Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Division No. 2

CONTENTS

Addington, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Avebury, L.
Bath, M.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Berkeley, L.
Birk, B.
Blackstone, B.
Broadbridge, L.
Carr of Hadley, L.
Carter, L.
Clancarty, E.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Dahrendorf, L.
David, B.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Diamond, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Falkender, B.
Falkland, V.
Gainsborough, E.
Gallacher, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Greene of Harrow Weald, L.
Gregson, L.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hooson, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hylton, L.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Inchyra, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kilbracken, L.
Lincoln, Bp.
Lockwood, B.
Lovell-Davis, L.
McGregor of Durris, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McNair, L.
McNally, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Mayhew, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Meston, L.
Methuen, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mishcon, L.
Monkswell, L.
Nicol, B.
Norfolk, D. [Teller.]
Ogmore, L.
Peston, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Richard, L.
Rochester, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Russell, E.
Sandwich, E.
Seear, B.
Serota, B.
Sewel, L.
Southwell, Bp.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Strafford, E.
Thomas of Swynnerton, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Turner of Camden, B.
White, B.
Williams of Crosby, B. [Teller.]
Williams of Elvel, L.
Winston, L.

NOT-CONTENTS

Aberdare, L.
Abinger, L.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Archer of Weston-Super-Mare, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Balfour, E.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Birdwood, L.
Blatch, B.
Bowness, L.
Boyd-Carpenter, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Butterworth, L.
Cadman, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carnock, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Chelmsford, V.
Chesham, L. [Teller.]
Clanwilliam, E.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Coleraine, L.
Colwyn, L.
Courtown, E.
Craigavon, V.
Cranborne, V. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dacre of Glanton, L.
Denham, L.
Denton of Wakefield, B.
Dilhorne, V.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Downshire, M.
Dudley, E.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Finsberg, L.
Flather, B.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Gisborough, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Goschen, V.
Hanson, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Harrowby, E.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Holderness, L.
HolmPatrick, L.
Howe, E.
Inglewood, L.
Jeffreys, L.
Kenilworth, L.
Kenyon, L.
Keyes, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kinnoull, E.
Laing of Dunphail, L.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lauderdale, E.
Leigh, L.
Lindsey and Abingdon, E.
Liverpool, E.
Long, V.
Lucas, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Macleod of Borve, B.
Marlesford, L.
Merrivale, L.
Mersey, V.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Milverton, L.
Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Mottistone, L.
Mountevans, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Munster, E.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Nelson, E.
Newall, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Oxfuird, V.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Peel, E.
Rankeillour, L.
Rawlings, B.
Rennell, L.
Renton, L.
Saint Albans, D.
St. Davids, V.
Seccombe, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Stewartby, L.
Strange, B.
Strathcarron, L.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Strathmore and Kinghorne, E.
Sudeley, L.
Teviot, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Trumpington, B.
Tugendhat, L.
Vinson, L.
Wedgwood, L.
Wilcox, B.
Wynford, L.
Young, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

20 Jun 1996 : Column 498

6.10 p.m.

[Amendment No. 4B not moved.]

Baroness Blatch moved Amendment No. 5:


Page 1, line 16, leave out sub-paragraph (2).

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 6 and 7 had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.]

Earl Russell moved Amendment No. 7A:


Page 1, line 21, at end insert--
("( ) Nothing in this paragraph shall apply to a person who has a claim in support of which the evidence adduced establishes that there is a reasonable likelihood that the appellant has been raped or seriously sexually assaulted, or there is evidence of the systematic use of rape as a means of waging war or exercising control in the country or territory to which she or he is to be sent.").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, this amendment, like that on which the House has just voted, is not designed to give anyone a right to stay here permanently. It is designed simply to provide an exemption from the procedure of fast-tracking. It is designed to give time for evidence to come forward, to give time to allow people to tell their stories, and to give time to assess rather more fully than might otherwise be the case the credibility of stories which have been told.

Before I go any further, I should like to thank the noble Lord, Lord Mishcon, for drawing my attention to a defect in the wording. In the event of the Minister wishing to accept the amendment, I hope that we shall be able to agree to tidy it up. The word "or" in the fourth line of the amendment should read "and". That conjunction is crucial to the amendment because it establishes the link between its two halves.

