The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): My Lords, the Government are committed to tackling obesity, which has serious consequences for individuals, the NHS and the wider economy. The Government recently published A call to action on obesity in England, which sets out how obesity will be tackled in the new public health and NHS systems and the role of key partners.
Lord McColl of Dulwich: I thank my noble friend for that reply. Would he kindly consider launching a campaign comparable to that launched by my noble friend Lord Fowler in the 1980s, which was so striking and so very effective?
Earl Howe: I agree with my noble friend about the campaign launched by our noble friend Lord Fowler, which was extremely effective. We recognise that excess weight is a really serious problem. That is why we have set out what we believe is an ambitious approach to dealing with it. We are radically overhauling the public health system. We are working with business to go further and faster on making it easier for people to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. We are also continuing to invest in programmes such as Change4Life. The Government cannot solve the problem on their own but we can encourage and support a wide range of partners to play their part. The call to action sets out how we are going to do that.
Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe: My Lords, will the noble Earl please explain how people can be expected to take personal responsibility for sorting out their health problems when so much information about the food and drink they consume is kept from them? Can he please also explain why the Government are failing to press the drinks industry to show the number of calories in alcoholic drinks on the labels, and declining to meet the industry and press it accordingly?
Earl Howe: I am not aware that we have declined to meet the drinks industry; the noble Lord may know something that I do not. We talk regularly to the drinks industry. As he will be aware from a Question tabled in this House the other day, the result of the European nutrition labelling regulation is that we now have the flexibility in this country to construct rules that suit us. That includes encouraging the drinks industry-and I believe that it is willing to do it-to place energy information on its labels.
Baroness Trumpington: My Lords, does the Minister realise that some of us eat like sparrows but end up like turkeys? Does the publication which he spoke of cover the situation of those of us whom I have just spoken of?
Earl Howe: My Lords, my noble friend makes what is in fact a very complex point. Many of us believe that there is a genetic element to this, and indeed the 2007 Foresight report underlined the complexity around the causes of obesity. Genetic, psychological, cultural and behavioural factors all have a part to play in it. I do not have specific advice to give my noble friend-far be it from me to do so-but there is obviously a balance to be struck between calories in and calories out.
Baroness Thornton: My Lords, if the Royal Society of Paediatricians, other medical organisations, Which? magazine, Jamie Oliver and many others regard the Secretary of State's most recent obesity announcement, which presumably is based on corporate relations and the nudge theory, as, variously, "worthless", "patronising" and "inadequate", does the noble Earl regard this as people not understanding Mr Lansley-again-or could it be that the obesity strategy is actually not adequate and the Government need to go back to the drawing board?
Earl Howe: It is only inadequate if we as Government fail to work with partners as we have the ambition to do. We do have that ambition, and obviously we are disappointed by some of the reactions that have been published. However, we share the concerns expressed by Jamie Oliver and the bodies mentioned by the noble Baroness that urgent action is required to tackle obesity, and we all have a role to play in that.
Lord Lawson of Blaby: My Lords, as someone who has been there and done that, and indeed written a book about it, may I say to the noble Earl that he is absolutely right that this is not something that the Government can do on their own-indeed, may I suggest that it is not something that the Government can do at all? There is a genetic element, which the Government cannot do anything about, and the rest is about eating less and drinking less. If the Government were more concerned about doing something about the economy, where they do have a responsibility, and less about obesity, that might be sensible.
Earl Howe: My Lords, the fact is, as was recognised in our report, that most of us are eating and drinking more than we need to and we are not active enough. Being overweight or obese is a direct consequence of eating more calories than we need. Increasing physical activity is important but reducing the calories we consume is clearly key to weight loss.
Lord Maxton: My Lords, does the Minister agree that exercise is a vital part of tackling the problem of obesity? If the Government insist on local authorities cutting back on their expenditure, will not those same local authorities close gymnasiums, leisure centres and swimming pools, and sell off their playing fields? How does that help us to tackle obesity?
Baroness Hussein-Ece: My Lords, unlike the noble Lord, Lord Lawson, I have not really been there and done it, but I am full of admiration for him that he has. However, is it not shocking that 25 per cent of children aged between two and 15 are now classified as obese? Does the Minister share my concern that this serious public health problem is not simply a question of celebrity chefs or of parents being lectured about lunch boxes, it is about educating children and families on how to prepare fresh, healthy food? Is there any evidence that this is being done consistently?
Baroness Howarth of Breckland: My Lords, I know that the Ministry is very keen on co-ordination, and I am sure that one of the reasons why the team from the Food Standards Agency was moved into the Department of Health was to ensure that it could work on these issues. The Minister will remember that this team was outstandingly successful in its work on the salt campaign and was moving on to work on fat and sugar, which would have helped with the obesity problem. I understand that the team is now being disbanded. Is that sensible in the light of the Question of the noble Lord, Lord McColl?
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, it is the responsibility of the relevant contracting authority to take appropriate steps to ensure that companies providing public services are financially secure, initially when selecting suppliers and then on an ongoing basis through contract management and supplier relationship management. For each of the major suppliers to
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Lord Haskel: My Lords, I find that response a little worrying, because we all depend on public services. Does the Minister agree that, at this time of volatile markets and financial difficulties, the services that we get from these companies are at risk from too much debt, from hidden debt and from hit-and-run investors who try to take over these companies? Are the Government taking any extra precautions in these circumstances, because, at the end of the day, it is we the taxpayers who have to clear up the mess?
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, one cannot entirely eliminate financial risk either from private or public sector providers so long as public sector providers have a degree of financial and accounting autonomy. We have seen that in a number of public sector cases as well as in private sector cases. The Government are taking considerable care in contracting to ensure that we look at the financial viability of all suppliers and, in particular, do our best to encourage small and medium enterprises and social enterprises to be able to bid for public service contracts. That takes rather more sophistication than dealing simply with major suppliers.
Baroness Eaton: My Lords, does my noble friend agree that one of the best ways of helping businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises, is to scrap complex and unnecessary central prescription around the commissioning process? Will he detail what the Government are doing to simplify the systems that businesses have struggled with for so many years?
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, I understand that one of the problems particularly for smaller companies and social enterprises bidding for public sector contracts was the prequalification questionnaire, a document which might have been somewhere between 50 and 300 pages long and led to some smaller enterprises simply deciding not to bid. We have now scrapped that and made a much simpler and shorter alternative. We are adjusting the way in which the many hundreds of contracting authorities within the public sector deal with those with whom they operate, but I underline that we are concerned as far as possible to assist mutuals, social enterprises and small companies in playing their role in providing public services wherever possible.
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, there are all sorts of pressures on Ministers' diaries, especially at the moment, but does the Minister agree that it was not acceptable for his honourable friend Mr Burstow to cite diary pressures as a reason for not meeting the financially insecure Southern Cross for discussions, when these were repeatedly asked for by the company and when it was providing a public service by providing homes for 31,000 vulnerable people?
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, I am not fully briefed on the exact details of my honourable friend Paul Burstow's diary. We have of course been concerned with ensuring that the services provided by Southern Cross should be maintained. There have been various negotiations. Southern Cross confirmed in an announcement to the Stock Exchange on 27 September that it had reached agreement with its principal landlords and that it would transfer the group's care home leases to its landlords and the related business and assets for the operations of those homes to its landlords or alternative care providers.
Lord Maclennan of Rogart: My Lords, does not Southern Cross illustrate that it is not only small and medium sized companies that need to be watched? Is there a continuing process in respect of the larger companies that are providing comparable public services?
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, one or two of the providers of public services in the private sector are now among the largest companies in Britain and the world. Noble Lords who read the financial pages may know that G4S has just taken over another major multinational company. Liberata, a back-office outsourcing firm, nearly went bankrupt in 2008, partly because of its pensions liability, and had to be restructured. It is now partly owned by its employees and partly owned by the Pension Protection Fund. The Government, as with all others in such circumstances, do get engaged in trying to re-establish companies in difficulty that are playing a valuable role.
Lord McFall of Alcluith: My Lords, given the sorry example of Southern Cross and the burgeoning outsourcing of public services, which is estimated to go from £80 billion to £140 billion by 2014, is there not a case for the utmost transparency on the part of the Government through extending freedom of information to private companies undertaking public services so that they can catch the failed business model, which they did not do in the case of Southern Cross?
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, I have to repeat: one cannot entirely eliminate financial risk from activities which take place either in the private or the financial sector. We all know that cases of mismanagement have taken place in schools, hospitals and other areas in the public and private sector. The Government have established a new major projects authority within the Cabinet Office and a group of strategic suppliers. They are working extremely hard to ensure that as much transparency as possible can be provided. However, if the noble Lord thinks that there is insufficient transparency, I encourage him to return to this issue on future occasions.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): My Lords, the Government will launch a consultation on the introduction of fees in employment tribunals and the employment appeal tribunals later in the year. That consultation document will set out options for proposed fee structures and the indicative levels that might be applied. No decision will be made on the level of fees to be paid until that consultation has been completed.
Lord Lea of Crondall: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply. Is he aware that the most recent consultation he has announced is only about the amount of fees and not about the principle, at a time when the BIS consultation has not yet been completed? Would he care to enlarge on the evidence to justify Mr George Osborne's pre-emptive statement to the Conservative Party conference on 3 October, when he cited as evidence simply "perceptions" of "weak or vexatious claims", when these are in fact being weeded out? Secondly, is the Minister aware of the recent statement by the chairman of the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council that the Government's policy is based on limited evidence, which would have,
Lord McNally: My Lords, the Government announced the introduction of fees into the employment tribunals and the employment appeal tribunals in the Resolving Workplace Disputes consultation published in January 2011. The consultation I have mentioned today will seek views on the fee levels, charging points and so on.
On the points that the noble Lord made, this is the whole reason for this second stage of consultation. Small businesses gave evidence about the burdens of what they describe as vexatious claims brought to them. I am sure that others will give evidence to the contrary. That is the point of consultation.
Lord Martin of Springburn: My Lords, I can recall the days when there were no industrial tribunals. Decent men and women were sacked and could not take any legal action. Are we now introducing a blocking mechanism-that is, fees-for industrial tribunals when the industrial tribunal system has been excellent in resolving disputes?
Lord McNally: My Lords, there is no aim to go back to what the noble Lord, Lord Martin, could rightly describe as the "bad old days". The industrial tribunals system will remain and people will still have access to it. We expect that the tribunals will have the power to order that unsuccessful parties reimburse the fee paid by the successful party so that costs are ultimately borne by the party which causes the system to be used. There is nothing in the system that does not say that a small proportion of the costs cannot be charged. We do not believe that that would fundamentally undermine the very good work that the tribunal system does.
Lord Thomas of Gresford: My Lords, does my noble friend accept that meritorious claims will be as much discouraged by the imposition of fees as vexatious
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Lord McNally: My Lords, I suspect that we will have discussions along these lines over a range of issues. I suspect that small charges for access to courts such as the tribunal service will not have a deterrent effect on meritorious cases. One small range of consultations suggested that there might be a small fall-off in applications with the introduction of fees. As part of the consultation that will take place in December, we hope to widen that impact assessment to make sure that we are going down the right road. Between 2001 and 2010, there was an 81 per cent increase in cases going to employment tribunals. There is a limit to what a free service at the taxpayers' expense can bear.
