HS2 Bill Amendment 10

Amendment 10 is a pretty good amendment and something to work towards, even if it is not accepted today. It would require a report every six months rather than annually; “indirect impacts” are explicitly mentioned; and it would require a report to Parliament by the Secretary of State, with a four-week consultation period, rather than no consultation at all.

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Trade Bill Report Stage day 1

The Government have put the Trade and Agriculture Commission on a statutory footing – with Amendments 49 and 50 giving it a degree of permanency – and have even seemed to incorporate what we were pushing for, in that it should have its own staff and facilities, but then government Amendment 36 throws all that out. A Secretary of State can ditch the whole thing with a statutory instrument. How is that sticking to a promise about making this a body that can properly do the job?

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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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Will state authorised spies keep the money they make from crimes?

The CHIS (spycops) Bill is in the Lords at the moment. The Minister couldn’t tell me if criminals who are authorised as police spies will be able to keep the proceeds of any criminal activity during the period when they are immune from prosecution. At the moment criminal proceeds are often confiscated by the state. Will they be taxed instead? I have written asking again…

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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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