Dr Julian Lewis: I do not pretend to have expertise in this controversy, but I recall that one of the objections made when it was last debated was that an outside court would be taking power away from this Parliament if it were to make the determination, yet now the Government seem to be objecting to parliamentarians making the determination, even though they are highly qualified by dint of being former judges. That seems to be a little bit of a cake-and-eat-it situation.
[The Minister for Trade Policy (Greg Hands): I thank my right hon. Friend for that intervention, because there are clearly areas of possible confusion in this space, so let me be absolutely clear that the objection from the Government was because the High Court would be determining that there be a debate in Parliament. That is the crucial difference between the previous Alton amendment and our objections to this one. It is not about whether genocide is determined; it is about whether the courts dictate the proceedings of Parliament.
The approach that Lord Alton proposes is problematic, first, because it is in conflict with the Government’s settled policy, as I have said. Giving such a power to an ad hoc parliamentary judicial Committee would represent a fundamental constitutional reform. It would blur the distinction between courts and Parliament and upset the separation of powers, and so the Government cannot support it.]