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.
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
On 27th October 2014, Lord Horam asked Her Majesty’s Government what progress is being made with the Troubled Families programme. The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, tomorrow morning the Prison Reform Trust will publish the latest edition of its well regarded Bromley Briefings Prison Factfile. Among other things that will show the continuing correlation between exclusion from school, being brought up in care and offending behaviour. In the light of this and of other responses already given, can the Minister give an assurance that the Troubled Families programme is being well co-ordinated with the Ministry of Justice’s young offenders policy?
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: I can give the right reverend Prelate that assurance. Indeed, in a previous incarnation when I was the Whip for the justice department, I saw the importance of many rehabilitation programmes directly through visits programmes. He raises an important part of the mix that defines troubled families. As he is well aware, one of the key elements is youth crime and targeting youth crime and anti-social behaviour. Again, what we are seeing, for the first time I believe, is not just departments working together, but people at a local level working well together to ensure that all people involved, whether in youth crime, those involved in not attending school, as my noble friend said, or those who are not in employment, get sustainable solutions for the long term.
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.
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”
That this House do direct that, in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919, the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure be presented to Her Majesty for the Royal Assent.
My Lords, it is now 95 years since Parliament conferred on the Church of England the power to initiate legislation, which, following parliamentary approval and Royal Assent, becomes part of the law of England.
Most of the Measures passed by the Church Assembly and, since 1970, by the General Synod have been necessary but modest revisions of the church’s rule book and the law of England. Texts such as the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2014 or the Ecclesiastical Fees (Amendment) Measure 2011 were not framed with excitement in mind, but even they sound positively racy compared with that early piece of Church Assembly legislation considered by this House in the days of Archbishop Davidson—the Ecclesiastical Dilapidations Measure 1923. Just occasionally, though, the church brings to Parliament legislation which is of more significance and effect. The Church of England (Worship and Doctrine) Measure 1974 was one such, and so was the legislation passed by Synod in 1992 to enable women to be ordained priests in the Church of England. Continue reading “Lords Approves the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure”
On 14th October 2014, Lord McKenzie of Luton asked Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to improve housing stability for those renting in the private sector, particularly families. The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for his assurance that the Government are aware of the needs of families in relation to the length of tenure for tenancies. Is the Minister also cognisant of the needs of retired persons, where length and stability of tenancy are important not only for their well-being in old age but also for their contribution to the communities where they are living in a sustainable way?
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The right reverend Prelate again raises an important point at the other end of the age spectrum, and the Government are very much cognisant of ensuring stability for residents and that their needs are met. One thing on which we are clear is our approach to the private rented sector, through landlords, through providing greater protection and a greater sense of professionalism for both landlords and agents. We are also helping provide an increased level of guidance to tackle any perceived rogue landlords and making more help available to tenants in this particular sector.