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The Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill

Wednesday 16th November 2011

This week, the Archbishop of York spoke twice in the debate on the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill...

The Archbishop's contributions, and responses, and may be seen in context here and here.

The Archbishop of York: My Lords, this clause gives the Home Secretary power to impose measures for terrorism prevention-so in many ways she is acting like a judge-and investigation, so she is behaving like the DPP. That is not right. You cannot combine functions that belong to the courts and the Director of Public Prosecutions into one person. That is always going to be problematic.

In this country, one of the greatest joys is that no one is deprived of their liberty unless they have committed an offence defined in law, been investigated and gone before a court, which in the end imposes the deprivation of liberty. Of course, you tell me, "This is the United Kingdom; the Home Secretary could never be near this". In Uganda, if the President felt that you were committing treason, he made an order and you found yourself arrested, locked up and deprived of the possibility of any defence. Of course, you would say, "That is terrible; it should not be like that". Friends, it happened to me.

Therefore, I feel where you are going at the moment, if you are going to deprive and impose specific measures on a person, surely it should be by application to the courts, and it would be the duty of the Home Secretary to present evidence that persuades a judge. Of course, we will be told that the Home Secretary will act very quickly. As the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, said, it can be done ex parte, very quickly; there is no reason that cannot happen. For the sake of those of us who came to enjoy the separation of the Executive from the judiciary and still see it as the greatest defence for the liberties of people, I hope that the Government will accept that this will be an improvement to the Bill if this separation is made.

There should be no doctrinaire stuff about it. In the end, it cannot really be the same person who does all this. Thank God, I will never be Home Secretary. If I were, I would find this clause terrifying, because in my conscience I would not want to be the judge, jury and executioner all in the same place-and the DPP as well, all combined into one. For the sake, therefore, of keeping this fantastic balance of the Executive and the judiciary never meddling with one another, this legislature would do well to accept all of the amendments that have been tabled by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick. This is what I rejoice about in this country-its liberty and its separation of powers.


The Archbishop of York: I, too, as someone who supported the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, in his amendment, believe that it is the duty of the Home Secretary to make the application to the judge and the judge to determine. To bring back relocation would make the case worse-not because we lost the last Vote, but I generally feel that on this particular bit of the Bill the Government have got it right. So I hope that we do not have to go through the Lobby Doors again but that the amendment will be withdrawn. Nothing will cause me greater difficulty in my understanding of British justice than bringing back relocation. That actually causes more difficulty in our communities than anything else. If there is going to be relocation, the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, should in his amendment have said that it should be done on the orders of a judge and not the Secretary of State.

I go with the Government on this, as I think they have got it right. Of course, we lost the last and most important amendment, but there we are.

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: . . . . However, the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of York has advised me not to move the amendment on this occasion. He was a wonderful Bishop of Birmingham when I first met him. In this case, I will take spiritual advice and will not seek to press the House on this any further. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.


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