|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Lord Goodhart: Amendment No. 166 contains provisions which are incompatible with what has now been decided because the Secretary of State no longer has a power to revoke a control order or modify the obligations.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: I do not think that the amendment is consequential on anything that has
7 Mar 2005 : Column 573
come before. If the noble Lord could describe how it is consequential I have no doubt that we would easily be persuaded.
Lord Goodhart: It appears to me that it is consequential because the failure by the Secretary of State to consider an application necessarily seems to imply a situation in which it is the duty of the Secretary of State to decide whether such an application should be allowed. I do not believe that it can reasonably be interpreted as referring to a case in which the subject of the order says, "I am applying for revocation of the order; are you going to agree with me or are you going to contest it?". That cannot possibly be a reasonable interpretation of subsection (3), therefore it is clearly consequential.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: I agree. Having listened to what the noble Lords, Lord Goodhart, Lord Kingsland and Lord Clinton-Davis, have said, I am persuaded that they are plainly right and I am plainly wrong. Therefore, I agree that it is consequential. I apologise for taking up three minutes of the Committee's time.
"REVIEW OF ACT
(1) The Secretary of State shall appoint a committee to conduct a review of the operation of this Act.
(2) A person may be a member of the committee only if he is a member of the Privy Council.
7 Mar 2005 : Column 574
(3) There shall be five members of the Committee of whom one each will be nominated by
(a) the Prime Minister;
(b) the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons;
(c) the Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons;
(d) the Convenor of the Crossbench peers in the House of Lords;
(e) the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.
(4) The Secretary of State may not refuse any nomination made under subsection (3).
(5) The committee shall complete a review and send a report to the Secretary of State
(a) not later than the end of four months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed; and
(b) not later than the end of eight months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed.
(6) The Secretary of State shall lay a copy of the report before Parliament as soon as is reasonably practicable.
(7) The Secretary of State may make payments to persons appointed as members of the committee."
The noble Lord said: We on the Opposition Benches consider this to be an extremely important amendment. It proposes the establishment of a committee by the Secretary of State to review the operation of the Act after a certain period of time has elapsed. Quite properly for a matter dealing with national security, the members of the review committee should comprise only Privy Counsellors. We suggest that the ideal number would be five: one nominated by the Prime Minister, one by the Leader of the Opposition, one by the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, one by the Convenor of the Cross-Benchers in the House of Lords and one by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.
In our submission, the Secretary of State should be prohibited from refusing any nomination made by those designated nominators. The committee should complete its review swiftly and send a report to the Secretary of State within a matter of a few months. A copy of the report should be laid before Parliament as soon as is reasonably practicable.
Two aspects of the Bill give us particular cause for concern. First, the speed with which it has been making its way through Parliament has meant that full and proper consideration has not been given to it. Secondly, it affects the most fundamental rights of our citizens. For the first time in our history, it questions the right of an individual, having been detained, to be tried by his peers. For those two reasons, it seems to us wholly appropriate that a mechanism of the nature we suggest should be established. It is a necessary security for the support and protection of fundamental liberties in the country. I beg to move.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|