Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 50 Number 39, October 31, 2020 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Move to entrench police powers above the rule of law

United Kingdom Internal Market Bill

"To make provision in connection with the internal market for goods and services in the United Kingdom (including provision about the recognition of professional and other qualifications); to make provision in connection with provisions of the Northern Ireland Protocol relating to trade and state aid; to authorise the provision of financial assistance by Ministers of the Crown in connection with economic development, infrastructure, culture, sport and educational or training activities and exchanges; to make regulation of the provision of distortive or harmful subsidies a reserved or excepted matter; and for connected purposes."

At present in its committee stage in the House of Lords, continuing until November 2, when further amendments will be discussed. It received its third reading in the Commons on September 29, and its second reading in the Lords on October 19.

For further information see the Supplement below on the rule of law, and the briefing paper:

Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill

"A Bill to make provision for, and in connection with, the authorisation of criminal conduct in the course of, or otherwise in connection with, the conduct of covert human intelligence sources."

Receiving its second reading in the House of Commons on October 5, the Bill completed its committee stage, report stage and third reading all on October 15. The second reading in the Lords is yet to be scheduled.

The bill would provide an express power to authorise covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) to participate in conduct which would otherwise constitute a criminal offence. It would do this by amending the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The bill would provide the security and intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, and several public authorities a statutory power to authorise CHIS to participate in criminal conduct, when deemed necessary and proportionate to do so. For further information see:

Overseas Operations (Service Personnel And Veterans) Bill

"A Bill to Make provision about legal proceedings and consideration of derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights in connection with operations of the armed forces outside the British Islands."

Receiving its second reading in the House of Commons on September 23, the Bill is now due to have its report stage and third reading on Tuesday, November 3, before progressing to the Lords.

It is expected that several issues will be returned to on Report, specifically, the application of the presumption against prosecution provisions in this Bill to torture, war crimes and crimes against humanity; and the proposed six-year time limit for bringing civil claims in relation to overseas operations. Critics have argued that this limit erodes the rights of Service personnel and veterans and potentially breaches the Armed Forces Covenant. For further information see:


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