Lord Borrie: My Lords, instead of charging workers for exercising their statutory rights to claim whatever it is that they want to claim for unfair dismissal, discrimination, et cetera, we should try to return to the position when employment and industrial tribunals started, replacing the courts to provide a more informal, less costly and simpler system to operate so that people would have the opportunity to put their case to a body that could deal with matters free of charge without incurring the sort of expense now being suggested.
Lord McNally: My Lords, I fully endorse the growl of approval from the Benches opposite but this is precisely the argument that we will have again and again in the weeks and months to come. The problem is that a system that started off as a non-confrontational, non-legal settlement of disputes has become peopled by m'learned friends at great expense. We are trying to move away from a legalistic approach to settling disputes to one that will settle more by arbitration, conciliation and mediation.
Lord Scott of Foscote: My Lords, the accessibility of a civil justice system is one of the features of the structure of the administration of justice that every civilised country ought to provide for its citizens. Is not the danger of a fee structure system that the fees might be set at too high a level, thereby denying access to justice to those unfortunates who could not afford such a fee?
Lord McNally: My Lords, that is precisely why we are consulting and taking a further impact assessment-so that we will have a fee structure that will not have the detrimental effects the noble and learned Lord is suggesting.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will work with the Royal College of Nursing to review and adapt the training of nurses to resolve the present problems of care and nursing for elderly and vulnerable patients.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): My Lords, it is the responsibility of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the NMC, to set educational standards that higher education institutes' educational programmes must abide by. The Nursing and Midwifery Professional Advisory Board, the PAB, brings together all relevant stakeholders, including representatives from the service, professions, NMC, Royal College of Nursing, Unison and the higher education institutes, and is well placed to advise the department on workforce education and training matters.
Baroness Gardner of Parkes: I thank the noble Earl for that reply. Does he agree that while we are all pleased to see graduate nurses achieving new heights, there is considerable concern, following the abolition of SENs, about the loss of those caring, practical nurses who did not require university entrance levels? Has he seen Sheila Try's report, Why is Nursing Failing?A Student Centred Action Plan, and, if not, will he ask his department to look at that?
Earl Howe: My Lords, we do value the contributions that SENs provide, those who are still in practice. It is certainly the case that the NMC no longer approves programmes for nurses on part 2 of the register and there are no plans to reintroduce educational programmes to part 2 of the register. What we have done is to develop guidance on widening the entry gate to preregistration programmes for those individuals who show the necessary values and behaviours but who otherwise do not possess the traditional academic qualifications. I am aware of the report that my noble friend mentioned. Sheila Try has written to me and I have asked the department to consider the recommendations that she has made.
Lord Rooker: Does the Minister agree that it is a very valuable report? If I may remind him, on 31 March in this House when we had a debate on nursing care I asked him if he would meet Sheila Try. Following the question asked by the noble Baroness, I respectfully ask him to study the latest report by this trained nurse, who makes very valid points about what has gone wrong with the training of nurses in the last 25 years.
Baroness Masham of Ilton: My Lords, does the noble Earl agree that district nurses do a very important job in keeping vulnerable, elderly and disabled people in the community? Is he aware that there is a shortage and that their training needs to be different because they go into other people's homes?
Earl Howe: The noble Baroness, as ever, makes a very important point. It is one of the reasons we have a very ambitious programme of expanding the number of health visitors. She is right about tailoring the training to suit the environment. That is why there are local curricula as well as the core nursing curriculum that have approved standards from the NMC but are sensitive to local needs in individual areas.
Lord Elton: My Lords, when Florence Nightingale initiated the growth of modern hospitals, the most important thing she did was to insist that nurses should deliver what she called "tender, loving care", which later became known as TLC, and remained so when I was in hospital in my middle age. Is it not time that the National Health Service assessed the personality of people seeking to embark on nursing careers to see whether it contained enough compassion?
Earl Howe: My noble friend is quite right and there is now a renewed emphasis on that very point, with initiatives to help the nursing workforce practise to the highest clinical standards. These include Essence of Care, which outlines quality provision of the fundamentals of care, and Confidence in Caring, which improves nurse interaction with patients. While national initiatives such as those can stimulate thinking and offer guidance on best practice, it is really the local nurse leaders, team leaders, ward sisters and matrons who are key to setting and maintaining standards for quality and safety in their own clinical areas.
Baroness Emerton: My Lords, state enrolled nurses' training was discontinued on the mere fact that those nurses were being abused and misused, because they were being asked to do tasks that were above the level of their competence. We are in the same situation now with these healthcare support workers, who are not trained to a level where they can accept the tasks being delegated to them. I ask the Government to look at this, because we cannot continue to misuse those support workers in the way in which we are-by their being given tasks which they are not suited to.
Earl Howe: The noble Baroness, with her expertise, makes a powerful point. We fully agree that there is an issue over unregistered healthcare assistants; I think the debate is around what we should do about it. We believe that the case for statutory regulation has not been made, although we would not close our minds to it. The point that the noble Baroness makes relates much more to nursing supervision, appropriate levels of delegation on a ward or in a care home, and appropriate supervision and training. That is a matter not for regulation but for nurse leaders in hospitals and care homes.
Baroness Thornton: My Lords, this is yet another report to add to others highlighting these issues. I think that the Minister has gone some way to explaining what change is needed, so that elderly people get treated in hospitals with the respect and dignity they deserve. However, how does he suggest that the nursing community should resist dangerous cost-cutting exercises by trusts, which are placing patient safety at risk by replacing experienced clinical staff with more junior nurses and healthcare assistants?
Earl Howe: We believe that patient safety is paramount and that it is a matter not just for staff on a ward but for the board of an organisation as well, to assure itself that the highest standards are being maintained. That means having proper staff ratios-ratios of staff to patients, that is-and ratios of trained and untrained staff within a ward. These are messages that we are consistently putting out.
Lord Lloyd of Berwick: My Lords, these amendments fall into two main groups. The first includes Amendments 1 to 3, 7, 8, 25, 27, 29, 36, 37, 40 and 41. I start by referring to the restrictions set out in Schedule 1 to the Bill, which were so well described by the noble Baroness, Lady Stern, at Second Reading. It is wrong in principle for punitive restrictions of the kind set out there to be imposed on a British subject by a member of the Executive in time of peace. It is as simple as that. The Minister's predecessors on both sides of the House have previously argued that such restrictions are not punitive-they are preventive. I suggest that that is playing with words. Looking at Schedule 1, any ordinary reader would say that these restrictions, whatever their purpose, are punitive in effect.
In her response to the excellent report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, the Home Secretary argued that prevention orders are now a common feature of our legal system. She cited anti-social behaviour orders, football banning orders, serious crime prevention orders, violent offender orders and so on. However, in all these cases the order is made by the court-either the High Court or the magistrates' court-as it should be. Therefore, the purpose of the first group of amendments is simply to bring the Bill into line with the precedents on which the Home Secretary herself relies. In other words, it is for the Home Secretary to make the application for an order, but for the order to be made by the High Court.
It may be said that we are dealing here not with ordinary crime but with terrorism, and, where the safety of the public is at issue, it is the Home Secretary who should make the order because it is the Home Secretary who is answerable to Parliament. There are two answers to that argument. One need look no further than Section 4 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005-the very that Act that we are repealing. It provides that, in the case of derogating control orders, it is the High Court that makes the order, not the Home Secretary. That surely puts paid to the argument that in terrorist cases it is for the Home Secretary to make the order because it is she who is answerable to Parliament.
There is a second answer. Clause 9 provides that the court must review the case as soon as practicable after notice has been served. The crucial question of fact on that review will be whether the individual is or has been involved in terrorist activity. In the leading case of the Secretary of State for the Home Department v MB-2007, Queen's Bench, at page 415-the Court of Appeal held that, in considering that crucial question, the court must reach its own conclusion on the facts. If it disagrees with the Home Secretary, it must say so and quash the notice. It is the court's decision on the facts which will prevail, not that of the Home Secretary.
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Later in this debate the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, will argue that for the Home Secretary to make the order is contrary to the rule of law. I agree with that argument and will not anticipate it. My own contribution is on a lowlier level than that; it is based simply on common sense. It simply does not make sense for the Home Secretary to apply to the court for permission to impose restrictions under Clause 6 and then come back to the same court a week or so later in order to justify those restrictions. It is much too cumbersome a procedure, as one can see from the complexity of the drafting which it entailed. It is much better and simpler for the Home Secretary to apply for an interim order under Clause 6 and for the court to confirm or quash the order on the substantive hearing under Clause 9, after hearing representations by or on behalf of the individual. That is the usual procedure in our courts. It will be for the noble Lord to explain why it should not apply here.
Before leaving that group of amendments I should like to add two short footnotes. First, the amendments, if accepted, will not affect in any way the underlying purpose of the Bill, which is to protect the public. Since the courts will have the last word anyway in the way that I have described, the risk to the public will remain exactly the same. Secondly, the noble Lord may refer to the undoubted power of the Home Secretary to make deportation orders under Section 3(5) of the Immigration Act 1971. But this power affects only those who are not British citizens. It is part of the ordinary law on immigration and has nothing whatever to do with this Bill.
On the standard of proof, the relevant amendments are Amendments 16, 17, 19, 20, 27 and 41. That includes the amendment to be moved later by the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, and the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee. As I have said, the crucial question to be decided under Clause 9 is whether the individual has been engaged in terrorist activity. That is an extremely serious finding to make about anyone-so serious, indeed, that it could well be argued that the standard of proof should be the criminal standard. However, these are civil proceedings and I accept that the civil standard should apply. But I do not accept that any lower standard should apply. I can see no justification whatever for rejecting the balance of probabilities in these civil proceedings and substituting reasonable belief, especially in a case involving the liberty of the subject. The balance of probabilities is the standard adopted in serious crime prevention orders, Section 4 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, Clause 2 of the Draft Enhanced Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill, which will come before us in due course, and Clause 26 of this Bill. Why has it not been adopted in Clause 3?
The whole point of having the balance of probabilities as the standard is that it is a flexible standard. It is relatively easy to discharge at the lower end of the
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I should say a word in conclusion on Amendment 44, also in this group-but no more than a word, given that it speaks for itself. There is much more that I might say but most of it is contained in the excellent report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, published only this morning in the nick of time. No doubt, the Minister will have that report and will take it well to heart. I beg to move.
Lord Goodhart: My Lords, this country has for centuries-going back 800 years to Magna Carta-recognised the rule of law. Part of the rule of law is that those who are tried for crime must be convicted in court by a judge. For a criminal conviction, there must be evidence beyond reasonable doubt that a defendant who is charged with terrorist action cannot be convicted of it if there is reasonable doubt as to his involvement. Under the rule of law, those who are convicted of misconduct short of crime may be subject to civil penalties. I know that terrorism is a terrible crime. I accept that someone who is found to be guilty of terrorism on the balance of probabilities but cannot be held to be guilty beyond reasonable doubt should be subject to civil penalties such as TPIM notices, even though those penalties are very serious.
