Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Division No. 2

CONTENTS

Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Avebury, L.
Bancroft, L.
Birk, B.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Broadbridge, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L.
Chichester, Bp.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
David, B.
Dean of Beswick, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Diamond, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Ewing of Kirkford, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Gallacher, L.
Geraint, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Glenamara, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L. [Teller.]
Gregson, L.
Grey, E.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Healey, L.
Henderson of Brompton, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howell, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hughes, L.
Inchyra, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kilbracken, L.
Kinloss, Ly.
Kissin, L.
Liverpool, Bp.
Lockwood, B.
McGregor of Durris, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McNair, L.
McNally, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Mayhew, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mishcon, L.
Molloy, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Nicol, B.
Ogmore, L.
Peston, L.
Phillips of Ellesmere, L.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Rea, L.
Ripon, Bp.
Ritchie of Dundee, L.
Rochester, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Runcie, L.
Russell, E.
Sandwich, E.
Seear, B.
Serota, B.
Sewel, L.
Shepherd, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Stedman, B.
Taverne, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Tenby, V.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thurso, V.
Tonypandy, V.
Tordoff, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Varley, L.
Wallace of Coslany, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
White, B.
Williams of Crosby, B. [Teller.]
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winchilsea and Nottingham, E.
Winston, L.

NOT-CONTENTS

Ackner, L.
Addison, V.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Arran, E.
Ashbourne, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Barber of Tewkesbury, L.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Biddulph, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Bledisloe, V.
Boardman, L.
Bowness, L.
Boyd-Carpenter, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Brentford, V.
Brookeborough, V.
Brookes, L.
Burnham, L.
Cadman, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carnock, L.
Chelmsford, V.
Chesham, L. [Teller.]
Clanwilliam, E.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Colwyn, L.
Courtown, E.
Cranborne, V. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Crathorne, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dacre of Glanton, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denton of Wakefield, B.
Devonport, V.
Dilhorne, V.
Drogheda, E.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Gisborough, L.
Goold, L.
Goschen, V.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greenway, L.
Grimston of Westbury, L.
Harding of Petherton, L.
Hardinge of Penshurst, L.
Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Henley, L.
Hertford, M.
Holderness, L.
HolmPatrick, L.
Howe, E.
Jeffreys, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Johnston of Rockport, L.
Kimball, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kinnoull, E.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lauderdale, E.
Leigh, L.
Lindsay, E.
Lindsey and Abingdon, E.
Long, V.
Lucas, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Mackay of Drumadoon, L.
Mackintosh of Halifax, V.
Marlesford, L.
Massereene and Ferrard, V.
Merrivale, L.
Mersey, V.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Mills, V.
Milverton, L.
Monson, L.
Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Mountevans, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moyne, L.
Munster, E.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Napier and Ettrick, L.
Nelson, E.
Northesk, E.
Orkney, E.
Oxfuird, V.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pender, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Rankeillour, L.
Rawlings, B.
Rawlinson of Ewell, L.
Reay, L.
Rees, L.
Rennell, L.
Renwick, L.
Romney, E.
Saint Albans, D.
Seccombe, B.
Sharples, B.
Skelmersdale, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Sudeley, L.
Tebbit, L.
Teynham, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Ullswater, V.
Vivian, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Whitelaw, V.
Willoughby de Broke, L.
Wynford, L.
Young, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

23 Apr 1996 : Column 1072

6.29 p.m.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved, as an amendment to Amendment No. 1, Amendment No. 5:


Line 16, at end insert ("for the reasons stated by the appellant").

The noble Lord said: Amendment No. 5 is a comparable but different approach to the same problem of the imprecision of the designation procedure. I shall not be very happy if I am told in response to the amendment that the designation procedure requires imprecision if it is to take effect at all. If the Government required imprecision as a precondition of having the designation procedure, it would be much better if they gave up the designation procedure, because imprecision in designation is the key to injustice so far as concerns individuals.

We suggest that in line 16 of the new clause there should be inserted, after the phrase "in general so serious risk of persecution", the words "for the reasons stated by the appellant". It may not be immediately obvious what that means. It means that the appellant has to state the reasons, but the precondition of the appellant stating reasons is that the Government have to state reasons. It is not enough for them to designate a country in the list; they have to say that it is based on an issue in the country rather than the country itself.

I give an example. A number of noble Lords have referred to Pakistan. It may be that an appellant from Pakistan says that he is a supporter of the Pakistan People's Party, which is the opposition party in Pakistan, and that he hears threatening noises. I believe that a great number of us would say that if an individual was a member of an opposition party--noble Lords opposite should listen to this because they will experience it--he might be discriminated against in all kinds of ways. In certain circumstances such an individual may be persecuted or even prosecuted. However, that is not the same as justifying refugee status. If as a Member of the Opposition in this country I went to another country and said that I was being persecuted, I do not believe that too much attention

23 Apr 1996 : Column 1073

would be paid to me. Of course, there are reasons why people in Pakistan can be persecuted. Reasons have been given. Membership of religious minorities is the classic example. Another example is membership of the Roma people in eastern Europe.

What we say in this amendment--which we believe is helpful to the Government--is that they can be more precise in their designation because they can say that a country is on the list not just tout court because it is on the list, but that there are specific reasons for it. On that basis, it may be possible for them to extend the list. They may say that Pakistan, which would not normally be on the list--we have the Minister's assurance that it would not be--could be included provided the reason for an application reflected genuine persecution, but not for other reasons. One would have a much more sensitive list, and perhaps a longer one, that paid more attention to the needs of individuals. The appellant would have to show that he was appealing not only because of the country he came from but because the reason did not fall in with the Government's grounds for exclusion. Otherwise, we would face the same problem discussed on the last amendment. Complex cases will clog the fast track and the appeal system.

One of my objections to the whole designation procedure is that it has a built-in inaccuracy and tendency to generalisation. That inaccuracy may appear to be justified on the ground that the cost of the original applications under the fast track will be less than they would otherwise be. I suggest to the Committee that in the end the adjudicators would have to rule whether the procedure was correctly dealt with under the fast track. That in turn will give grounds for more appeals and expenditure on the appeal procedure. I cannot say whether it would cancel out any other savings, but certainly it would seriously reduce them. Above all, the generalisation involved in the designation procedure will produce injustice for individuals. I beg to move.

Baroness Blatch: Amendment No. 5 envisages that the Secretary of State should produce a list of grounds which do not give rise to a serious risk of persecution in a particular country. If an applicant then based his claim on one of those grounds, a certificate could be applied on refusing the application, but certification would not be available if the claim was based on a ground not contained in the order. The scope for abuse would be enormous. We consider that such an approach would be unworkable. First, it would not be feasible for the Secretary of State to specify in his designation order an exhaustive list of grounds or scenarios which would not give rise to a serious risk of persecution. Every single case is different and must be considered on its merits. Secondly, the Bill as drafted prevents designation if there is a serious risk of persecution for any of the reasons specified by the 1951 convention, namely race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. Thirdly, the designation concept would be undermined and present real scope for abuse if applicants could bypass it simply by including in their claim a spurious ground which was not specified in the Secretary of State's order. Even if he could not demonstrate that the ground applied in his

23 Apr 1996 : Column 1074

case, the applicant could prevent the Secretary of State from issuing a certificate. Under our approach there would be no opportunity for such evasion. Therefore, I hope that the amendment will not be pressed.


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page