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Baroness Williams of Crosby: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Kingsland, and I are trying to decide, at a distance, which of us is going to speak now. I think by order that it is my turn.

I am extremely grateful to the Minister for the thoughtful and careful way in which she responds to amendments of this kind. As a long-standing political hand, I am very conscious that flaws in amendments are always the reasons given for finding them unacceptable. The noble Baroness has put forward the perfectly fair argument that, in her view, the amendment was framed in too broad a way. The trouble is, as noble Lords will appreciate, the Bill itself is framed in far too broad a way. If one reads the list of offences in Clauses 1, 2, 17 and many others, one sees that the range is simply incredible. It is rather frightening as a range of potential offences. So, with no wish to be out of order, my noble friends Lord Goodhart and Lord Thomas and I had to frame the amendment in a way that countered and met the width of the Bill itself.

(7)One other point that I would like to make very quickly—it is a point which was forcefully argued by the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Oxford and the noble Lord, Lord Judd—relates to what one might describe as the counter-effect of this kind of legislation. If you are someone who passionately believes in democracy and human rights and who
25 Jan 2006 : Column 1195
wants to bring that to your benighted country, and if it is not obvious to a country like the United Kingdom so that it understands that and is on the side of your effort to establish human rights and democracy, bluntly, where do you look for help? To whom do you look for help? The answer is that there is not anyone to look to for help.

A number of noble Lords made forceful, honest and very important remarks about the great difficulty of having no clear definition of "terrorism". The right reverend Prelate offered an ingenious definition and there is another wise definition in the High Level Task Force of the United Nations, with which the noble Lord, Lord Hannay, was so closely associated. In other words, there is not a shortage of fine definitions which means that we have to fall back on an area of vagueness.

The final point I wish to make—this is why, I am afraid, despite what the noble Baroness has said, I shall be seeking the opinion of the House—is summed up in the Minister's perfectly reasonable answer to me that my noble friend Lord Carlile of Berriew QC would be looking into this issue and coming up with a definition in a year's time. Apart from the fact that that leaves a rather nasty gap of a year—in which, quite possibly, there will be prosecutions for offences conducted outside this country and against governments other than our own—I have another objection. It is not an objection to the evidently brilliant reputation of my noble friend but, frankly, to the thought that an expert and not Parliament itself should have the final voice on this kind of issue, which is about human rights, democracy and justice. I think Parliament should have that right. Parliament should express its opinion; and that opinion should then be brought before experts who are considering what to do.

I am sorry that the noble Baroness did not feel able to respond to the enticements of the noble Lord, Lord Kingsland—which appeared to me to be overwhelmingly moderate—namely, that she should agree that the Attorney-General would have to take these matters into account. Given that she did not feel able to go even that far or to say that the noble Lord, Lord Carlile of Berriew, would also have to go that far, I shall have to take the—

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, before the noble Baroness does that, I should say two things. First, Parliament will have its say because, although the noble Lord, Lord Carlile, will make recommendations, it will be for Parliament to determine the frame in which that will take place. So that is going happen. Secondly, I have said very clearly that doubtless there will be a need to consider the nature of the alleged crimes and that there may well be a need to look at the nature of the country in which any terrorist act takes place. Your Lordships should remember that, in exercising his discretion, the Attorney-General has to give his consent only if he believes that a prosecution would be in the public interest.

Baroness Williams of Crosby: My Lords, I understand those points and I am grateful to the
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noble Baroness for making them. I am well aware that eventually my noble friend Lord Carlile will have to bring that definition back to Parliament. My point is that I want Parliament to be taken into account when he draws up that definition. So with the greatest respect to the noble Baroness, I seek to take the opinion of the House.

3.50 pm

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 64) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 103; Not-Contents, 157

Division No. 1


Ackner, L.
Addington, L.
Ahmed, L.
Ashcroft, L.
Avebury, L.
Ballyedmond, L.
Barker, B.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, B.
Bowness, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Bridges, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Canterbury, Abp.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chester, Bp.
Chidgey, L.
Chorley, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Colwyn, L.
Dykes, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Ezra, L.
Falkner of Margravine, B.
Fookes, B.
Garden, L.
Gilmour of Craigmillar, L.
Glasgow, E.
Goodhart, L.
Goodlad, L.
Greaves, L.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Hooson, L.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Hylton, L.
Imbert, L.
Joffe, L.
Jones of Cheltenham, L.
Judd, L.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
Kirkwood of Kirkhope, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Lyell of Markyate, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Maclennan of Rogart, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Naseby, L.
Neill of Bladen, L.
Neuberger, B.
Newby, L.
Northover, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
O'Neill of Bengarve, B.
Onslow, E.
Oxford, Bp.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Prior, L.
Quirk, L.
Razzall, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rees-Mogg, L.
Roberts of Llandudno, L. [Teller]
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roper, L.
Sandberg, L.
Sandwich, E.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Sharman, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sheldon, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L. [Teller]
Smith of Clifton, L.
Steel of Aikwood, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Taverne, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tonge, B.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Tugendhat, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Tyler, L.
Wakeham, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Warnock, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Worcester, Bp.
York, Abp.


Adams of Craigielea, B.
Adonis, L.
Amos, B. [Lord President]
Ampthill, L.
Anderson of Swansea, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Bhattacharyya, L.
Billingham, B.
Bilston, L.
Birt, L.
Bledisloe, V.
Borrie, L.
Boston of Faversham, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Cameron of Lochbroom, L.
Carter, L.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cobbold, L.
Condon, L.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Corston, B.
Craig of Radley, L.
Crawley, B.
Cunningham of Felling, L.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
David, B.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Deech, B.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Drayson, L.
D'Souza, B.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Elystan-Morgan, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Falkender, B.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Foster of Bishop Auckland, L.
Foulkes of Cumnock, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gavron, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Brookwood, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Greengross, B.
Gregson, L.
Griffiths of Burry Port, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Hannay of Chiswick, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Hart of Chilton, L.
Hayman, B.
Henig, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howarth of Breckland, B.
Howarth of Newport, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Inge, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
Jordan, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kinnock, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
Maginnis of Drumglass, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Marsh, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Maxton, L.
Mitchell, L.
Moonie, L.
Morgan of Drefelin, B.
Morgan of Huyton, B.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Moser, L.
Northbourne, L.
Ouseley, L.
Palmer, L.
Parekh, L.
Pendry, L.
Peston, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Prosser, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Ramsbotham, L.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Rooker, L.
Rosser, L.
Royall of Blaisdon, B.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sewel, L.
Simon, V.
Slim, V.
Soley, L.
Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Sutherland of Houndwood, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Temple-Morris, L.
Tenby, V.
Triesman, L.
Truscott, L.
Tunnicliffe, L.
Varley, L.
Walpole, L.
Walton of Detchant, L.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Whitaker, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

25 Jan 2006 : Column 1198
4.01 pm

Clause 20 [Interpretation of Part 1]:

[Amendments Nos. 65 and 66 not moved.]

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