Trade Bill ‘Ping Pong’ – Lords oppose Government over Genocide amendment

This is about ethics, morality, having a clear conscience and making sure that we behave as a democracy should, by abhorring genocide and people being murdered, tortured and imprisoned. This is about operating as an enlightened nation and when we talk about genocide, we ought to talk as well about ecocide—large-scale environmental destruction and ecological damage. Although it is not as obvious, it is a slow genocide. It drives people away from their land, makes them poor and gives them fewer opportunities and terrible lives. We should accept that we do that sort of damage, and that we do it in virtually every act of our lives. In some way, we impact on our environment and the rest of the world and, by doing that, we can damage the health and well-being of other nations and people who live in the places where we get our food or the minerals for our phones. So we ought to think very carefully about how we operate as individuals and as a nation.

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Today I wrote to Cressida Dick regarding unlawful sexual relations between undercover police officers and their targets

Dear Commissioner

During the Policing and Security APPG on 14th Dec 2020 I asked you what investigations were happening within the Met on the issue of the historic unlawful sexual relations between undercover police officers and their targets.

You told me that there were no ongoing investigations, yet the HoL Minister has made it clear in the debate on the CHIS Bill that such interactions are now and always have been unlawful. It seems remiss not to examine previous instructions to establish wrongdoing by senior officers.                       

Can you please therefore outline, in full, the Met’s position on whether these sexual relations were lawful. Could you also please explain when and why the Met decided to take no further action on the issue?

Police Spies – Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) – Bill Committee Stage Day 3

The Government say that amendments such as these are not necessary, because of the complex legal web of proportionality and the Human Rights Act. That argument might carry more weight if the Government were not constantly fighting a culture war against human rights lawyers. However, one does not need to be a human rights lawyer to understand that rape, murder and torture are never justified, so these restrictions have to be in the Bill.

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Police Spies – Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) – Bill

The big problem with this Bill is that the legal tests are too wishy-washy. They give the authorising bodies free rein. If we do not contract those processes in some way, there will be mistakes – there are bound to be. It will become very difficult to challenge even the most obviously wrong authorisations.

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Covert Human Intelligence Sources: Immunity from crime for criminals and no recourse to justice for victims

It is obvious that the Bill hugely expands the state’s ability to authorise criminal conduct and grant legal immunity to criminals. Surely the Government understand this and can see that it is wrong to try to legislate like this.

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Covid regulations from a government that doesn’t listen and learn

In the words of Adam Wagner, a professor of law

“One of the things this crisis has brought home to me is how illiberal outcomes are inevitable when hugely important decisions are made by a small group in secret and without parliamentary scrutiny. Biases and personal preferences of those in the room are inevitably amplified”. Continue reading “Covid regulations from a government that doesn’t listen and learn”