Lord Inglewood debates involving the Home Office during the 2019 Parliament

Mon 4th Mar 2024
Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill
Lords Chamber

Report stage & Report stage: Minutes of Proceedings
Thu 5th Mar 2020
Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill [HL]
Grand Committee

Committee stage:Committee: 1st sitting (Hansard) & Committee: 1st sitting (Hansard) & Committee: 1st sitting (Hansard): House of Lords & Committee stage
Lord Cashman Portrait Lord Cashman (Lab)
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Again, I shall not detain the House, but I shall refer to this situation and the expression of one’s sexual identity in a later grouping—the fifth grouping. I thank noble Lords for their patience.

Lord Inglewood Portrait Lord Inglewood (Non-Afl)
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Briefly, I shall add a few comments to the remarks made by the noble Lord, Lord Deben. In his remarks, the noble Lord, Lord Hodgson, said—and it is true—that there is a lot of concern and anxiety about the whole issue that we are discussing this afternoon. Probably, in this Chamber, there is nobody who knows less about Rwanda than I do—and I dare say that I am representative of the nation as a whole. The wider world is very concerned about this, and we have been talking about this from the perspective of this Chamber—but if you look at it from the perspective of the wider public, it would be to everybody’s great advantage to have something along the lines of what the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, and the noble Lord, Lord Anderson, are advocating; it would be very helpful in trying to allay wider public concern. It seems to me—and I am sure that we all regret it very much—that, the way the world is now, the fact that the Government give it the thumbs up does not necessarily instil great confidence in the wider public.

Lord Inglewood Portrait Lord Inglewood (Non-Afl)
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My Lords, I think we can all agree that the Bill is contentious. I think we can also agree about what it is actually about: controlling permitted migration and ending illegal entry. That is a good thing, but I suspect that is where the agreement ends.

This evening, we are discussing something that is part of a much greater problem facing the western world. History, it seems to me, tells us that there is only one way to respond to existential threats to western Europe and tsunamis of migration, and that is by coming together and standing shoulder to shoulder. For example, when Jan Sobieski led a European army to defeat the Turks at the Battle of Vienna, it was a composite army. When Wellington was victorious at Waterloo, the majority of the troops he was commanding were not British, and the day was saved by the Prussians, under Blücher. In the Second World War, when we played a crucial part, eventual victory is in fact owed to Russia and the United States. We are approaching this as though we can try to do it by ourselves, and I believe that that must be doomed to fail. We are all in it together.

We were told earlier in the debate that collective action has failed in the past, but we have to remember what financial advisers tell us: that the past is no guide to the future. We have simply got to make it work in some way or other, even if we end up with a collection of disjointed unilateral actions that have only some degree of coherence across them.

As long as there are boats and migrants on the other side of the English Channel, and as long as the view from there is that there is a better life in this country, there will be those trying to break into this country, thinking it is a Shangri-La—it is certainly an improvement on life in the camps at Calais. That is the reality. Sometimes, we seem to be using the same political advisers as King Canute did on that beach at Hunstanton, over 1,000 years ago. On that occasion, the king appreciated that they were talking nonsense.

I am not a good lawyer, and in the presence of so many distinguished lawyers I shall keep my opinions private. I simply say that the Bill as it stands is an attack on the rule of law. If Parliament, led by the Executive, excludes the proper and constitutional role of the judiciary and the system of checks and balances in the system, quis custodiet ipsos custodes? We are being asked to go into a world of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland, as was explained earlier, where Humpty Dumpty expounds the doctrine that a word means

“just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less”.

Much of this is fuelled by what is a fashionable, at least in some circles, antipathy to the European Convention on Human Rights. It may commend the convention to some at least in this Chamber that, let us not forget, it was devised by British Conservative lawyers. We should also recall that the reason it came into being—I think this was mentioned earlier in the debate—was to deal with exactly the Humpty Dumpty school of legal interpretation which, once adopted, spread widely in the 20th century to become the basis of horrifying totalitarianism and all that that led to. I believe we should not and must not allow this approach to the law to enter our system.