What I do not accept is that penalties as serious as those imposed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, or those that are to be imposed under the TPIM Bill, can be imposed by a Secretary of State, who is the prosecutor, without the prior approval of a judge. It is an absolute principle of British law that trials must be fair. I refer to chapter 9 of the late Tom Bingham's classic book, The Rule of Law. A case where the prosecutor is also the judge cannot be fair, even if a court has a power subsequently to quash the measure if the court finds the application to be obviously flawed-whatever that may mean. It is very far from obvious.
This is doubly the case if, as in this Bill, the defendant does not know what the evidence is against him and cannot therefore provide any evidence to be heard in the process against him. It cannot be fair for someone who is not found by a court to be guilty on the balance of probabilities to have TPIM notices imposed on him. Before a notice can be imposed, there has to be at least a probability of terrorist action. If there is a possibility short of probability, it is surely a matter only for surveillance and not for TPIM notices.
I note with great interest the extremely powerful report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights published this morning at 11 o'clock. I refer to three extracts from that report. Paragraph 1.6 states that,
"We also note that Lord Lloyd has tabled amendments to the Bill which have the effect that TPIMs are imposed by the court on the application of the Home Secretary. We support those amendments which in our view replace executive orders with prior judicial authorisation of the kind which both human rights law and our common law constitutional tradition require".
"In our view, reasonable belief is too low a threshold for the imposition of such intrusive measures as are envisaged in the TPIMs Bill. The standard should be the balance of probabilities. We support the amendment to clauses 3 and 6 to be moved in Committee by Lord Lloyd, to the effect that the decision of the court as to whether the individual is, or has been involved in terrorism-related activity is to be taken on the civil standard of proof, that is, the balance of probabilities".
Again, that is a fundamental matter. There must be a balance of probabilities. It is no good saying that this might be probable; there has to be a balance of probabilities. Those whose cases fall short of the balance of probabilities are not to be treated to orders or measures under the TPIM Bill; that is a matter only for study and surveillance.
I completely support what was said by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick. I have known him for many years. He has been one of the outstanding judicial figures in this country in the past 20 or 30 years.
Britain has a great tradition of recognising the rule of law. We are failing that tradition if the proposals made by the Secretary of State do not have to have the full support of a court and may be imposed on people whose actions fall short of the balance of probabilities. In March 2005, during the final stages of the passing of the Prevention of Terrorism Act of that year, the greatly missed Lord Kingsland, leading for the Conservatives, and my noble friend Lord Thomas of Gresford and I, leading for the Liberal Democrats, tried to ensure that control orders could be imposed only by a court. We failed. Six and a half years later, we have a chance to achieve what we failed to achieve then. Let us, in these difficult times, not lose that.
Lord Morgan: My Lords, I have attached my name to the amendments and shall speak briefly about them. I am not a lawyer; there are distinguished and learned lawyers in this House. To me it is a simple matter of justice. That is why I support the amendments. That is why I am in the Labour Party. The Labour Party I thought of believes in justice. That is why I am still a member of it, and I look forward to the Labour Party reflecting that outlook in our discussions and votes on this measure. It just seems to me profoundly unjust that someone who is innocent under the law, who is shown to have committed no offence, should be treated procedurally and in his mode of life in this way. It is basically unjust.
I call in aid one of the great figures in our history, Sir Winston Churchill. He was Prime Minister in 1943 when there were a few pressures on national security.
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I have two points, which have been explained with legal learning that is not at my command by the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd. First, it is quite wrong that legal decisions affecting someone's liberty should be imposed not by the judiciary but by the Executive. These are Executive-imposed restrictions on the daily lives of innocent people who have committed no offence. They are confined through the fiat of the Home Office, not through the courts. The early amendments tabled by my noble and learned friend Lord Lloyd propose that this be done by the courts. We should have a judicial view; it should be brought within the rule of law and within the criminal justice system. I am not a lawyer but I am an historian and I think that this proposal is quite contrary to the way in which our constitution works. It is unconstitutional. We have had the separation of the judiciary from the Executive since it was set down in cold print in the Act of Settlement 1701. This is quite at variance with that. It should not be done by a self-interested member of the Executive.
Secondly, this should be done according to a proper burden of proof, which the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd, has wisely suggested is as recognised in our civil justice system. What we have here is a burden of proof that can be challenged only very indirectly and very marginally by the courts and the forces of law in this land. What is it based on? It is based on the Executive saying, "This is something that we reasonably believe". It is perhaps a slight improvement on its predecessor, but as I said in my earlier speech, it is a distinction without a difference. It is not adequate. We should have precisely the same proper judicial test for innocent people of this kind, as we have for people who are shown to have committed serious offences under the criminal justice system. Many points will arise later about the defencelessness and inability of people charged under control orders to communicate with lawyers, which adds to the offence.
This is an unjust measure. It offends against the traditions of our common law; it offends against the evolutionary history of our constitution; it offends against the doctrine of human rights; it offends against the basic principles of justice in this proud country. I support the amendment.
First, I would like to say that I support everything that has been said about their amendments by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, and the noble Lords, Lord Goodhart and Lord Morgan-although I have not known the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd, for quite as long as I have known the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart. I support them because their amendments are designed to ensure that the imposition of a TPIM notice is a judicial act, and not an administrative act. If a restriction on basic liberty of this sort is to be imposed on British citizens because of allegations of wrongdoing, and it is not to be a part of the criminal justice process, then surely the procedure must contain as much of the rule of law as is possible.
When opening the debate at Second Reading, the Minister said at column 1137 that the Government's approach to balancing civil liberties and national security in this context is that the Bill should go no further in limiting people's rights "than is absolutely necessary". That was the test he laid down, and it seems to me that that is the right test. However, if we are going to apply that test, surely it requires that the restrictions on people's liberties are imposed only with the prior approval of a judge. If the security services cannot persuade a judge in a closed session-because that is what is going to take place-that the restrictions are needed, then surely they should not be imposed. In an urgent case, the judge would be asked to give temporary approval until the matter can be fully considered.
There was a suggestion at Second Reading that perhaps the judiciary would not want this responsibility. There are two answers to that. First, the Bill confers on the judiciary the responsibility for deciding whether a TPIM notice is appropriate at a later stage. There seems to be no difference in principle if the judiciary is instead asked to make the decision at the outset. Secondly, your Lordships should in any event have no doubt that if Parliament decides that it is appropriate to ask the judiciary to perform this role at the earlier stage, Her Majesty's judges will perform their duty faithfully and effectively.
That is what I wanted to add on the amendments of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd. If, however, judicial control at the outset is not to be included in this Bill-which would be most regrettable-and if the imposition of a TPIM order is to remain at the outset an administrative process, then I have an alternative amendment, Amendment 17, to which the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, has added her name. The amendment concerns the standard of proof.
Amendment 17 seeks to substitute a test of the balance of probabilities. I would ask the Minister, in responding to this debate, to explain why it is that reasonable belief should suffice as the test to be imposed by the Secretary of State. A belief may be reasonable but wrong. Why should these sanctions be imposed on a person if the Secretary of State is unable even to be persuaded that it is more likely than not that the wrongdoing has been committed, or will be committed, by the individual concerned?
If the security services, with all the resources available to them, cannot satisfy the Home Secretary that on the balance of probabilities more likely than not an individual is involved in terrorist activities, surely there is no justification for imposing these restrictions on them. Of course, surveillance measures may well be appropriate even in relation to such a person against whom it cannot be shown on the balance of probabilities that they are involved-but that is a different matter and we are not discussing surveillance measures.
I want to speak also to Amendments 42 and 43 in this group which stand in my name. They ensure that when the court assesses the TPIM at a later stage under Clause 9, the court should form its own view on the merits and not apply a judicial review test. These amendments arise out of the concern expressed by your Lordships' Constitution Committee, of which I am a member, at paragraphs 14 to 17 of its report. At Clauses 9(2) and 16(6), the Bill provides that when the court reviews the TPIM at the later stage, it should apply a judicial review test. In the control order context, the courts have made it very clear that they will treat the review as an appeal on the merits of the case. The Government's Explanatory Notes accompanying the Bill accept that this enhanced level of scrutiny should also apply to the TPIMs.
"The surest way to deliver the intense scrutiny that the Government says it intends is to write it explicitly into the Bill. We therefore recommend that the Bill be amended to make it clear on the face of the Bill that the review to be conducted by the courts at the review hearing is a 'merits review' (as opposed to a supervisory review)".
Will the Minister please accept, as the Constitution Committee and the JCHR have proposed, that it is desirable to make it clear on the face of the Bill that at the later stage the court will be conducting an appeal on the merits, just as is the case in relation to control orders and as the Explanatory Notes state the Government intend to occur?
Lord Phillips of Sudbury: My Lords, my name appears with others on Amendments 1 to 4, 16 and 18 to 22. Amendment 5 stands in my name only. I accept that the Bill is warranted, but I echo the point that where in extreme circumstances-national security is a fit subject for an extremity-one departs from a fundamental freedom, it seems to be blindingly obvious that there is no less a fundamental duty to minimise that departure. I cannot for the life of me see how we do that by giving to a politician, however distinguished and assiduous, the task of making one of these-I am tempted to say draconian-orders on his or her own. That cannot be right and I echo all that has been said, in particular by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd, and by my noble friend Lord Goodhart.
Home Secretaries are always overbusy, and ludicrously overstretched for much of the time. They are not trained to make judgments of this kind, and one has to say that they are politically influenced-some may say biased. One cannot be a senior member of a
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Lastly, there is a utilitarian argument that is apt to be forgotten. If one does not do everything conceivable, and everything that a civilised community can do, to mitigate the departure from normal judicial essentials, one inadvertently creates an environment in which extremism flourishes rather than is deterred.
I will say a quick word about my probing Amendment 5, which suggests that the judge or judges who, under Amendment 1, would make that initial judgment are drawn from a panel established for the purposes of the Bill by the Lord Chancellor, with the approval of the Lord Chief Justice in England, the Lord Chief Justice in Northern Ireland-although I did not mention that-and the Lord President of the Court of Session in Scotland. Again, this is a highly practical amendment. Very often, high urgency attaches to these matters: for example, a telephone intercept that indicates that within hours a potentially lethal explosion will occur. Having a panel, at least one of whom is permanently on call and available, and all of whom have been initiated into the particular complexities of the judgments that need to be made under the Bill, would be desirable and practical and would lead to the best results.
My final point is to emphasise that we are calling on our fellow citizens, whether they be the Home Secretary or judges, to undertake as difficult a judging task as exists in the panoply of judging. I hope that the Government will concur with the amendments.
Lord Carlile of Berriew: My Lords, in this context, unlike my noble friends and other noble Lords who have spoken, I propose to speak in support of the Government and of the proposals in this part of the Bill. I hesitate to dice with a great historian on matters of history, but I say to the noble Lord, Lord Morgan, that he was a little selective in his expression of the historical context. First, in describing Regulation 18B, perhaps he should have told the House that it was of a completely different character. The way in which it was made meant that the victim or subject knew nothing at all of the reasons why the order was made. The so-called tribunal that heard Regulation 18B cases was completely lacking in transparency of any kind. The great dissenting judgment of that wonderful Welsh judge, Lord Atkin, in Liversidge v Anderson took decades to be accepted as the norm for judicial review. Although Churchill described Regulation 18B and its procedures as,
a phrase that has become celebrated, the fact remains that during Churchill's prime ministership numerous people-indeed, hundreds of people-were imprisoned as a result of it, and he did not take steps to legislate in favour of that dissenting judgment. Indeed, it was
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One should also bear in mind that whether we are talking about control orders or the diluted version in TPIMs-admittedly only slightly diluted, apart from the matter that we are going to consider in the next group-they do not involve the incarceration of the individual. They involve some restrictions on the individual's freedom which I understand most in this House regard as proportionate and reasonable given the requirements of national security.
