. That is the fact of the matter. At the end of this debate, I still feel very strongly that we owe a consideration--a bargain--to our Armed Forces, in the light of the immensely difficult situations they now face. I recall the references made by the noble

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Baroness, Lady Williams, to low intensity warfare and dealing with the then Provisional IRA. I was the Minister in the Northern Ireland Office at the time and I recall the great difficulties in trying to evolve new procedures. These are extremely complex and many more new procedures will need to evolve. That is all the more reason--I repeat, all the more reason--why we should have in place clear laws and statutes so that our men and women serving in the front line can understand how they are to proceed. Furthermore, they must know, along with their commanding officers, what is right and what it is their duty to do. They should not get into the terrible tangle of wondering whether an order issued by their commanding officer is or is not liable to lead them into court.

Lord Goldsmith: My Lords, before the noble Lord announces what he intends to do, can he deal with one point; that is, whether or not it is his view--and, indeed, the view of the Front Bench opposite--that no one should be subject to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court for war crimes; that no person who is guilty of war crimes should be subject to this court? If we are saying that our nationals should not be, on what basis would the noble Lord say that anyone else should be? Perhaps he can answer that question.

Lord Howell of Guildford: My Lords, I am saying that the International Criminal Court should come into being--we support the principle of it--for crimes against humanity and genocide; we have no problems with that at all. However, for war crimes, we have our domestic procedures where, if war crimes have been committed in our view and the view of our courts, there should be the appropriate courts martial or civilian trials. If a war crime is committed on foreign soil--and we know of the ugly and sad cases which have occurred in recent times--the soldiers concerned should be tried. All that should happen.

What I am saying is that so far as concerns the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in relation to war crimes--the elements set out in Article 8--we should hold that over for seven years. We should do that not because the French are doing so--that would be absurd--but because, as an international peace-keeping power, we want the proper protection of our own Armed Forces in the immensely complex situations in which they will increasingly become involved. As my noble friend Lord Tebbit pointed out, even the question of what is a civilian becomes ambiguous and not at all clear. It is particularly unclear at the present time in Kosovo and Macedonia.

These deep concerns have not been allayed. I am very disappointed in the Minister's reply. Our concerns have not been allayed by what she said this evening.

The Minister did not comment on the need to publicise and tell people generally that there are new crimes on the statute book. It is quite wrong that there should be a lack of publicity. I read somewhere--I

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hope that I am not making any false analogies--that when the Emperor Caligula promulgated laws, he used to ensure that they were placed at the top of very high pillars in very small characters so that no one could read them.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill: My Lords, is the noble Lord aware that in this case the words are not put on very tall pillars in very small writing so that citizens cannot read them? They are put into the handbook of military law, to which every serving member of the Armed Forces has access, as I well recall from personal experience. The words are also in the law of the land, having been duly enacted by Conservative governments on several occasions.

Lord Howell of Guildford: My Lords, I shall be very glad when those handbooks are amended--as I hope they will be--to explain the new risks involved: that these are not war crimes listed only in the Geneva Convention and its protocols but are crimes which are now on our own statute book; and that a higher international court may have the final word on whether these crimes have been committed and on whether investigations into them should be mounted. Then I shall be content--but I have not heard that suggestion from the Benches opposite. For these and many other reasons, I wish to test the opinion of the House on the amendment.

6.54 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 2) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 69; Not-Contents, 122.

Division No. 1


Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Anelay of St. Johns, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Biffen, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Craigavon, V.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Feldman, L.
Ferrers, E.
Fookes, B.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glentoran, L.
Henley, L. [Teller]
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Kingsland, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Liverpool, E.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
Mancroft, L.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E. [Teller]
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Plumb, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Rawlings, B.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Seccombe, B.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shore of Stepney, L.
Shrewsbury, E.
Skelmersdale, L.
Stewartby, L.
Swinfen, L.
Tebbit, L.
Trumpington, B.
Vivian, L.
Wilcox, B.


Acton, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Avebury, L.
Barker, B.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Bragg, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Chandos, V.
Clement-Jones, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Colville of Culross, V.
Dahrendorf, L.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Desai, L.
Dubs, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Ezra, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Goodhart, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Greaves, L.
Grenfell, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Jenkins of Putney, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Lipsey, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Maddock, B.
Mallalieu, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Mitchell, L.
Molloy, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Newby, L.
Nicol, B.
Northover, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
Orme, L.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rennard, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roper, L.
Russell, E.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Sharman, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Walmsley, B.
Warner, L.
Watson of Richmond, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilberforce, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Winston, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

8 Mar 2001 : Column 369

7.5 p.m.

Clause 2 [Request for arrest and surrender]:

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