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Lord Filkin: My Lords, I thank all noble Lords who have spoken. The House recognises the sensitivity of the issues we are discussing. We are essentially balancing the liberties of an individual whom we believe to be a terrorist against the rights and the need for peace and security of our own citizens. That is a difficult judgment to get right in that one is balancing one set of rights against others.
We appreciated the support expressed by Her Majesty's Opposition and, in more guarded terms, by the Liberal Democrats, for the proportionate necessity of the powers. As regards the point of the noble Viscount, Lord Bridgeman, about the scale of reviews, the review will also be undertaken by the noble Lord, Lord Newton of Braintree, who is present. As the House knows, that review will be carried out by nine Privy Counsellors. They will examine anything that they think is of relevance to the legislation. They are requested to report by December 2003. I appreciate the calls on the time of the noble Lord, Lord Newton of Braintree. The House is grateful that he has agreed to undertake the review.
The noble Viscount, Lord Bridgeman, referred to the links mentioned in the report of the noble Lord, Lord Carlile. We believe that that issue is dealt with in Section 21(4) which defines links as meaning supporting or assisting international terrorism. We do not believe that there is a problem there but we shall reconsider the issue with an open mind, as was signalled in another place during the debate on the order.
I refer to the matter that so far all detainees have claimed to be Muslims. I am particularly alive to the sensitivities of that matter as in my other role as Minister responsible for race and faith I am in regular contact with many members of the Muslim community and discuss their particular sensitivities as British Muslims at this time. We are aware of that matter. The fact that someone claims to be a Muslim is no reason whatever for not detaining that person. One cannot discriminate on that basis. On the other hand, we have made it absolutely clear that generally to equate Muslims with terrorism is wrong and is a denial of the central tenets of the Islamic faith which is a peaceable religion.
We believe that the procedure as regards special advocates is fair and necessary. We will keep the issue under review. A point was raised as to whether the special advocate can be heard in the Court of Appeal. We believe that it is clear that they can do so if they proceed from SIAC to the Court of Appeal, and one can well see why there are good grounds for them wishing to do so.
It has already been noted that we have moved on Belmarsh. As the noble Lord said, the judgments were not those of the Government but of SIAC. We are glad that it is not delaying hearing such appeals now. There was something on the radio this morning that may have led to some confusionit certainly did in my mindas to whether the subject of intercepts was relevant. An announcement was made about consideration of the intercept evidence in court. In fact, there was confusion, and it was not in any way related to the order. I will clarify that with a note to the noble Lord.
I am grateful to the House for the way in which it has supported the continuation of the order. It will be good when we are no longer in a position to feel that it is necessary to continue it, but we are not there yet. It may be some time before we are.
The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move that the order, a copy of which was laid before the House on 27th February, be approved. The order has been seen by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.
Noble Lords will be aware that a near identical order was considered by the House on 24th February. Obviously, they cannot be sure that it was completely identical because two or three pages were missed out, as the noble Lord, Lord Hodgson, pointed out. That order was revoked on 4th March in consequence of that defect in one of the codes of practice laid before the House. An administrative error meant that one of the codes, Code D, was incomplete. That has since been rectified, and fresh codes were laid before the House on 26th February.
Since we debated the codes on 24th February, I have provided the noble Lords, Lord Hodgson and Lord Dholakia, with an explanatory paper for each code detailing the main changes, which I hope they found helpful. That was pursuant again to a sensible suggestion by the noble Lord, Lord Hodgson. The amended codes were welcomed by the House last month, and I hope they will be welcomed by the House today. I commend the order to the House.
Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts: My Lords, I am extremely grateful to the Minister for his further explanation and update of the position on the codes. I would like to take the opportunity to thank him for having responded to my request for explanatory notes to lay out the changes made, and for sending me a copy, which I have read carefully. They are extremely useful. I hope that the issuing of such notes will become practice in future.
I have read the two missing pages of Code D with care. Page 7, which was one of them, concerns identification parades, video identification and identification by group. It also refers to annexes A, B and C. I ask the Minister to turn to annex A. Paragraphs 15 and 16 on page 23 are concerned with image security and destruction. Paragraph 16 states:
While the Minister is pondering on that, I want to make two further observations, both of which I raised in the earlier debate. The first concerns paragraph 4.3 of Code E. I am sorry that the Minister, for all his many kindnesses and courtesies to me, has not seen fit to make use of the hiatus that has occurred to clarify beyond peradventure the issue of clean and new tapes. Paragraph 4.3, which is on page 5 of Code E, reads:
I look forward to hearing the Minister's response to those two points, but more importantly on whether he and his officials believe that Code D can properly be approved in its present somewhat imperfect form.
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