Speeches

The Lord Chancellor's duty

The Lord Chancellor, Liz Truss, has a specific duty to uphold and defend the independence of the judiciary.

Gay pardons in Northern Ireland

The Conservative Party’s manifesto at the general election last year stated: “We will build on the posthumous pardon of Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing, who committed suicide following his conviction for gross indecency, with a broader measure to lift the blight of outdated convictions of this nat

Northern Ireland's fragile peace

It is now over eighteen years since the signing of the historic Good Friday Agreement which made possible a new era in democratic politics in Northern Ireland following the IRA’s formal abandonment of violence. But the peace is incomplete.

Anonymity for sex abuse suspects

In a Lords debate on 30 June (see below), Alistair Lexden called for the introduction of measures to protect people suspected of sex abuse from harassment by the media and misconduct by the police which do grave damage to their reputations while they are under investigation without any charges having been laid against them.

More teacher training in the classroom

Under this government teachers are being trained increasingly in schools themselves, reducing the role of teacher training colleges. It is a thoroughly desirable trend.

Eliminating HIV in the UK

In a short debate in the Lords on September 5, Alistair Lexden backed the call made by his long-standing friend, Lord Black of Brentwood, who instigated the debate, for a Government strategy to eliminate HIV infection in the United Kingdom by 2030.

Pubs Code

The government will shortly introduce a pubs code which will clarify the obligations of pub-owners towards their tied tenants. Close scrutiny of the proposed code by Parliament’s Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments revealed some minor flaws in it.

A hallowed tradition

Earlier this year a Committee of the House of Lords decided - controversially - to end the centuries-old practice of printing Acts of Parliament on vellum. In April the House of Commons voted in favour of retaining vellum, and received an offer of financial help from the government.

Is the presumption of innocence in danger?

“Innocent until proved guilty”: this is one of the cornerstones of our legal system. In a speech in the Lords on June 30, Alistair Lexden suggested that this great principle might be in danger.

History's raw material

Government documents now become available to historians and others for research purposes after twenty years rather than thirty which was the case until 2013. A 20-year rule has replaced the original 30-year rule introduced in the 1970s.