The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman

Part of Prisons and Courts Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:30 pm ar 29 Mawrth 2017.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Richard Arkless Richard Arkless Scottish National Party, Dumfries and Galloway 2:30, 29 Mawrth 2017

I thank the Minister for those words. I will pick up on a couple of points and then make clear whether we will press the amendment to a vote. He mentioned that the amendments would compel the ombudsman to investigate 35% of more than 28,000 cases. My hope is that if there were a limit, there would not be as many cases to investigate, so I do not think he was making a fair point.

I appreciate what the Minister said about automatic referrals to the first-tier tribunal, but that only triggers after four months. Frankly, holding someone in detention for four months without placing them in front of a judge is just as much of an affront to the rule of law as it would be open-ended. I cannot agree that automatic referrals are a suitable mitigating measure, but we will not press the amendment to a vote this afternoon. We anticipate that it commands cross-party support, and we think there is a good chance we can make the Government see sense. We reserve the right to bring back the amendment in full force at a later stage of the Bill’s passage. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.