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Lord Carlisle of Bucklow: My Lords, does the noble and learned Lord agree that the vital point is that, when evidence is being given by an expert witness, the whole of that evidence is disclosed in advance to the other parties in the case?
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, that relates not only to the evidence but also to the material that the expert witness might in his or her opinion regard as irrelevant but whose significance could be seen by other experts. The worry is always that either the competence or the arrogance of the experts deprives other parties of the opportunity of looking at the full case.
Lord Goodhart: My Lords, as the noble Lord, Lord Mitchell, said, Sally Clark was extremely fortunate in the work that her husband and the dedicated team of supporters did for her. Is the noble and learned Lord satisfied that adequate help will be available to ensure that the cases of those who are less fortunate in their friends and family are properly investigated before they are brought back to the Criminal Cases Review Commission?
Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts: My Lords, in the light of the Question and the subsequent exchangesand given that Clause 29 of the Criminal Justice Bill currently before another place requires the defence counsel to give notification of which defence witnesses will be calledwould it not be a good idea if a similar situation applied to the prosecution and it, too, had to specify in advance which witnesses it intended to call?
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, there is already an obligation on the prosecution to disclose any expert material that it has, even if it does not intend to use it, because it might be of value to the defence. The question in this particular case related to the extent to which that was complied with.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, there is a real issue regarding the problems of MRSA. The health service has a strategy to deal with it. I do not want to comment on the detail of the case until the Court of Appeal has published its judgment.
Lord Wigoder: My Lords, is it not perfectly clear that this is not a case where the prosecution failed to disclose the evidence that it had before the trial, but one where the evidence never reached the prosecution at the proper time?
Lord Corbett of Castle Vale : My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper. In doing so, I declare an interest as chairman of the British Committee on Iran Freedom.
Lord Corbett of Castle Vale: My Lords, I thank my noble and learned friend for that response, but is it not morally offensive for the UK to seek or accept assistance about Iraq from a regime that uses terror at home, sponsors it abroad and is developing nuclear and chemical weapons? Does my noble and learned friend share the revulsion of a majority of Members of both Houses at the mullahs' use of public executions, stonings and amputations against those demanding freedom and human rights?
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, I understand that the question of Iran's civil nuclear programme is one that Mr Kharrazi hoped to raise while he was in London. We all hope to avoid any further nuclear proliferation. Was the subject discussed; and has it been made clear that the IAEA must have an active role in supervising the civil nuclear programme as it develops?
Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I cannot give a categoric answer to that questionthe reason being that the meetings took place this morning and had not entirely concluded by the time I came to this House. If it is of assistance, and I am sure it will be, I will research the matter, write to the noble Lord and place a copy of the letter in the Library.
Lord Archer of Sandwell: My Lords, did my right honourable friend and the Prime Minister seize the opportunity to clarify the attitude of the regime to the fatwa against Salman Rushdie? Did Mr Kharrazi confirm that the regime is now opposed to the organising of murder in the territory of other countries?
Lord Howell of Guildford: My Lords, is not the most careful balance required? On the one hand, we surely do not want to be seen to be endorsing some of the revolting practices to which the noble Lord, Lord Corbett, has drawn attention, which have continued under the present clerical regime in Iran; on the other hand, we need the support of Iran both in Afghanistan and in the developing situation in Iraq. Will the noble and learned Lord ensure that in the present discussions and any future discussions, his colleagues bear in mind the need for that most careful balance?
Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, the noble Lord is quite right. All that we are doing, particularly in the EU context, about trade and co-operation with Iran has been on the specific basis that binding commitments must be made by the Republic of Iran on various elements. We have made it absolutely plain that the practices referred to are simply not acceptable and should not be tolerated. We have made it plain that, if there are not binding agreementsfor instance, on counter-terrorismno trade and co-operation agreement will be entered into. I can assure the House and the noble Lord on that point. It is not quite a case of "across the wire the electric message came", but the diligence of the officials, as always, means that I do not need to write to the noble Lord. The matter was on the agenda for discussion.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, there is a continuing dialogue. I return to the question put by the noble Lord, Lord Howell. We have an interest in the modernisation and reform of the regime in Iran. But, as the noble Lord, Lord Howell, implied, we cannot close our eyes to the matters that we find deeply objectionable. There are in some ways quite modest, encouraging signs of a degree of liberalisation within certain sections of the Iranian Government.
The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, was the question of the Kurds on the agenda this morning? In an interview on television about 10 or 15 minutes ago, Mr Kharrazi said that what concerned Iran as a neighbouring country was the territorial integrity of Iraq. One can understand that concern, because there is a Kurdish population in Iraq pressing for a greater degree of autonomy, as there is in Iran. That clearly affects not only the Kurds but the stability of the whole area.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, the security of the whole area was under discussion. I remind the House that the Prime Minister's Statement that I repeated in this House earlier this week referred to the territorial integrity of Iraq.
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