Let us have some leadership from our leaders in the great British tradition of freedom, democracy and the rule of law, and not put our long-established traditions up for sale for the supposed benefit of a mess of short-term political pottage.

Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill [HL]

Lord Inglewood Excerpts
Committee stage & Committee: 1st sitting (Hansard) & Committee: 1st sitting (Hansard): House of Lords
Thursday 5th March 2020

(4 years, 4 months ago)

Grand Committee
Read Full debate Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Act 2020 View all Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Act 2020 Debates Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts Amendment Paper: HL Bill 3-I(Rev) Revised marshalled list for Grand Committee - (4 Mar 2020)
Baroness Hamwee Portrait Baroness Hamwee (LD)
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My Lords, red notices are indeed controversial because they are open to abuse by authoritarian regimes seeking the apprehension of dissidents or “criminals” whose crime is dissidence. The House has talked about abuse in the cases of Russia, China, Turkey and a number of other countries. I understand that there are also sometimes queries about red notices from Latin American and Middle Eastern states. Of course there is a risk of political abuse, corruption and malicious notices.

I had forgotten, but recalled when I was preparing for today, the case of the footballer granted refugee status and residence in Australia three years ago, after fleeing Bahrain. He was arrested on his honeymoon in Thailand and held in detention for a while until he got back to Australia. Questions were raised about Interpol’s neutrality. I appreciate that reforms have been introduced over the past five or so years, but controversies do and will continue over red notices and Interpol’s diffusions, which serve as an international alert mechanism.

It is important to have as much transparency and availability of information as possible on how the recipient of the notice treats its subject, which is why the involvement of the judiciary at a later stage has such importance, and on how the NCA or any other designated authority triages the information—we seem to have adopted that term.

The fact that there is a risk of abuse seems no reason not to proceed with the legislation and I acknowledge that the amendment does not propose that. In any event, I understand that the certificate, not the red notice, is the basis for arrest, which is an important distinction.

I wonder whether this is the moment to ask the Minister about the EU’s future relationship with other European countries. The document published last week on the future relationship refers to achieving extradition arrangements with

“appropriate further safeguards for individuals beyond those in the European Arrest Warrant.”

I am sorry that I did not think to warn the Minister that I would ask this, but I imagine that it is pretty much at the top of everybody’s minds. What are the “appropriate further safeguards”? In other words, what are the problems with European arrest warrants that led to that statement in the document?

I am a member of your Lordships’ EU Select Committee. We took evidence on Tuesday about the future relationship. I asked an academic who was giving evidence what he thought this was about. He said that it was probably about human rights concerns. Of course, the noble Baroness will understand that I will not object to human rights safeguards.

On the noble Lord’s second amendment, as I have said, transparency is important. However, I was not aware that there was a major concern about discrimination, which is what is protected—as it were—by the protected characteristics. One would perhaps want to know the situation in other countries. I thank him for raising the issues and giving us the chance to discuss these subjects.

Lord Inglewood Portrait Lord Inglewood (Non-Afl)
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My Lords, if I may, I shall raise one small point. We are talking here about the ability to effect an arrest, not an obligation on the person who discovers and identifies somebody who is suspicious and to be arrested. To clarify, if it against public policy for somebody to be extradited, there is no obligation on the person concerned who has been granted this power to carry out the arrest. Is that correct?

Lord Mackay of Clashfern Portrait Lord Mackay of Clashfern (Con)
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My Lords, I assume that the process of extradition occurs under judicial control after the arrest and after the person arrested is in the custody of the judiciary or under the control of the arrangements made by the judiciary. That is quite important. In most of the speeches made at Second Reading, we distinguished between the Executive and the judiciary. They are two distinct parts of government. It is the Executive’s responsibility to take people before the judiciary, which is then responsible for how they are treated, subject to the Executive sometimes being part of the treatment afterwards. It is important to distinguish between the two. Therefore, it is acceptable that the authority deciding whether this arrest should go ahead is not a judicial authority but the responsible executive authority.