The first part of the amendment is plain enough. The use of rape as a weapon of war and of ethnic cleansing and persecution has been amply documented in the press in recent times. It is an atrocity. I use that word advisedly and technically and I do not think that any noble Lord will disagree with it. It is also something about which, notoriously, the victims find it extremely difficult to tell their stories. I have known cases in which that has been so and the difficulty was patent, serious and acute. If overcome, it was overcome only very slowly and with great effort. That may be inconvenient, but it is a fact--and because it is a fact we must live with it.

20 Jun 1996 : Column 499

The link between the two sections of the amendment and the reason why it is crucial that it should read "and" not "or" is the issue of credibility. As the noble Baroness has been saying all afternoon, it is crucial to assess the credibility of an individual's story and, as I have been replying all afternoon, in assessing the credibility of an individual's story, we need to have an accurate picture of the country and the context from which that story comes. Stories are much more easily credible coming from some contexts than from others. That is why it is important to the credibility of one alleging that rape has been used against her--I suppose that I should add "against him" because that happens also--that in that country,


    "there is evidence of the systematic use of rape as a means of waging war or exercising control in the country or territory to which she or he is to be sent".

The Minister may reply, as she did on the previous amendment, that there is some ambiguity about which country is being referred to. If I go too deeply into that, I shall anticipate a great deal of the argument that we shall need to have on the Question of Clause 2 stand part, but since some of it was raised in Committee, I shall touch on it briefly now. The Minister said just now that most of the asylum seekers coming from Zaire have come through Belgium. The noble Baroness will be familiar with the case of ex parte Bostam (which was discussed in Committee) from which it emerged that many of the people returned to Belgium under the safe third country procedure were in fact sent straight back to Zaire. Unless the noble Baroness can establish that the third country to which the person is returned is one wherein they shall be able to remain, that will be a purely technical distinction and probably of no effect. When we send people back, the likelihood is that it will end up as a matter of refoulment, going right back to the original country of origin. Therefore, I do not think that there is any mileage to be made out of trying to argue that distinction.

This is a serious amendment. It deals with an abuse which is serious and which is, across the world as a whole, probably more widespread than the abuse dealt with in the amendment in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Ashbourne--that is, forced abortion, sterilisation and population control.

I agree with what the Minister said about not making too many categories of legislative drafting. As one of my academic colleagues said about criminal statutes in the 18th century, "People who had their turnips stolen demanded the death penalty for stealing turnips, not remembering that the catastrophe which happened this year to their turnips might happen next year to their potatoes". If we are to adopt the approach which the noble Baroness suggests, we would have needed Amendment No. 4A which the House has just decided not to adopt. Since the House has decided not to adopt that amendment, that route of dealing with the problem is blocked off. Therefore, I think that we need this amendment as a second best. I beg to move.

6.15 p.m.

Lord Renton: My Lords, the noble Earl has put forward his case with great clarity. I am not surprised

20 Jun 1996 : Column 500

that he had to mention the deletion of the word "or" and its substitution by the word "and". There is, alas, rape and sexual assault in every country in the world--including, I am sorry to say, our own--and without that substitution a woman would only have to come here and show that she had lost her virginity, and because the amendment specifies only that there must be "a reasonable likelihood" that she had been raped or sexually assaulted, that would not be difficult for her to prove.

However, in addition to proving that, the woman would now have to show that in the country to which she is to be sent,


    "there is evidence of the systematic use of rape as a means of waging war or exercising control".
I am surprised by the inclusion of the word "he" in the amendment because, as I understand it, men are not raped.

I have travelled in every continent except the Arctic and the Antarctic and have visited over 40 countries, but until this evening, when I read this amendment and heard the speech of the noble Earl I had never heard of,


    "the systematic use of rape as a means of waging war or exercising control in the country or territory".
That may be my ignorance, but I had never heard of it. I do not know whether other noble Lords have heard of that, but it would be interesting to be told in which countries it is known and established that that occurs. Quite frankly, I have serious doubts about it.


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page