Criminal Justice and Courts Bill – Divisions

House of Lords Division Lobby
House of Lords Division Lobby

On 9th December 2014, four bishops took part in divisions on the Government’s Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, during ‘ping-pong’ between the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The amendments dealt with secure colleges and judicial review. Bishops previously voted in favour of amendments on judicial review, and details can be found here.

 

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Bishops take part in votes on reforms to Judicial Review

On 27th October 2014, four bishops took part in divisions on the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, on the third day of its Report Stage. Details of the votes can be seen below.

House of Lords Division Lobby
House of Lords Division Lobby

Amendment 146 – Judicial review in the High Court and Upper Tribunal

Crossbench peer Lord Pannick moved amendment 146, which sought to soften the Government’s proposal that the High Court must refuse permission for a Judicial Review if it is ‘highly likely’ that the decision whose legality is being challenged would be unchanged even if the Review were successful.

Four bishops voted ‘content’ to this amendment. They were the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, and the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith. No bishop voted ‘not content’. There were: Contents: 247 | Not Contents: 181 | Result: Government Defeat

(via Parliament.uk)

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Bishop of Rochester supports amendments on conditions for secure colleges for young offenders

On Wednesday 22nd October 2014, the House of Lords debated amendments to the Government’s Criminal Justice and Courts Bill during the second day of its Report Stage.

The Rt Reverend James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester, contributed to the debate on Lord Ramsbotham’s amendment 108 to the bill, which was later withdrawn. The amendment sought to ensure that no secure college for young offenders could be established until clear rules on their operation had first been agreed. The Bishop spoke in favour of the amendment, highlighting the need to provide the highest standards of education for children in young offender institutions, especially when it had often been such a lacking feature of their pasts.

Bishop of RochesterThe Lord Bishop of Rochester:  My Lords, I hope that I am not a flag-waving antagonist but I support the pleas made by the last few noble Lords who have spoken, asking for some thoughtfulness, reflection and time to be taken over this. I am grateful for the consultation about the rules but we need time to take that consultation seriously and reflect upon it. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester supports amendments on conditions for secure colleges for young offenders”

Criminal Justice and Courts Bill – vote on indeterminate sentences

On 20th October 2014 the House of Lords debated the Government’s Criminal Justice and Courts Bill during its Report Stage. Peers debated an amendment from Crossbench Peer Lord Lloyd of Berwick to Clause 10, relating to treatment of prisoners serving indeterminate sentences. The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Rev James Langstaff, joined several Peers in expressing support for the amendment and he voted for its inclusion during the subsequent Division of the House. Continue reading “Criminal Justice and Courts Bill – vote on indeterminate sentences”

Bishop of Rochester supports amendment to Criminal Justice and Courts Bill

On 23rd July 2014 the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev James Langstaff, spoke during the Committee Stage of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

Bishop of RochesterBishop James spoke in support of Lord Ramsbotham’s amendment to remove clause 29 relating to the creation of ‘secure colleges and other places for detention of young offenders’  from the Bill. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester supports amendment to Criminal Justice and Courts Bill”

Bishop of Chester supports amendment to Criminal Justice and Courts Bill

On 21st July 2014, the Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke during the Committee Stage of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill. He spoke in support of an amendment to make assault on workers selling alcohol a specific criminal offence. Following the debate on the amendment, it was withdrawn without being put to a division of the House. 

14.03 Bishop of ChesterThe Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I have considerable sympathy for the amendment, although I wonder how it will interact with the remainder of the law on assault if this is criminalised in a specific way. I declare an interest in that I used to be a publican. When I was employed in a university, one of the members of staff had to go down to the magistrates’ court and swear that they were a fit person to keep order. That is the only time when I have been into a court of law in my life, and the magistrates were not quite sure that this young clergyman would be able to do so. My main task was to prevent the students drinking the profits rather than sorting out any brawls. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester supports amendment to Criminal Justice and Courts Bill”

Bishop of Oxford raises concerns about access to justice and care of troubled children during debate on Criminal Justice and Courts Bill

“It is disturbing when the Bar Council says that when combined with other recent government measures for changing the law of judicial review, these changes, if enacted in their current form, will immunise government and other public authorities from effective legal challenge” – Bishop of Oxford, 30/6/14

On 30th June 2014, the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, took part in the Second Reading debate on the Government’s Criminal Justice and Courts Bill. During his speech, he focused on two particular areas of concern – the proper care of troubled children and the role of ‘secure colleges’ and the need for a fair and effective system of judicial review and legal aid to be available to all, regardless of their material situation.

Bishop of OxfordThe Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, I am not among those who decry the frequency with which criminal justice Bills come along. The world is changing fast and the shapes assumed by criminality change no less quickly. It is important to respond to change and to take care that the unchanging core of justice—a British value if ever there was one, as well as a Biblical value—is honoured both in the detail and in the overall direction of policy on the criminal law and its enforcement. Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford raises concerns about access to justice and care of troubled children during debate on Criminal Justice and Courts Bill”