Lord Phillips of Sudbury: He does. It seems to me that my noble friend's historic account of Regulation 18B omits to mention that it was prevalent during wartime and that, as soon as that was over, it was repealed.
Lord Carlile of Berriew: Which was one of the reasons why it was so unjust, because a very large number of people were made the subject of Regulation 18B and almost none of them had any evidence of any kind whatever against them. When we are dealing with TPIMs or control orders, we have individuals against whom there is very robust intelligence. I do not think my noble friend has had the opportunity to read that intelligence, but had he done so he would undoubtedly be so satisfied, being a reasonable person.
Lord Morgan: I do not propose to review the noble Lord's review of my version of history, but I think it worth pointing out that the ignorance of the evidence against them is precisely one of the problems in this case. The noble Lord rightly says that there is intercept evidence, but it is evidence denied to the person. I agree that the person is not incarcerated but he is seriously restricted.
Lord Carlile of Berriew:I do not know whether the noble Lord has studied the effect of the case of AF (No. 3), but if he were so to do, he would find that there is a requirement for the court. Successive Home Secretaries, close to whose department I have worked, have always been assiduous to ensure that there was sufficient material-particularly since AF (No. 3)-so that the individual concerned knew the case he had to meet, at least in gisting terms. I urge the noble Lord to read the Green Paper published today by the Ministry of Justice, Justice and Security, which deals in part with these matters.
I would like to move on to the substance of these amendments. The noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, called into his argument the requirement for a court to approve a derogating control order under the 2005 Act. In deploying that argument, surely we should remember that, first, there have been no derogating control orders under the 2005 Act; and secondly, had there been a derogating control order, it would have been so dramatic that we would have had to derogate from part of the European Convention on Human Rights. This would have required, in effect, a
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In dismissing deportation applications and deportation decisions that are made daily by Home Secretaries, the noble and learned Lord said that they are made against foreigners so it is less significant, but if he thinks back to the Belmarsh case that was decided at the end of 2004, he will recall that the Judicial Committee of this House, of which he was a most distinguished member at one time, held that discriminating in that way against foreigners was unlawful. Indeed, the so-called Belmarsh provisions were struck down because they were disproportionate and discriminated against foreigners by treating them differently from United Kingdom citizens.
Lord Carlile of Berriew: Perhaps I might finish this point before, predictably, the noble and learned Lord stands up. I do understand the distinction he is making. It seems to me, with great respect, somewhat casuistic.
Lord Carlile of Berriew: What I understand is that a deportation decision can be made by the Home Secretary. The administrative court is considering these cases hour by hour, let alone day by day, often as matters of great urgency. It is considering cases in which people have been imprisoned. Sometimes, very young people are imprisoned in unpleasant circumstances in this country. I do not hear the noble and learned Lord saying that this is an act that should be the subject of approval by a judge. In any event, it would be a practical impossibility because the Upper Tribunal and the administrative court are swamped by more than 10,000 of these cases at present.
I also reflect on much simpler situations. It is suggested that taking a citizen's freedom away is something that should be determined by a judge in every circumstance. But we even let police constables do it every day of the week. When a police constable arrests a citizen for something as "minor" as, for example, shoplifting, the person may be taken into custody on the fiat of a police constable. When people are charged with serious offences and not bailed, although they are brought before a judge quickly, as is envisaged in this Bill, they are taken off to such unpleasant places as Strangeways or Belmarsh and find themselves in custody until they are brought up fairly summarily before a judge. Although it goes without saying that judges in every instance are very careful in considering such cases, the care they take does not bear comparison with the care that High Court judges give to controlees in control order cases.
We have already mentioned deportation cases. Organisations are proscribed by the Secretary of State, taking the precious freedom of association and membership of groups away from citizens of this country and foreigners without discriminating between them. Decisions are made to invade people's privacy in
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It seems to me that there is some confusion here among my noble friends and other noble Lords in their analysis of the roles of different parts of the state apparatus in the conduct of state business. In my judgment, for what little it is worth, the act of making a TPIM or a control order has exactly the character of ministerial responsibility that successive Home Secretaries, some of whom are noted Members of your Lordships' House, are able to carry out. What follows has exactly the character of judicial scrutiny which judges are extremely well able to carry out and are experienced in carrying out. It seems to me to be a clear part of our constitutional settlement and to fit within it very clearly.
The standard of proof is not an easy question and I do not pretend that there is a perfect answer to it. If one reads through the open judgments in control order cases, one sees that the reasoning of judges in those cases has been very strong. In almost every case, I would venture that in reality the judgment has been made on the balance of probabilities and I would not have a particular difficulty if that was the standard set.
However, there is a danger of underestimating the difference between reasonable grounds to suspect and reasonable grounds to believe. As a judge on the Judicial Committee of this House put it on one occasion: "Reasonable grounds to suspect means I suspect that it may be so, while reasonable grounds to believe means I believe that it is so". It seems to me that the executive act of a Minister asking the question "Do I believe it to be so?" is a proper standard to set and can be scrutinised carefully by the courts. If the proof of the pudding is ever in the eating in court, that is what has happened with control orders.
So far as a one-year TPIM with a two-year limit is concerned, when I was the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation I always supported a two-year limit, and I still do. I see no reason why there should not be a one-year limit with an extension available. That seems to accord with the purpose of control orders or TPIMs. One can reasonably expect that during a one or two-year period, the potential of the individual concerned to be a terrorist is much reduced as a result of the order. However, I do have to say to noble Lords that there are cases where that has not been so, and there would have to be some exceptional provision so that those who, despite a TPIM, continue to be active in terrorism should be subject to a new order if the evidence is available at the end of a two-year period.
Lord Newton of Braintree: My Lords, having vigorously indicated to the noble Lord that I wanted him to speak before me, I am left rather regretting it because I now find myself caught in the crossfire between Members
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My starting point is that 40 or 50 years ago, give or take Regulation 18B, no one in this Chamber would have thought that anything like the successive regimes we have had since the 2001 Act were desirable. They have been imposed on us by a change in the world that we have not been able to control and which we have had to cope with in the interests of our citizens. But it has led us into things that we would not have wished to do in other circumstances. If anyone wonders why I have an interest in this, as well as in too many other things going on in the House at the moment, it is that those with longish memories will know that the choice fell on me to chair the Privy Counsellor Review Committee of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 which contained the provisions under which people were basically locked up in Belmarsh without being found guilty of anything, and the key was being thrown away. The all-party committee found that deeply unsatisfactory. I notice that the noble Baroness, Lady Hayman, who was a member of that committee, is in her place. We said that something had to be done about it. The then Home Secretary went out of his way to rubbish our report as quickly as he could and nothing happened until the courts threw out the relevant part and said that it just could not stand.
We then got to the control orders under the 2005 Act, which in my view were an improvement. I share the view which has been expressed that these new proposals are an improvement on those orders-perhaps marginal, but somewhat better. So we are moving in the right direction and I would not want it to be thought that I was hostile to the Bill or to its fundamental aim and purpose. However, I do think-here I come to the position of my noble friend Lord Phillips, the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd, and the noble Lord, Lord Pannick-that this kind of thing is much better done as a court order rather than an executive act unless there are very strong reasons to the contrary. The noble Lord, Lord Carlile, adumbrated to great debating effect a list of things that are done as executive orders, and I do not want to debate all those with him, but the mere fact that we have done a lot of things by executive orders does not mean that it is desirable. If you do not have to do it, I do not think that you should. As far as I can see, the case has not been made that this should be an executive order rather than a court order. I therefore come down in sympathy with the general purpose of the amendments in this group.
I start with a question which perhaps picks up where my noble friend Lord Carlile left off. It concerns the time limit on the measures. I had intended to ask it
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I should make it clear that I very much support the amendments proposed by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, and supported by others. I also support the amendments of the noble Lord, Lord Pannick. On his Amendments 42 and 43, he quoted the conclusion today of the Joint Committee on Human Rights on the issue of a full merits review. It is perhaps worth reading into the record as part of this debate the comments that the committee made in leading up to that conclusion. It said that the Government in replying to its previous report had argued that,
That became part of the conclusion. It seems to me that that does not amount to an argument for the principles of judicial review and that intense scrutiny is not excluded by the approach which the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, has advocated and which I support. I have checked the Government's response to the previous report by the JCHR. Nothing significant has been left out of the paragraph that I have just quoted.
On the "balance of probabilities", I added my name to the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Pannick. Can the Minister explain why under Clause 26, which introduces "enhanced" TPIMs, there is a higher standard of proof than for standard TPIMs? The same applies to the Draft Enhanced Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill which is to have pre-legislative scrutiny. The memorandum from the Home Office to the JCHR regarding the draft Bill with the enhanced TPIMs, which, in particular, would provide for relocation, said that the higher test is because of the more stringent measures allowed by the draft Bill. Clearly it would apply the same argument to Clause 26. So called standard TPIMs are fairly stringent but, even apart from that, I do not follow the logic. The standard of proof as to the facts which permit a step to be taken is a different matter from the steps which are available. I regard those as closely related but logically separate issues. I am lost as to why the higher standard of proof, which, as my noble friend Lord Carlile has encouraged the House to think, would not be a risk to the Government in this context, cannot be applied.
Terrorism is the gravest and most dangerous kind of crime and TPIMs are a properly grave response to that threat. A consideration of what the imposition of a TPIM represents gives some clue as to what the
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I have not yet heard an argument why it is better for these measures to be imposed by a member of the Executive. I have heard arguments from my noble and learned friend, whose advocacy I have heard many times in courts up and down the land and which never ceases to impress me, as to why it is not necessarily constitutionally inappropriate but not as to why it is positively better than the alternative. The argument that has been made by a number of my noble friends and other noble Lords is that, given what a TPIM represents and the gravity of the measure, if it can be done by a court it should be done by a court unless there is a very good reason why it should not. I have heard no such reason.
The same applies to the burden of proof. I agree entirely with the noble Lord, Lord Pannick: the balance of probabilities is a test which is tailor made, perfectly made, for the process which the court needs to go through in this situation. It is not the criminal standard of proof because these are, in essence, civil penalties, but a civil standard of proof which, as he said, is flexible, realistic, well understood by the judiciary and does justice in civil cases up and down the land, including in other civil preventive measures.
Again, I do not understand what the argument against this is. If it is that it should be easier to impose a TPIM-that we cannot trust a judge to come to a safe conclusion about whether something is more likely than not-that is a false argument. It is, if you like, a somewhat cowardly argument. We can trust the judges to apply a balance of probabilities test in TPIMs in a way that is both just and entirely capable of protecting the public.