As far as both amendments are concerned, the information sought is reasonable and might be subject to risk, but it would be very easy, particularly if there seemed to be any public concern about the matter, for a parliamentarian to raise this as a Parliamentary Question, rather than have an obligation on the Secretary of State to keep to a time when there might not be much in the way of information to put out. I can see why these arrangements are a subject of public interest, but the Parliamentary Question system is a good way to deal with that as and when they seem important.

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Lord Hope of Craighead Portrait Lord Hope of Craighead (CB)
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My Lords, I cannot match the noble and learned Lord’s eloquence, except I remember that Lord Bingham used to use that phrase to describe how judges should nudge the law forward gently, step by step, rather than sit hitting sixes and fours.

I support this amendment for the reasons that have been explained. There are two features of the issue that are worth bearing in mind. First, the standard that the Government have set, which was described by the Minister, is a relatively high standard and, therefore, we are not talking about large numbers. Indeed, the Schedule itself demonstrates that we are not expected to have a great list, they will come in twos or threes at the worst, preferably ones, as the amendment seeks. Secondly, the issue of a standard is something that we would wish to debate, as the noble Lord, Lord Deben, demonstrated in his contribution. It is a great shame if we are masked, as it were, by having one good country on the list that we would not object to but which is in the kind of pairing that the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, mentioned, so that we cannot really grapple with the one to which we are objecting because the instrument is not amendable.

With great respect, this seems a very sensible amendment that meets the problem of the non-amendable instrument without at the same time creating an insuperable difficulty for the Government. It enables a debate to take place that would have a real point to it instead of one that really does not have a point because one part of the list—if it is a list—is unobjectionable. I very much support the amendment.

Lord Inglewood Portrait Lord Inglewood
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My Lords, I add my general support to the proposition and arguments that have been made. When I had the good fortune to chair the ad hoc committee looking at the workings of this legislation three or four years ago, this was one issue that the committee spent a long time discussing. Our concern throughout was essentially—and, I believe, entirely properly—about injustice. We must have an extradition system that is just at its heart. If there is any risk or probability of people being extradited into circumstances in which their human rights will be abused or ignored, or in which injustice will be meted out to them, we should not be party to it.

I was particularly grateful for the remarks by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge. He has touched on a point that I will come to when I move my amendment later on in the proceedings. I will not say that he has stolen my thunder—he has made the point a lot better than I might have.

Lord Kennedy of Southwark Portrait Lord Kennedy of Southwark
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My Lords, Amendment 6 is a very good probing amendment from the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee. As I raised on the previous group, the words of the Bill need clarifying. This amendment gives the Minister the opportunity to do that and to explain why the word “vary” is in new Section 74B(7)(a). We have to be very careful with the words that we use in legislation. I can see why we would want to add or remove a territory, but why vary it? Is it to address a name change? I am sure that the Minister will tell us why. Amendment 7 allows the Minister to explain the need for this power. It may be perfectly sensible, but to make that clear would be most welcome.

My Amendment 8 is fairly simple. It seeks to improve the Bill—as do all my amendments—by requiring the Government to report changes before adding, removing or varying a reference to a territory. What is the process for adding a country? How will additions to the list be approved? What would the parliamentary scrutiny be? What is the process for the talks?

I also have my name to Amendment 9, which has been referred to in a number of contributions. The Government would have to add territories one at a time; I very much agree with that. Parliament could reject a specific country or territory, which seems very sensible and proportionate. However, this came out in Second Reading: is this Bill also a back door to some sort of protection from the loss of the European arrest warrant? I know the Government said that it was not, but this would allow them to add the European Union straight away and in one go. That would be an interesting thing for the Government to do. When I thought of that, I was reminded of the interesting PNQ that the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, recently asked about the European arrest warrant. I also recalled the comments of the noble Lord, Lord Robathan. He asked a question of the Minister:

“My Lords, is it not the case that not all European arrest warrants are the same? A European arrest warrant from France or Germany, with whom we share the same respect for the rule of law, is one thing, but a European arrest warrant from one or two other countries—here I particularly mention Romania—is not the same because often political interference has taken place in the judicial system.”


