Is your British citizenship in the public interest?

We now have a two tier system of British citizenship and if the Nationality and Borders Bill is published then millions are under threat of having their rights removed “without notice” by a Minister acting “in the public interest”. You can then appeal against deportation retrospectively, i.e. once you are out the country.

A lot of people will be surprised to learn that the Government already can—and do—remove people’s right to British citizenship. That is not new, but it means there is a two-tier system of British citizenship. The change is that the Government will now be able to remove people’s citizenship without any notice or warning whatever. The term “otherwise in the public interest” is so broad a discretion as to be almost meaningless. The Secretary of State can basically choose not to give notice on a whim. Of course, because citizenship will have been revoked without any notice, any judicial review or other legal challenge will only be able to be brought retrospectively.

In summary, the Bill is a continuation of the trend by this Government to remove individuals’ rights, undermine legal safeguards and view the legal profession as the enemy within.

Police Bill Report Stage Days 2&3

The last week before the Festive break had two days of Report Stage of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. The Lords have tabled hundreds of amendments to the original bill and Jenny spoke to amendments on the confiscation of mobile devices, child abuse sentences, road death sentences, mandatory minimum sentences, IPP sentences and Friday releases. The Report Stage of this bill will continue in the New Year. Continue reading “Police Bill Report Stage Days 2&3”

Final days of Police Bill Committee Stage

If you make protests impossible to perform legally, criminalise non-violent direct action, abolish or restrict the ability of citizens to challenge the Government in court through judicial reviews, turn people against lawyers, gerrymander the election boundaries and dish out cash in the way that looks best for Conservative MPs, that is deep, dark politics. Many of us here are not particularly political and perhaps do not see the dangers inherent in what the Government are doing. It all seems like a calculated ploy to turn all the cards in favour of an unaccountable Government that cannot be challenged in the courts, at the ballot box or on the streets. 

Continue reading “Final days of Police Bill Committee Stage”

‘Due Regard’ is a get out clause

My Amendment 75 to the Environment Bill would flesh out the environmental principles so that they reflect a much broader set of principles, written in simple, understandable language. For example, the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle would actually be explained and defined. It would also add things such as using the “best available scientific knowledge”, the principles of public participation and the principle of “sustainability” to take into account the health of present generations and the needs of future generations.

Taken together, these amendments would create an accessible blueprint for our country and for the planet. They would set out the clear environmental principles on which our future would be founded, and require—not simply invite—the Government to implement those principles in all areas of policy. This is the type of legislation that a Green Government would implement, these are the principles that we would apply and these are the ways in which we would make ourselves accountable to Parliament, to the courts, and to future generations. Continue reading “‘Due Regard’ is a get out clause”

Law Enforcement Agencies: Duty of Candour

The Report of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel (HC 11), published on 15 June, recommended that there should be “a statutory duty of candour, to be owed by all law enforcement agencies to those whom they serve, subject to protection of national security and relevant data protection legislation”. The independent panel highlighted obstruction and a lack of co-operation by the Metropolitan Police that “placed its concern for its own reputation above the public interest.” Who do the Government believe should be held accountable for that misconduct? Continue reading “Law Enforcement Agencies: Duty of Candour”

Environment Bill Day 1 – purpose and potential

Without these amendments the Bill risks falling far short of what it needs to achieve. Without these amendments, setting out the clear purpose, there will be a danger of policymakers and the courts interpreting this legislation far too narrowly. Without these amendments, there is very little to bind the decisions made under the Bill.

Then there is the requirement for the Prime Minister to declare a climate and ecological emergency. Why has he not done so already? This must happen before COP 26. It is impossible for the United Kingdom to give any type of leadership at COP 26 without this declaration. It should form the very foundation of COP and be the basis for negotiations there.

Continue reading “Environment Bill Day 1 – purpose and potential”

Forensic Science and the Criminal Justice System (Science & Technology Committee Report)

I believe that it is impossible to separate forensic science from the wider undermining of criminal justice funding that has occurred during 11 years of Conservative cuts. The Government have treated people’s innocence as an unaffordable and optional luxury, rather than the underpinning of the fabric of society’s trust in the justice system. When people realise that innocent people can go to jail and guilty people can go free because of failures in the system that the Government have allowed to happen, the whole system is doomed. Continue reading “Forensic Science and the Criminal Justice System (Science & Technology Committee Report)”

Public service and private enrichment: the need for legal separation

Existing regimes often fail to ensure that people in government and politics work for the public interest and not for private gain. We need a legal, formal separation of public service from private enrichment. We need to hold former Ministers, former politicians and even former lawyers to much higher standards than exist at present. Continue reading “Public service and private enrichment: the need for legal separation”