Lord Eames: I rise to briefly support the amendment of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd, but do so from an angle that has yet to be mentioned in the debate this afternoon. I base it on my own experience over the years. Exercising the duties given to me in Northern Ireland, I saw at first hand the burden that successive Secretaries of State had to carry on behalf of the Executive in situations of dire necessity demanding often urgent and serious decisions in a matter of hours. The former Secretaries of State who grace this House-I see the noble Lord, Lord King, in his place-will recognise the roles of the judiciary and the Executive.
The Bill has been thoughtfully carried to this stage, and I am aware from my own contacts of the thought and preparation that have gone into the terms before us. The Minister will obviously want to argue that the right way to do this in the case of urgent and very
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In those years to which I referred in my own lifetime of experience, in the discussions to which I was privy and decisions that were taken where my own opinion was sought, there was no doubt of the urgency and necessity of moving as quickly from the level of executive or political decisions to what could be transparently seen as the decisions of the judiciary. The important point I am simply trying to underline is that, in our discussions this afternoon, let us bear in mind the question of the confidence of the community in decisions that are made at this level. I beg to suggest that, where those decisions are made by the judiciary, there is much more acceptance by a hard-pressed community under a situation of terrorism than in the other case. This is not to downgrade the integrity of any executive decision, and I am not doing that; I am simply saying that we must take a broader view. For that reason, I support the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd.
Lord Faulks: I agree with what my noble friend Lord Macdonald and many other noble Lords said, that we can trust the judges. As the Bill currently reads, they have the task of scrutinising the imposition of measures on judicial review principles. Experience and the dicta of judges suggest that they will be particularly rigorous in this. This area is not generally considered one where Ministers are permitted quite the same sense of discretion as, say, on an issue of economics, but it is one where judges really can get in among the detail and form a view of a matter. They are only too conscious of the potential limitations of closed hearings and special advocates, and the potential risk that these present to those who are potentially the target of these measures.
On the amendment proposed by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd, I acknowledge his distinguished pedigree and the pedigree of the amendment, which I think goes back some time to the original control orders, but I respectfully suggest that it is inappropriate. I suggest that the obligation rests on the Home Secretary to protect the security of citizens. It rests upon her shoulders and it is a heavy burden. If one needs to find any emphasis in this from the Human Rights Act, Article 2 provides an obligation on the part of the public authority, the Government, to take measures to protect the life of citizens. Those measures will include appropriate measures to prevent outrages of this sort-that is of course what this Bill is concerned with. In this Bill she has to reasonably believe that an individual is involved in terrorist activity and reasonably consider that a TPIM and its appropriate measures are necessary. That is an exercise that she, with that heavy burden placed upon her, should perform.
As I understand it, this amendment is born out of an outright opposition to TPIMs and their predecessors, control orders. The courts have minutely examined these control orders in a number of cases. They have
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It was not suggested in any of those judgments that it was better for the courts to have the decision in the way that this amendment suggests. I doubt that the courts would really relish such a task. Their job, traditionally, is to scrutinise, to examine the legality of the decision, but not to take upon themselves an essentially executive decision. I suggest that the Secretary of State-knowing, as she will, that her reasonable belief will be subjected to close scrutiny by a process which, correctly, places a heavy emphasis on the freedom of the individual-will exercise that power extremely responsibly, and I suggest that the balance should remain as it is in the Bill.
Finally, I will say something about the question of the standard of proof. If there is a fundamental shift in the way that power is to be exercised, as is suggested by the amendment, and the matter comes to the courts to decide, then it may be that the standard of proof should be the balance of probabilities. That is the test that has evolved over the years to decide civil matters generally. There have been recent decisions that suggest there is no shifting standard, but it remains the standard. It has developed pragmatically because there have to be decisions in civil cases to be distinguished from the higher standard in criminal cases.
However, as I understand the amendment proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, should the power remain with the Home Secretary, she should not have the decision based on reasonable belief but on balance of probabilities. I respectfully say that that balance of probability test may be appropriate where there is a judicial process to be undergone, but where we are talking about an executive decision, reasonable belief is much more appropriate than the process of coming to a conclusion on a 51:49 basis, which is far more suitable for a judicial determination other than the decision which at the moment would-and should-rest with the Secretary of State.
Lord Pannick: Under the Bill as it is at the moment, the judiciary are involved at the later stage. If they are to conduct a merits review, as the Government intend, they will apply the same test as to standard of proof as the Minister has applied in making the order. If the noble Lord accepts that balance of probabilities is suitable as a judicial test at the end of the process, surely the Secretary of State must apply the same test at the beginning of the process.
Lord Faulks: What I endeavoured to say was that the balance of probabilities would be appropriate were the courts to be taking that initial decision in place of the Secretary of State, which I understand to be the burden of the amendment put forward by the noble and learned Lord, whereas I understand that the
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Baroness Hamwee: Does the noble Lord have any comments on the provisions in Clause 26, which provide for the Secretary of State to take a decision based on the balance of probabilities in the position where the more stringent measures might be applied?
Lord Faulks: I have no immediate answer to that, but at this juncture I would suggest that the initial decision-making process is far better on that basis because that is the most important stage: whether or not you decide that it is appropriate to impose, or seek to impose, a TPIM-with the approval of the court, it must be said.
Lord Neill of Bladen:My Lords,I wish to add my view. I entirely agree with what the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, moved by way of an amendment. I fully support that and I also support the amendment tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Pannick. The basic question is one of justice: where should the order be made that leads to these deprivations of liberty? I have been told that you would have to be in a particular residence for a long period of hours. All those things in orders of that type are grave deprivations of privilege. Here, I agree with what the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Eames, said based on his experience, which is borne out by the material that we are reading now as to where the public place their confidence. Perhaps not surprisingly, journalists come at the bottom. I do not know where lawyers come in but it is somewhere not very high up. Yet the judges seem to have the backing of the public as being in the safest and soundest place for judgments to be made. If those judgments involve the liberty of the subject, as I believe they do in this case, that is where we should put our money.
Lord Rosser: My Lords, one of the attractions of these debates is that we get not one but many legal opinions-different opinions from distinguished legal practitioners, at no charge and expressed with some force. The effect of many of these amendments is to significantly alter the Bill. One set within the group we are talking about gives the power to impose specified terrorism prevention and investigation measures on an individual to a court, rather than to the Secretary of State. It also appears to require that before such measures can be imposed, the individual concerned has to be or has been involved in terrorism-related activity, which, if that is the case, sounds a bit like shutting the prevention of terrorism door after the horse has bolted. Most people would prefer to see action taken against the small minority minded to commit acts of terrorism before they carry out the deed, rather than afterwards.
The second set of amendments we are discussing continues to give the Secretary of State a role but appears to raise the bar that has to be cleared by the Secretary of State before he or she can impose specified
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The outcome of all these amendments is quite likely to be that the number of people subject to the renamed control orders is less than it would have been under either of the thresholds-the Government's proposed "reasonably believes" or the current legislation's "reasonably suspect"-for the Secretary of State to cross before imposing a TPIM. That may be one, but surely only one, of the intentions of these amendments, since their authors are clearly unhappy with both the present arrangements and the amended arrangements set out in the Bill-so unhappy, indeed, that the first set of amendments largely takes the Secretary of State out of the equation.
We do not share the view of the Joint Committee on Human Rights that the courts are the best judges of what needs to be done to protect national security, and thus of when and on whom to impose specified terrorism prevention and investigation measures. However, we want the courts to have a vital and extensive role in ensuring that the Secretary of State has not exceeded the powers given by Parliament and has neither acted, nor proposes to act, in an unreasonable manner in the light of the information available. Neither do we sense that the amendments transferring responsibilities to the courts are prompted by a view that Secretaries of State have exercised their powers in relation to control orders in an irresponsible and unacceptable way, and that such powers should therefore be taken away from them. It remains our view that when and on whom to impose such measures as control orders-to address the exceptional situation in which we now find ourselves-is in essence a ministerial decision, based on the intelligence available, and should be made by a Minister responsible for national security, accountable to Parliament and the electorate, and open to challenge in the media.
Lord Morgan: Is my noble friend aware that the view he has expressed is totally contrary to those of such figures as Attlee and Aneurin Bevan, who were among the founders of the National Council for Civil Liberty, which discussed the rights of working men, including the right to demonstrate and the right to speak? He is taking a contrary view, which is very sad.
Lord Rosser: I have no doubt that the views that I am expressing are not in line with those of a great many people, but perhaps they did not have to deal with the situation that we face today-the threat of acts of terrorism. I repeat that we regard this as a ministerial decision. It should be made by a Minister responsible for national security, accountable to Parliament and the electorate, and open to challenge in the media.
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Lord Rosser: I said "open to challenge in the media"; I am not sure that is the same as being accountable to the media. On this issue we continue to hold a very different view from that expressed by, among others, the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, and my noble friend Lord Morgan.
I appreciate that one of the arguments is that the very system of control orders that we have provokes people who might otherwise have been only minded to commit acts of terrorism actually to do so. I am not aware of the evidence that supports that contention but I am aware that acts of terrorism were committed when there were no control orders in existence and that control orders, which have affected a limited number of people, seem to have been in effect during a period when we have been afforded a fair degree of protection from acts of terrorism, despite the threat level having been either severe or substantial.
I also appreciate that there are concerns over human rights. However, I understand that it is being held that control orders are compliant with the European Convention on Human Rights. As well as the rights of the individual, there are surely issues about the rights of innocent people to be protected from acts of terrorism. As the Minister said at Second Reading:
"It is clear that the current threat from terrorism remains serious and will not diminish in the foreseeable future. It is also clear that in this country there are, and will continue to be, a small number of people who pose a real and immediate terrorist threat but who cannot be successfully prosecuted or deported".-[Official Report, 5/10/11; col. 1134.]
We do not agree with much of this Bill, as we made clear at Second Reading. The Government have already made changes that weaken the current arrangements and risk having an adverse impact on the ability to protect the public from terrorism. We do not agree with these amendments that we are discussing, apart from the thrust of Amendments 42 and 43 tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, which is why we have given notice of our intention to oppose Clause 9. We wait to see whether the Minister will accept any or all of the amendments, which in our view water down the current arrangements even further.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): My Lords, this is a very big group of amendments before the Committee. I thank all noble Lords for their co-operation in agreeing that we should group together such a large number of amendments. However,
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The 20th report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights came out at 11 o'clock today, as the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, reminded us. Obviously, the Government have not had time to consider it in detail. I will respond to a number of the points because the points it makes are similar to those put forward by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd, in his amendments, which have been supported by others. However, in due course-I hope that will be before we get to Report-the Government will want to make their formal response in the usual way. At this stage I will respond in part but noble Lords will understand that we are keen to give a fuller response in due course. I will endeavour to ensure that that appears before Report but I can give no guarantee at this stage.
I simply do not accept that the TPIM regime is outside the rule of law, as the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, suggested. This Bill and its predecessor are and have been through the parliamentary process and are subject to review by the courts. To argue that this is beyond the rule of law is unfair and excessive. This large group-
Lord Goodhart: My Lords, I am grateful to my noble friend for giving way. That is a misapplication of what I was trying to say. I said that you cannot achieve a rule of law without law, and that involves the right of the law of those who are concerned with it. It is necessary to have law by lawyers in the courts. It does not mean that the decision of the Secretary of State or someone else is therefore to be disregarded; they are both different factors of the same situation.
