Mr Dominic Grieve contributions to the Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Act 2019

Wed 30th January 2019 Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill [Lords] (Commons Chamber)
3rd reading: House of Commons
Report stage: House of Commons
3 interactions (161 words)

Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill [Lords]

(3rd reading: House of Commons)
(Report stage: House of Commons)
Mr Dominic Grieve Excerpts
Wednesday 30th January 2019

(1 year, 8 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mr Ben Wallace Portrait Mr Wallace - Parliament Live - Hansard
30 Jan 2019, 2:28 p.m.

Yes, and in answer to the amendment that was tabled but not selected, Ministers are obliged to act in accordance with our ECHR obligations. Throughout this process, we have a legal duty under the Human Rights Act 1998 to act compatibly with convention rights, including article 1 of the 13th protocol, which was incorporated in schedule 1 to the Human Rights Acts 1998 through the Human Rights Act (Amendment) Order 2004. Were Ministers to act unlawfully in making subordinate legislation under subsection 5(b) which was incompatible with the convention rights, it would be open to the courts to strike down that legislation by applying ordinary public law principles.

Mr Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield) (Con) Hansard
30 Jan 2019, 2:28 p.m.

First, I want to confirm what my right hon. Friend has said. This treaty being negotiated with United States has taken a long time to achieve. I remember being connected with it when I was Attorney General, and raising the matter subsequently on visits to the United States when I was Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee. It is quite apparent that the treaty is essential to prevent crime in this country. It is equally clear that attaching the proposed strings to it would destroy it; I have no doubt about that at all. I also endorse the point that the European convention on human rights has to govern everything that we do. In my view, in regard to the sort of data we are seeking to access and share for the purpose of fighting crime, the issue of whether the death penalty might result from an eventual criminal proceeding, which would be speculative at that stage, is entirely irrelevant.

Mr Ben Wallace Portrait Mr Wallace - Parliament Live - Hansard

My right hon. and learned Friend, whom I have known a long time, is the straightest politician in this House and always has the best motives. He is also the lawyer that one would want at one’s side in government, because he tells it how it is, not how one wants it to be. I thank him for his point. He knows how far back this effort goes. This Bill is not a political charge or an ideological step. In fact, without this amendment, it is probably one of the most boring Bills that we have taken through the House, but it is not a playground for ideological posturing on a theoretical issue.

There is a clear choice here: take up the offer from the United States, reject the amendment and help to keep our constituents safe, or agree with the right hon. Member for Hackney North and Stoke Newington who believes that this matter is a problem even though there are no examples from the past 20 years. She believes that we should say no to the US offer and put the whole thing at risk because our tiny amount of data could be combined with a criminal investigation overseas, when the crime is a capital offence and the offender is in a country or US state that has the death penalty, and our data alone could be the crucial piece of evidence that leads to a conviction. If ever there was an example of politics getting in the way for the most bizarre and abstract reason, it is here.