Labour will ‘fix’ Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal says David Lammy
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The Judicial Review and Courts bill, which was introduced to Parliament last week by Mr Raab, calls for the abolition of Cart judicial reviews, which are legal challenges against decisions made in the Upper Tribunal. Mr Raab argued that ‘Cart’ judicial reviews are broadly unsuccessful and delay the deportation of individuals from the country, while the Government claim the bill will “save court time and reduce delays, deliver swifter justice and support court recovery”. The Ministry of Justice have also claimed the number of Cart judicial reviews that succeeded were just 0.22 percent.
The proposal received fierce backlash from Tory backbencher David Davis, who vowed to lead a rebellion against the changes.
Labour’s Mr Lammy was also deeply critical of the bill despite being the minister who proposed an even broader power in 2003.
At the time, Mr Lammy sought to axe the High Court’s power to scrutinise immigration and asylum decisions by judicial review.
The New Labour proposal was ultimately dropped after massive public pressure from lawyers and civil liberties groups.
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In Parliament last week Mr Raab called out Mr Lammy over his U-turn while addressing the chamber.
He said: “It would be interesting to know whether Labour will support us in this matter.
“I have done my homework. The Right Honourable Member for Tottenham is laughing from a sedentary position.
“But if Labour plans to vote against this bill on the basis of Cart, I would point out that the Shadow Justice Secretary personally proposed a much broader so-called ouster clause back in 2003 in Labour’s Asylum and Immigration Bill.
“It was the Asylum and Immigration Bill back in 2003.
“It did not have any of the exceptions and it was not as constrained as the bill before the house today.
“He did not just support the measure, he proposed the measure.”
Midway through Mr Raab’s address to the Commons Mr Lammy heckled that he was “young and naive” when proposing the bill 18 years earlier.
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An overhaul of the judicial review process was promised in the Conservative manifesto in 2019.
It said the mechanism should be “available to protect the rights of individuals against as overbearing state” but should not be “abused to conduct politics by another means or to create needless delays.”
Mr Lammy questioned why the Government was focusing efforts on judicial review changes, while the justice system faced problems including a huge case backlog and a crisis in confidence by women.
The Shadow Cabinet member then labelled the proposed bill as “unhinged” and an attempt by the Tories to “hoard more power”.
Upon the Judicial Review and Courts Bill being introduced to parliament Mr Lammy said: “Judicial review is the process by which the public can challenge the Government and other public bodies when they break the law.
“It is wrong for the Government to try to put itself above the law by limiting where courts can hold the Government to account.
“It is unhinged that the Ministry of Justice is wasting resources on attacking a vital process that works well while the courts system is on the brink of collapse.
“Instead of using the pandemic as an attempt to hoard more power, the Government should be addressing the record-high courts backlog and record-low conviction rates for rape.”
Former Tory Cabinet minister David Davis also deeply opposed the proposal, writing in The Guardian last week that judicial review “delivers for individuals on matters affecting everyday life”.
He added that it was constantly being used “to correct fundamental and dangerous errors of law” and that the Government’s “attempts to consolidate power” were “profoundly un-Conservative”.
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