Lord Henley: My Lords, I am sorry if I misunderstood my noble friend; I am a simple soul in these matters. However, my understanding was that he had suggested that this measure was outside the rule of law. What I was trying to get over is that I do not accept that point. The Bill is going through a proper process and after it has been enacted, by the will of Parliament, it will be subject to review by the courts. That is the important point to remember.
The group of amendments before us deal with four major points which I will deal with in order. The first one concerns the very simple point of whether the courts should make these orders rather than the Home Secretary. Secondly, we heard the arguments about where the standard of proof should be. A subsidiary part of that was in the amendments of the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, who said that even if we did not accept the first part-that is, shifting the argument to the courts-the standard of proof for the Home Secretary's decision should be changed. Thirdly, we heard the arguments of the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, set out in Amendments 42 and 43, dealing with the full merits review. Fourthly, there were arguments about the time limit and how long the TPIM orders should last-whether one year, two years or beyond. I should like to deal at some length with all four points and I hope that I can get them in the right order. Perhaps my notes can assist me in that. It is important that I set out my points.
I should deal first with the proposal for court-paid TPIM notices. I do not agree, as I made clear at Second Reading, that judge-imposed TPIMs represent the right approach for the new regime. I am grateful that on this at least, I have the support of the Opposition Front Bench. They might not like other parts of the Bill but I got the distinct impression that the noble Lord, Lord Rosser, agreed with me on that issue. Our view is that it is appropriate that TPIM notices should be imposed by the Home Secretary. As the noble Lord, Lord Rosser, put it, she is responsible for national security and is best placed to determine what is necessary in the interests of national security, with the benefit of the broader knowledge of the threat picture that sits with her role as Home Secretary.
I emphasise that this is consistent with the approach taken to other executive actions in national security cases, and decisions based on sensitive material. This includes-an example given by my noble friend Lord Carlile-decisions to exclude, deport or deprive people of citizenship on the basis of national security considerations. It is also consistent with the approach taken on decisions to freeze terrorists' assets-the new legislation which this House approved only last year. It is also consistent with the current provisions under which all control orders have been made.
Noble Lords will appreciate that this is the view not just of the Executive; it is also consistent with views expressed by the courts on the roles properly played by the Home Secretary and the courts in national security matters. The Court of Appeal explicitly recognised in its 2006 judgment, in the case of the Secretary of State for the Home Department and MB, that,
In the same judgment, the Court of Appeal also noted that the principle that the courts should pay deference to the Executive on matters relating to state security has long been recognised by the courts in this country, including the Law Lords, and the European Court of Human Rights. This supports the argument that the proper division of responsibilities in the field of national security is for the Home Secretary to make the decisions but for the judiciary to review those decisions, and to review them rigorously, as it always does.
The TPIM Bill provides for extensive, multi-layered court oversight and review of the Home Secretary's decisions. This includes a requirement for court permission before imposing a TPIM notice, an automatic full review of every case in which a TPIM notice is imposed, and the right of appeal against the Secretary of State's decisions in relation to, for example, requests to vary the measures imposed or revoke the notice. We think that this apportionment of roles best serves the interests of national security while ensuring that the civil liberties of those who are made subject to TPIM notices are properly protected.
I turn now to the question of the standard of proof. Again, the noble Lord has suggested that his judge-made TPIM notices should be made on the balance of probabilities. The noble Lord, Lord Pannick, offered his alternative in Amendments 42 and 43 by suggesting
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The issue of a proper test for the preventive powers now included in the Bill was carefully considered as part of the counterterrorism review conducted by the Home Secretary and the Home Office. The conclusion reached was that it was right to raise the threshold for imposing a TPIM notice to "reasonable belief" from the test of "reasonable suspicion" required to make a non-derogating control order-which is the only kind that has ever been made. I am grateful to my noble friend Lord Carlile for reminding the House that no derogating orders have been made.
The decision was made as part of that review that the standard should be raised to reasonable belief from the test of reasonable suspicion. We believe that raising the threshold to reasonable belief provides an additional safeguard in the new regime compared to the current control order regime. As we made clear when we announced the outcome of the review in January, it is also consistent with the approach that we have taken to the provisions relating to terrorist asset freezing in the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010.
The TPIM regime is a preventive regime intended to protect the public from the risk of terrorism. In reaching the decision to move to reasonable belief, we therefore considered whether changing the threshold in that way could put the public at risk. Our conclusion was that it would be unlikely that any of the cases where we would want to impose a TPIM notice would fail to meet the higher test of reasonable belief.
We are therefore satisfied that the change to reasonable belief is unlikely to be prejudicial to national security. At the same time, that represents an increase in the protection for the civil liberties of the individuals concerned. Those favouring the amendment take the view that the threshold should be further raised to "the balance of probabilities". In that review, we considered that option. However, we concluded that a move to the balance of probabilities for the main TPIM regime would not give us the right balance to ensure that the public will be protected. Again, I stress that it is a question of getting the balance between ensuring the protection of the public and protecting the liberties of individuals.
Lord Henley: The test that the noble Lord proposes, as is made clear by the Joint Committee on Human Rights report, is a slightly tougher test than what we suggest, which is that of reasonable belief. If there is a slightly tougher test, that obviously implies that there would be a greater risk to security. We have increased the test from reasonable suspicion to reasonable belief. We do not believe that we should increase it any further. I hope that the noble Lord will accept that argument; but I see that he does not, and I give way yet again.
Lord Pannick: I am simply trying to establish whether an assessment was made that a balance of probabilities test would be positively damaging to national security in this country. Was such a conclusion reached?
Lord Henley: I made clear that, as part of that review, we considered moving to that test. I was not in the Home Office at the time, so I do not know what precise consideration was given, but in the end the decision was taken that, yes, we will raise the standard from reasonable suspicion to reasonable belief, but that to take it beyond that would create risks. A decision had to be made on where the appropriate balance should be, and that is why we came down in favour of reasonable belief rather than a balance of probabilities.
I hope that the noble Lord can accept that, but I can see that it is a very difficult one and we will no doubt discuss it in later stages of the Bill. We believe that reasonable belief should deal with the questions raised by the noble Lord. The same applies to his Amendments 42 and 43 when talking about the decision being made by the Home Secretary herself. Again, I noted what my noble friend Lord Faulks had to say on that matter. Possibly they were better words for use with the Home Secretary's decision rather than when talking about a judicial process. Again, we feel that we have the balance about right.
I turn now to the question raised on the full merits review in the noble Lord's Amendments 42 and 43, which I mistakenly said were his amendments on the alternative, but that is covered by his Amendment 17, so I correct myself at this stage. His Amendment 42 specifies that a full court review of a TPIM notice under Clause 9 must be "on the merits" and would delete the subsection of that clause which specifies that,
As the noble Lord explained, these amendments are designed to ensure that the review of an imposition of a TPIM notice provides a full merits review. He articulated the view of the Constitution Committee-yet another committee that has been looking at this-in its report on the Bill: that it should be clear, on its face, in cases concerning TPIM notices. The function of the court is not limited to ordinary judicial review. Such a constitutionally important matter should not be left for clarification in the Explanatory Notes. Similarly, the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, made it clear that the purpose behind his intention to oppose the question that Clause 9 stand part of the Bill is to facilitate consideration of this same issue.
The Government have been clear that judicial oversight of the process of imposing measures must be a key feature of the new regime. The involvement of the courts is an important safeguard for the rights of the individual, and the Bill takes a comprehensive and multilayered approach to this. As the Explanatory Notes explain, the case law relating to control orders is subject to a particularly intense level of review by the High Court. It is absolutely the case that the Government intend for the same intense level of scrutiny to be applied in court reviews of TPIM notices under Clause 9. All noble Lords will be aware that the courts have not
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We are of the view that the courts will apply relevant case law to TPIM proceedings as appropriate. That will, of course, include the case law on the type of review undertaken by the courts in these kinds of cases. In summary, in relation to the full substantive review of each control order, the Court of Appeal ruled again in MB that the High Court must make a finding of fact as to whether the reasonable suspicion limb of the statutory test for imposing a control order is met, and must apply intense scrutiny to the Secretary of State's decisions on the necessity of each of the obligations imposed under the control order while paying a degree of deference-
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for giving way because it enables me to anticipate the arguments we are going to have later, on whether Clause 9 should stand part of the Bill. He will know that the Opposition have concerns about the Bill, both because we think that it in some ways weakens our ability to prevent terrorism acts, and because we think that it weakens some of the safeguards. I very much agree with the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, on this. Given that the enhanced level of scrutiny has been one of the ways in which we have seen that the control order regime works effectively, I am surprised that the Government are not prepared to accept the spirit of what the Constitution Committee has put forward. I still do not understand why it is not possible to put this in the Bill.
Lord Henley: My Lords, I shall develop those arguments further when we get to Clause 9, which the noble Lord wishes to discuss. Late this evening though it might be, that might be the appropriate time, and I look forward to that in due course.
I shall now move on to the fourth point I want to deal with, which relates to the question of the time limit and how long a TPIM notice can have an effect. The noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd, proposes changes to the provision relating to the period for which a TPIM notice can be served. In his model, as I understand it, there would be a requirement for new terrorism-related activity to have taken place while the TPIM notice was in force in order to allow the TPIM notice to be extended into its second year. Again, we do not think that this strikes the right balance-and again, it is "balance" that we want to stress-in the context of preventive orders of this kind. Indeed, it would undermine the Government's ability to protect the people of this country from a risk of terrorism.
Although we have decided that extension of a TPIM notice for a further year should only be allowed on one occasion-after which new evidence would be required to impose a new TPIM notice-we do not believe that new terrorism-related activity should be required in order to extend the original TPIM notice for that first year. In other words, one could make the
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An ongoing necessity for the notice can be made out on the basis of the original terrorism-related activity, particularly where that activity was very serious, suggesting that the individual's mindset and intention to do serious harm will not have changed after just one year subject to whatever restrictive measures have been imposed in the TPIM order. Indeed, many court judgments in the context of control orders confirm that ongoing necessity, for the purposes of public protection, is not dependent on any new terrorism-related activity since the imposition of the control order.
Although the Government's view is that TPIM notices should not be used simply to warehouse people for very long periods and should not be imposed indefinitely on the basis of the same evidence-as can happen with control orders at the moment, if the statutory test continues to be met-we do not think that a notice that can only last one year without evidence of new activity while subject to the measures will be sufficient to disrupt the threat posed by the individuals concerned in many cases. Therefore we believe that the right balance-again, I stress "balance"-is this "one year plus one year" approach. It is a balance between protecting the public from persons believed to be engaged in terrorism-related activity and protecting the civil liberties of those individuals. I hope that also answers the point made by the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, as to whether one could go beyond two years with a TPIM notice. What I want to stress is that, if one wants to go beyond two years, one has to find some other terrorism-related activity.
I hope that that has dealt with most of the points that have been made in the very useful debate we have had on this large group of amendments at the start of the Committee stage of this Bill. No doubt we will be coming back to all these matters at a later stage of the Bill, just as we will be coming back to them on Clause 9, as the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, has assured us-possibly later on today. I hope that, as I have answered those points, the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd, will feel able to withdraw his amendment, and we can move on with the Committee.
