Tag Archives: lord falconer

The Times’ curious use of single quotation marks in headlines

times falconer

Women ‘are not tough enough to lead Labour’

Such was the headline in the Times last Friday, above an article by Lord Falconer. You would be forgiven for tinking that Lord Falconer actually said that women “are not tough enough to lead Labour”. But what he actually wrote was:

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Opinion: Assisted suicide – why the Falconer Bill must be rejected

Parliament Sunset - Photo by Greg KnappThe issue of assisted suicide and euthanasia has been presented in the media in a highly emotionally charged way in recent years, with several ‘hard cases’ of non-terminally ill people wanting to die. This has resulted in confusion over what exactly is at stake in the forthcoming Falconer Bill and of course, hard cases make bad law.

In the sad case of Tony Nicklinson, lawyers argued that he had Article 8 rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (respect for private life and family). In their view, …

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Assisted dying in the news both north and south of the border – last day for action in Scotland

Sunset @ Adyar:The issue of assisted dying is in the news on both sides of the border this week. Yesterday, Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill received its first reading in the House of Lords. This is a formality and the date for a full debate on the issue has not yet been set.

To mark the occasion, the Dignity in Dying campaign has released a very powerful video which highlights the choices we are free to make in life, but we can’t choose the manner of our death.

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Chris Davies MEP writes… Assisted dying is a liberal issue

It was a Liberal Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt (now the leader of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament) who ensured that legislation to permit medically assisted dying was brought forward in Belgium a decade ago.  Publication of the report by the independent commission on assisted dying, chaired by Lord Falconer, should be a reminder to our Liberal Democrat leadership of our own very similar party policy on the subject.

Medically assisted dying (the patient self-administering) or euthanasia (the doctor providing direct assistance) are very definitely liberal matters.  They are about respect for individual wishes when the frailty or immobility of the individual …

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Lord Falconer, wrong again

Having failed to derail the AV referendum with his highly implausible legal arguments, Labour peer Lord Falconer (who served in the previous Labour government, and was one of those who put the pressure on to have the Iraq war ruled legal) is at it again. This time he is trying to argue that people should vote No to AV because it will bring down the Coalition government and hasten Ed Miliband into 10 Downing Street without having to wait for any general election.

Except that it won’t.

Lord Falconer is right in as much as the Coalition’s program of …

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Lord Tyler writes: the mischief continues

The BBC’s excellent Westminster correspondent, Mark D’Arcy has got the measure of what’s going on in the House of Lords at the moment, and his update is as good as any.

I only question the credit he gives to Lord Falconer, who is far too obviously partisan to attract serious support from the Crossbenchers. It is former Labour Minister – and shrewd operator – Lord (Jeff) Rooker who has twice achieved victory over the Government by bringing a healthy chunk of them along with him. He does it by saying his amendments are meant to be helpful, …

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Opinion: Lords avoid falling into Labour’s “elephant trap” – just

The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituency Bill advanced to its second reading in the House of Lords earlier this month after narrowly avoiding a referral motion tabled by Labour peer Lord Falconer.

Lord Falconer had argued that the bill was hybrid as it treated two existing parliamentary seats – Orkney and the Western Isles – as special cases that would have been exempt from the constituency boundary redrawing element of the bill.

The motion was defeated by 224 votes to 210, allowing the second reading of the bill to take place.

But there needs to be a closer look as to …

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Dear Lord Falconer…

Dear Lord Falconer,

You have me confused with your claim that the Parliamentary Constituencies and Voting Systems Bill is a hybrid bill (and so should go through a different and slower Parliamentary procedure).

Now, I know that you have many more years of legal training and experience than me, so I wouldn’t be confused if there was just the one reason for you appearing to be wrong. But there are three, you see.

First, as you know when a Bill is introduced the Department of the Clerk of the House has to rule on whether or not it is a hybrid bill. …

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Opinion: Cold comfort for the Lib Dems in the dawn of the new politics

On Thursday night we saw the dynamics of the New Politics unfold.

For the first time, advocates of the Lib-Con pact came face to face with opponents and the general public in a very public forum. On Question Time, Simon Hughes MP and Lord Heseltine defended the new government against a tirade of abuse from Lord Falconer, Mehdi Hasan and Melanie Phillips, while the audience expressed exasperation and dismay. Get used to it. This is the New Politics, and if Cameron and Clegg are to be believed, this is what we have to look forward to …

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Haggis, Neeps and Liberalism #7: The Megrahi Documents

The Megrahi case has ripped apart the peace of the Scottish Parliamentary recess, with even some former Lib Dem leaders taking a differing view to our leader in Holyrood. Today the UK Government and Scottish Parliament have released papers relating to the discussions that have gone one over the last two years. It ranges from correspondence between Westminster and Holyrood, to memos of meetings with Libyan officials, to the compassionate release request listing medical conditions.

These start chronologically with the first letter from then-Lord Chnacellor Lord (Charles) Falconer to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond outlining the Memorandum of Understanding that Westminster had set up with Libya regarding a number of judicial issues. The Memorandum was drawn up to look at increasing bilateral co-operation covering, amongst other things, commercial and criminal issues. The legal issues were not exclusively about Mr Al Megrahi, but looking at the bigger picture of co-operation between the two nations at large. However, Lord Falconer did say that nothing could be ruled in or out, but that co-operation and consultation between Westminster and Holyrood would be carried forward.

However, it the path of the UK’s justice secretary Jack Straw’s correspondence that sheds a lot of light on the situation, especially considering the Labour response in Holyrood.

Posted in Europe / International, Op-eds and Scotland | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , and | 4 Comments
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