The Minister replied:

“My noble friend makes a very good point about political interference. In fact, that is one of the safeguards within what we are seeking. He is right to make the point that not all EU states are the same.”—[Official Report, 2/3/20; col. 398.]


If the Government decide to put in the European Union in the future, that point could not be addressed. It is a valid issue—or, of course, it may not be an issue at all. It would be useful to have a response on that.

Amendment 10 should cause the Government no problem at all; I look forward to the Minister’s response on that. The noble Lord, Lord Deben, makes a valid case in Amendment 11B. “Levelling up” is the new buzzword in the Government. I think that we need a bit of levelling up in our special relationship with our friends across the pond as far as it applies to extraditing suspects who are wanted for crimes committed in this country. They must be very serious crimes which need to be investigated. Questions need to be asked, and potentially the evidence test is made and the matter is put before a court in the UK. The noble Lord cited two cases to illustrate that, which is very important in this respect. We are seeking a bit of reciprocity here, so I strongly support what he said and I hope that the noble Baroness can give a full response to these points because he has made the case very well.

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Baroness Hamwee Portrait Baroness Hamwee
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My Lords, I shall speak also to Amendments 13, while Amendment 14 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Inglewood, is also in this group. Amendment 12 would remove the provision allowing

“regulations to amend, repeal or revoke any provision made by primary legislation.”

This is something to which I have a natural aversion. I appreciate that the regulations in question, in paragraph 29(2) of the schedule, are limited by paragraph 29(1) which refers to regulations

“consequential on the amendments made by this Schedule.”

Is paragraph 29(2) necessary? It suggests that the drafters were anxious that they did not have time to prepare the Bill. I have looked at what the 2003 Act says on this point. Section 219 provides for amendments, repeals and revocations but can deal only with one

“contained in an Act passed in a Session after that in which this Act is passed.”

I do not think that alters my central point, which is my natural aversion to regulations amending primary legislation. Amendment 13 deals with the same point. I beg to move.

Lord Inglewood Portrait Lord Inglewood
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My Lords, I shall speak to Amendment 14 in this group. I owe the Committee an apology for not adding an explanatory statement, but essentially this is a probing amendment. The reason is that when I tabled it, I was not entirely sure exactly what my anxieties about the proposed legislation might be, but I have spoken to the Minister about my general unhappiness. Interestingly, the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, has just talked about paragraph 29(2). It strikes me as extremely clumsy and I am uneasy about it. As I say, that is why I have tabled this amendment and discussed it with the Minister.

Throughout the passage of the Bill thus far, the Government have emphasised that it is about powers of arrest. Of course, much of the Bill is about those powers, but it is clearly set within the context of the extradition system as a whole. One has not only to look at the Title of the Bill to see that; if you look at its substance, it becomes apparent. In the nicest possible way, I think “the Lady complaineth too much” in talking about the focus of the Bill on powers of arrest. The Bill is essentially about the workings of our extradition system as a whole. As the Committee knows—and does not need me to point out—it is essentially divided into two parts; I oversimplify, of course. There is the bit that relates to the European arrest warrant and the bit that relates to the rest.

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Tabled by
14: The Schedule, page 10, line 25, at end insert—
“( ) Sub-paragraph (1) and any regulations made under this paragraph expire at the end of the period of 12 months beginning with the day of this Schedule coming into force.”
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Lord Inglewood Portrait Lord Inglewood
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My Lords, I thank the Minister for her words and put on record, which I have not yet done this afternoon, that I support the basic principles surrounding the provisions relating to arrest in this context. I heard what she said about the powers in the Bill and the withdrawal of countries from Part 1 of the 2003 Act. I think I read earlier today that the powers to do that by secondary legislation are contained in the 2003 Act itself, so there is a possibility of the whole EAW system, if I can call it that, collapsing. Then something has to be done next, but I will not major on that any more at this point. The Minister said that these were usual provisions; they may be usual provisions in usual times, but we are in slightly unusual times.

Amendment 14 not moved.