Lord Lloyd of Berwick: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for his careful response to this large group of amendments. I shall read what he says in Hansard. Indeed, I shall scrutinise, if that is the right word, what he says with care. He referred to the decision in MB as in some way supporting his view that it should be for the Secretary of State, rather than for the judge, to make the order. However, I do not agree with that reading of the case. As I read it, MB requires the court to make a full merits review at the Clause 9 stage. That is a matter we shall discuss again, just as we shall discuss again the Minister's reasons for preferring reasonable belief to a balance of probabilities.
With two exceptions, all noble Lords who have spoken have supported these amendments. I am particularly grateful to the noble and right reverend
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(a) a requirement to reside at a specified residence;
(b) a requirement not to allow others to reside at that residence without the permission of the Secretary of State;
(c) a requirement, applicable between such hours as are specified, to remain at the specified residence.
(a) may be in any locality in the United Kingdom that appears to the Secretary of State to be appropriate;
(b) may be a residence provided by or on behalf of the Secretary of State
(4) If the specified residence is provided to the individual by or on behalf of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State may require the individual to comply with any specified terms of occupancy of that residence (which may be specified by reference to a lease or other document).
(5) A requirement of the kind mentioned in sub-paragraph (2)(c) must include provision to enable the individual to apply for the permission of the Secretary of State to be away from the specified residence, for the whole or part of any applicable period, on one or more occasions.
(a) the condition that the individual remains overnight at other agreed premises between such hours as the Secretary of State may require;
(b) the condition that the individual complies with such other restrictions in relation to the individual's movements whilst away from the specified residence as may be so required.
(a) the generality of sub-paragraph (7) of paragraph 14 (power to impose conditions when granting permission), or
(b) the power to impose further conditions under that sub-paragraph in connection with permission granted by virtue of sub-paragraph (5) of this paragraph.
Lord Carlile of Berriew: My Lords, in tabling this amendment, I am grateful for the support of the noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, who has put his name to it. This group of amendments is about relocation, an issue we discussed at Second Reading. The first sentence of the executive summary of the Justice and SecurityGreen Paper, published today by the Ministry of Justice, is:
I do not want to repeat at great length the arguments on relocation presented at Second Reading. I simply want to reiterate that the sensitive information, the security that the Government have received, points to the need, for the time being at least, to continue as part of the main legislation the power to order relocation, used sparingly as it is and subject to the scrutiny of the courts.
I have drafted the amendment so as to keep the existing control order provisions for relocation until after the Olympic Games, choosing a date after 1 January 2013. At that point, it would be open-and I am completely open-minded about this-to the Government to come back to Parliament and to replace the relocation provisions with what is in the Bill, which would remove relocation subject to emergency legislation. All that would be required would be an affirmative resolution of both Houses. There would therefore be a debate in which the Government would pass to each House of Parliament the advice that they have received from the security services, including the sensitive information to which I referred earlier.
I can best make my argument for this group of amendments by asking the Minister a series of questions. First, is it correct that the National Security Council, which is made up of Ministers only, has been advised against the removal of relocation from the list of available powers? If the NSC was so advised, I suspect that the Minister will be driven to confirm that the removal of relocation is not as a result of a debate on the merits but as a result of political considerations founded on the manifestos of the two partners in the coalition. I am as enthusiastic about the coalition as most Liberal Democrats-well, nearly-but I am not enthusiastic about political considerations trumping national security, which is what I fear may have happened.
My second question is: have Her Majesty's Government received any advice from those who are currently operational in MI5, MI6, GCHQ or SO15, the counterterrorism command, that the relocation power has become an unnecessary component of national security for the time being? If they have, perhaps they will tell us what it is and whence it came, because my belief is that the advice will be eccentric and not in the mainstream.
My third question is: does any part of the informed security bodies-those with the information-support the removal of the relocation power before the Olympics and Paralympics, as opposed to after them? In other words, what consideration has been given to the pinch point that will be created by the Games? We should remember in this context that we are talking about the security not only of the Olympic Park and the other venues where Olympic and Paralympic events will take
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My fourth question, which is connected, is really a rhetorical question. Surely on the basis of the evidence the Government must accept that they would be fulfilling what the Green Paper describes as the first duty of government by retaining relocation until after the Olympics and Paralympics are over.
My fifth question relates to something that was raised at Second Reading: the case of CD and the judgment of Mr Justice Simon. When the CD case was heard earlier this year, did Her Majesty's Government consider it proportionate and in the interests of national security to request a relocation component in CD's control order? If they did, I come to my final question: have they changed their mind about CD? If they have, why have they done so?
The decision in the case of CD was taken on the basis of arguments presented on behalf of the Government, with special counsel present, after the publication of the counterterrorism review that was independently and very capably scrutinised by my noble friend Lord Macdonald of River Glaven. If the Government had decided that relocation was no longer necessary, it is surprising that they bothered to make the argument against CD. One should, after all, contrast it with the decision made in relation to Section 44 stop and search, which remained on the statute book long after the Home Secretary made the welcome announcement that it was in effect no longer to be used. I am driven to the conclusion that there was a merits argument in the Home Office about both these issues and that the decision that was taken on the merits was that Section 44 should no longer be used because we did not need it, but the decision that was taken on the merits in relation to relocation and CD was that it should continue to be used because we do need it. All that leads me very reluctantly to the conclusion that the removal of relocation has far less to do with the Government's first duty than with meeting some arguments that have been made before this Government were formed and in a political context, including a very powerful argument made in a Times article by my noble friend Lord Macdonald before he was a Member of this House.
What I would ask the Minister to do is merely to confirm at this stage, because we will return to this later, that the Government are considering this matter and are now considering it on its merits. I beg to move.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, I rise to support the noble Lord, Lord Carlile, and have added my name to his amendment. I really hope that the Minister will give this earnest consideration. He will know that I am highly critical of the Bill that he brings before us. It is clear that the exclusion provisions within control orders have proved to be highly effective.
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We have the quite extraordinary provision in this Bill that if the enhanced provisions were to be required, and were to be required in the period between the Dissolution of Parliament and the first Queen's Speech in the next Parliament, the Home Secretary is to be empowered by this Bill to use those provisions. If ever there were an admission that the Government know in their heart that they may need those provisions and, indeed, have used them in their period of office, there is the evidence.
We then come to the second issue that the noble Lord, Lord Carlile, has alluded to. It is whether it is right or sensible to remove those relocation provisions at the current time. We have the Olympics, and we also have the issue that, in lieu of the exclusion provisions, additional surveillance will have to be undertaken by the police at additional cost, with additional resources and using more people. The noble Lord will know that in the Public Bill Committee in the other place the deputy assistant commissioner expressed some concerns about the length of time that will be required by the police to put those measures into place.
The amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Carlile, quite brilliantly in my view, gets the Government off the hook for the period between the end of the Olympics and the beginning of 2013. It also says to the Government that, if at that time or beyond it they reach a conclusion that they do not need the exclusion provisions, they can simply bring an order before Parliament. No doubt Parliament would assent to that order, as it does assent to government orders. However, if the Government at that time are not so assured, they already have the provisions on the statute book with the benefit of them having gone through Parliament and being effectively scrutinised rather than using the very unsatisfactory approach of having an emergency Bill in the stocks ready for use.
I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Henley, might be sympathetic to the amendment in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Carlile. It is meant to be a constructive response to current circumstances. I certainly think that it warrants due consideration.
Lord Pannick: My Lords, I offer the Government my support on this issue of relocation. The noble Lord, Lord Carlile, expressed concern that political considerations, as he put it, are trumping national security concerns. I suggest to the noble Lord and the Committee that the issue is more difficult than that. The way in which the noble Lord puts it ignores a vital dimension. The reality is that relocation is a particularly intrusive measure to impose on the subject. It is strikingly damaging to the personal life of the individual and his or her family.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Will the noble Lord address the evidence given by the deputy assistant commissioner, which I know he will have read, which pays tribute to the effectiveness of that exclusion order?
Lord Pannick: I am coming to that, but let us at the outset recognise the impact of a relocation measure. If one is going to adopt a measure or power of this sort, one needs to recognise the striking impact that it has on the spouse and the children. A measure that amounts to internal exile of a person needs a compelling justification.
Lord Carlile of Berriew: I know that the noble Lord eats legal authorities for breakfast, probably literally sometimes. I would just like him to give his comments on the cogent judgment and reasoning of Mr Justice Simon in CD, the case to which I referred, in which the judge took the matters the noble Lord has just mentioned into account and reached a considered conclusion. Does he say that the judge reached the wrong conclusion, giving undue proportion to some of the factors he was weighing?
Lord Pannick: Of course, the learned judge was considering the exercise of the powers that are contained under the control order regime. The Committee and the House have to consider what is a fair balance-this is the test that the Minister rightly has repeatedly propounded-between national security and the liberty of the individual.
Lord Carlile of Berriew: I promise not to intervene on the noble Lord's speech again but he is ducking the question. Does he not accept that Mr Justice Simon in that case, having weighed up the facts, came to the conclusion that the safety of the state and of the public was better protected by relocation and that it was proportionate to the interests of CD? If so, should we not keep the situation as it was then?
Lord Pannick: The noble Lord can intervene as many times as he likes. I welcome his interventions. My answer to his point is twofold. We can always add more and more intrusive measures and protect ourselves more effectively from the perspective of national security. The question is: what is a fair balance? I am assuming that the Government, not just concerned about a particular individual case but looking at these issues as a whole, have concluded that relocation would undermine the fair balance because of its particularly intrusive nature and that the combination of the measures contained in the TPIM and the surveillance measures that can always be imposed on an individual who is not relocated will effectively protect the public. It is true that there is a financial cost, which is the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Hunt. Does the noble Lord wish to add to that?
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The noble Lord is being very kind in accepting all these interventions, but this is an important point. If the Government were really confident, they would not be producing a draft emergency Bill or having the provision in this Bill to allow the Home Secretary in an election to use the enhanced measures. I am afraid the fact is that in their heart, and
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Lord Pannick: We will hear from the Minister in relation to that in a moment. I am satisfied that a sensible and fair way of dealing with what is a very difficult issue, because of the primacy of national security and the particularly intrusive nature of a relocation power, is for the Government to satisfy themselves, as I assume they have done, that relocation powers are not needed. However, given the importance of this power, they recognise that it is sensible to have reserve powers available which, God forbid they are ever needed, can be brought into force. I support the Government on this.
Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, I, too, support the Government and I am very much with the noble Lord, Lord Pannick. If my noble friend Lord Carlile succeeds in getting answers to his questions about evidence, I shall consider that there is a huge amount of favouritism going on. That is exactly the sort of thing that we have all asked for on many occasions, but inevitably we are not satisfied because we know that advice to the Government is advice to the Government, and we cannot read their heart as we are being asked to do.
I do not quite understand the distinction between politics and security. For all the reasons we have talked about and will continue to talk about, it is a much more nuanced and complicated-there is probably a geometric term for it that I do not know-picture than a simple polarisation as regards the impact of particular measures. Of course surveillance is going to be costly, but another balance that one must come to is where one puts one's efforts and spends one's money.
Lord Macdonald of River Glaven: My Lords, I, too, support the Government on this issue. It does not surprise me at all that if the Government presently have a power, they will seek to use it, and it does not surprise me at all that if the security services presently have a power, they will seek to retain it. But the question is, as the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, said: what is a fair balance? Noble Lords will know that the counterterrorism review considered these issues very anxiously and received a great deal of evidence. It came to the conclusion that public safety could be protected in the absence of the power of relocation but in the presence of additional surveillance, for which funding was indicated, and with the sort of measures that have now been brought forward in the TPIM Bill. That was the considered conclusion of the review and appears to be the conclusion of the Government. I must say, having scrutinised the evidence which was supplied to the counterterrorism review, it was also my conclusion. I therefore support the Government on this question.
Lord Newton of Braintree: My Lords, having acknowledged on a number of occasions recently my capacity to fall to temptation whenever I am in the Chamber and make some remarks, I am even more
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Lord Henley: My Lords, as someone who started his ministerial career some 20 years ago sitting at the feet of my noble friend Lord Newton, I am grateful to hear those remarks. I always knew that he was sound, loyal and supportive of the Government in every possible way.
The noble Lord, Lord Hunt, was somewhat disparaging about the Enhanced TPIM Bill and asked why we have it. It obviously indicates that we believe there is a need for bringing in relocation because we have it in the Enhanced TPIM Bill. At Second Reading, I made it very clear that we hoped that we would never have to bring that Bill into force, but I also tried to point out how important it was that we should be able to debate it in a measured manner, which is what pre-legislative scrutiny will allow for, when the threat was not as high as it might be when and should we have to bring it in. That might be a better way to proceed than to debate it in moments of crisis and rush it straight off the shelves while minds are not necessarily as settled as they should be.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Does not the noble Lord, Lord Carlile, propose an even better way? Essentially, he is saying, first, let us get over the Olympic-year problem by allowing the Government to have use of this power in this Bill. We are able to scrutinise it properly and if at some point in the future the Government are able to conclude that they no longer need it they can bring an order before Parliament. If I were sitting in the Minister's place, I would be very grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Carlile, because it is a very helpful amendment.
Lord Henley: My Lords, I note what the noble Lord says, but I do not accept that. The power might be necessary in the future; that is why we have brought the Draft Enhanced TPIM Bill to the House and why the House will have its chance for pre-legislative scrutiny. We hope that we will not need to bring it into effect. However, we might have to bring it into effect at a time when Parliament is not sitting, which Clauses 26 and 27 allow us to do. As was made clear by the noble Lords, Lord Pannick, Lord Macdonald of River Glaven and others, it is question of getting the balance right. I am glad that the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, repeatedly stressed the word "balance" because it is all about balance.
Perhaps I may say a little more about how we reached this decision and where we think we are. The Committee will be aware that relocation has been of particular interest during the passage of the Bill both in another place and here and strong views, as we have heard today, have been expressed on all sides. No one disputes the very powerful disruptive effect that relocation of an individual to another part of the country can have on their involvement in terrorism-related activity. Equally, as, again, the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, made clear, it can have a very powerful effect on the individual and his family likewise. So such a power
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As was made clear following that review, the Government concluded that it should not routinely be possible under the TPIM system to require an individual to relocate without consent to another part of the UK. Debates on the issue, as, again, has been made clear, frequently turn on that question of balance, specifically between protection of individual liberty and security for the wider population. Views on where the right balance might be understandably differ in different parts and, dare I say it, on all sides of the House-not many noble friends of the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, have intervened, but I am sure that he would find that there are one or two on the Benches behind him who do not agree with everything that the Opposition have had to say. As the noble Lord will be aware, the former Government took the view that compulsory relocation was necessary as one of the wide range of potential obligations under the control order provisions. That was a perfectly legitimate position, and my right honourable friend the Home Secretary has used the power to relocate on a number occasions when she has imposed control orders.
However, the coalition Government do not think that this is the only approach that can be taken. Our conclusion, as we made clear in January, is that a more focused use of the restrictions that will be available under the TPIM Bill, together with-it is important to remember this and I am grateful that the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, reminded us of it-the significantly increased funding that we are providing for covert investigation and other measures, will allow us effectively to protect the public without the need for this potentially very intrusive power to be routinely available. That is where our approach differs from that taken by both my noble friend and the Opposition in their amendments.
We will of course be able to use the robust powers that we still have in the Bill to disrupt an individual's involvement in terrorism. If I wanted, I could take noble Lords in some detail through Schedule 1, which sets out all those powers. The noble Lord shakes his head but I shall remind him that there is a power to require them to reside and stay overnight at a particular address within their home locality; there is a power to ban them from certain areas or places; there is a power prohibiting their association with individuals of concern and requiring prior notice of association with other individuals. I shall not go on but I want to make it clear that we have sufficient powers severely to disrupt the ability of the suspected terrorist and what he might do.
In normal circumstances, our judgment is that the measures that can imposed under the Bill, allied to the additional resources that have been provided to the police and Security Service-I again stress that-is the right package of measures to have in place. I can give an assurance to my noble friend that the director general of the Security Service has told the Home
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However, we have always been clear that there may be exceptional circumstances where the measures in the Bill, together with the additional resources, may not be sufficient effectively to manage the risk that we face. That is why we have brought forward the powers in the Enhanced TIPM Bill-powers which, again I stress, we hope never to have to use-which can be brought into effect with considerable speed, but after, we hope, this House and another place have had a chance to give them considerable pre-legislative scrutiny.
As to the question of whether relocation should remain at least until the end of 2012, I can see that it is a beguiling proposal, but one is always suspicious of beguiling proposals. I fear the Greeks even when they come bearing gifts, or however it goes. The Opposition continue to express concerns that the police and Security Service will not be ready to implement the new system at the time the Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent because the additional investigative resources which will complement the system will not be in place. However, I can give an assurance that they will be in place in due time. The Metropolitan Police Service has confirmed that arrangements will be in place effectively to manage the transition from control orders to TIPMs. We are working closely with the Metropolitan Police to consider what further assurances can be given about readiness for that transition from control orders to TIPMs. Similarly, the Security Service has developed detailed plans for the agreed additional allocation over the next four years which it is implementing at some speed.
With those assurances, I hope that the noble Lords will feel that now is not the time to press their amendment and that they will consider withdrawing it. I do not think it is necessary. As I say, we have the Enhanced TIPM Bill, which can be considered at a slower pace as part of its pre-legislative scrutiny, and if it is ever necessary-I hope it will not be necessary-to bring it into force, it will be ready, having been considered at a measured place, to be brought forward. Having said that, I hope my noble friend will be prepared to withdraw his amendment.
Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, I think I heard the Minister refer-I hope I did-to plans for resources for the security services over a period which is longer than to the end of next year. If that is so, I welcome it. At the end of his speech he referred to the next four years. I welcome this because it would not be proper for this Chamber-most noble Lords not being privy to security information-to take a view as to what is required for up to the end of next year and it being something different beyond that. I am not trying to give my noble friend ammunition in favour of his argument but simply to put my concern that we should not be looking at the matter through that lens.
Lord Henley: My Lords, one is always very careful when one speaks on these matters with a Treasury Minister sitting at one's side. However, I can give an
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Lord Carlile of Berriew: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for his careful answer to this short debate. I regret that he has not answered any of my six questions and I invite him to write to me with answers to each of those quite specific questions. I regard the emergency legislation model provided in the Bill as a deeply dysfunctional form of legislation. It will be very difficult to bring into force, involving parliamentary debates that are almost impossible to construct in a way that is neither in contempt of court nor breaks the sub judice rule.
I of course welcome surveillance, whether over a short or long period, being enhanced by the provision of extra personnel and additional technical facilities. However, I say to the Minister, to my noble friend Lady Hamwee and to the House that it is much more easily said than done operationally. Many of the individuals against whom this kind of surveillance is deployed are very intuitive about surveillance provisions and often live in places where it is virtually impossible for the police to deploy the full range of surveillance facilities. That is one of the reasons why relocation has been a useful and proportionate measure.
However, at this stage it would not be right to press the matter to a Division-I have the perhaps over-optimistic feeling that common sense at some stage will prevail-and therefore I beg leave to withdraw the amendment, with the purpose of returning to this matter at a later stage.
Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, I shall speak also to Amendments 10 to 15. These are all amendments to the first schedule to the Bill which deals with measures-in other words, how the measures are administered. I am not seeking, and will not at any stage seek during the debate, to argue against the Government's responsibility to protect their citizens, which is necessarily complex, nor indeed to disrupt activity-"disrupt" is the term the Minister used. However, I do argue that there may be different ways and means.
I wish to bring the Committee back to the issue of how one deals with the individual at the centre of all this and his or her family; to the possibility of tipping people, including in the wider community because these matters get known about, over into the very activity that we are seeking to prevent; and to the person that we will have at the end of the year or two years. I am well aware that my drafting if often more suited to a contract than a piece of legislation but I cannot help it. I was a solicitor in practice for even longer than I have been in the House. It may be that the answer to a number of my amendments is that the Human Rights Act deals with them but I will take a short time to raise the specific issues in the House.
Amendment 9 deals with the hours that an individual is required to be at his residence, suggesting that an overnight requirement should be for such reasonable hours as are specified. We know that a period of 16 hours is compliant with human rights but a requirement to be at homes for 16 hours-effectively, an early evening curfew-does not sit easily with the desirability of allowing the individual to work or study. An early evening curfew would, for instance, preclude working in the restaurant trade. Indeed, having to be at home for 16 hours would probably make it impossible to carry out any sort of normal work. Some people work from nine to five but we forget that they have to get there by nine and leave after five. That is more than the eight hours which is 24 minus 16. That is my first amendment.
Amendment 10 is on the question of location. The Secretary of State can require the individual to reside at a locality with which they have "a connection". My amendment suggests changing that to "a substantial connection". "A connection" could be a very slight one. Maybe "significant connection" would be better. That would be a slightly lower test than a substantial one. To take a deliberately absurd example, I would like to avoid sending an urban person off to the Yorkshire Dales, however beautiful, because Mrs Smith who used to work in his local shop has retired there. That would be a connection but not a very sensible one in this context.
At first, I wondered whether this should be a third party's terms of residence but the residence may be one provided by the Secretary of State. Pointing to a lease or tenancy agreement would be a more satisfactory way of doing that. That is alluded to but only as one of a number of possibilities. I assume that "specified" means specified by the Secretary of the State. Again, the Secretary of State might be tempted to go beyond the bounds of what one would naturally expect through this paragraph, but be permitted to do so.
Amendment 12 takes us to travel documents. As I have said, the documents-in particular the document referred to in paragraph 2(3)(d)-should be returned to the individual at his reasonable request. I am not proposing that a passport that has been surrendered should be handed back but, reading this, it occurred to me that a Freedom Pass, which allows an individual over a certain age to travel by bus for free throughout England, would fall within this category. Is it right to tell that individual that they cannot have their freedom pass which would allow them to get to, say, their niece's wedding? Perhaps that is a bad example because attending a family wedding may raise other issues but I am not sure that this deals with that detailed sort of situation. I would like to see something put in place to permit for individual and very detailed requirements.
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