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We must stamp out the corruption of elections in Wycombe

A number of constituents have been in touch with me following the announcement in the Queen’s Speech that legislation will be introduced to require voters to show photographic identification at polling stations in future elections. (The requirement does not apply to this election.)  Many say electoral corruption is not a widespread problem or that requiring voter ID is too draconian a measure.  I completely disagree.  Most law-abiding citizens in the Wycombe constituency would be shocked if they knew the extent of […]

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Fighting Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

Recently, my team and I attended a training session on modern slavery provided in Wycombe by Hope For Justice, a charity which aims to bring an end to modern slavery by rescuing victims, restoring lives, and reforming society. I remain truly shocked about the scale of the problem in the UK. Slavery and human trafficking exists in almost every town and city across the UK. I’m appalled that the moral outrage of slavery persists in the UK today, so many years after […]

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The banking inquiry: judges apply the law, MPs make it

On BBC News 24 at 3pm today, I was asked about the debate over whether to have a Parliamentary or a judge-led inquiry into banking. I made the point that judges apply the law and MPs make it. (In relation to banking, we are far beyond matters of judge-made common law.) Whereas Leveson is primarily about the law as it is, any inquiry into banking must look at the institutional framework which has allowed ordinary and predictable self interest to […]

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How to repatriate 130 EU laws

This week Open Europe published a new report that shows how the Government could repatriate 130 EU laws on crime and policing, including the controversial European Arrest Warrant. The Government must decide before June 2014 whether a whole raft of EU police and justice laws, adopted before the Lisbon Treaty took force, will continue to apply in the UK beyond December 2014. Under Lisbon, if the Government opts out of any one of the existing laws, it has to opt […]

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What is “reasonable force” in a riot?

As Londoners take to defending their own lives, property and communities, it seems the state is failing in its first duty: to defend life, liberty and property. A good number of my constituents have written — dismayed by the shameful, reckless behaviour they have seen on TV — demanding that tougher action be taken with rioters. My understanding of the law (and I am not a lawyer) is that “A person may use such force as is reasonable in the […]

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The Financial Services (Regulation of Derivatives) Bill

Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to require certain financial institutions to prepare parallel accounts on the basis of the lower of historic cost and mark to market for their exposure to derivatives; and for connected purposes. I rise not as an expert in derivatives or derivative accounting, but as someone who has wrestled with the problems of the banking system in the company of experts, both academic and […]

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Philip Lawrence’s widow urges reform of human rights laws after killer Learco Chindamo recalled to prison – Telegraph

David Cameron is under pressure to deliver on a promise to reform the Human Rights Act following the disclosure that the foreign-born murderer of Philip Lawrence has been arrested on suspicion of another violent attack. via Philip Lawrence’s widow urges reform of human rights laws after killer Learco Chindamo recalled to prison – Telegraph. I will be joining colleagues in calling for reform of the Human Rights Act to deliver a classical English Bill of Rights.  I have great respect […]

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Rivlin, Understanding the Law

I first mentioned Understanding the Law by Geoffrey Rivlin after observing the proceedings of Wycombe Magistrates’ Court. At last, I have finished it. The book is a tour de force covering the law and its importance, the courts, the constitution, Parliament, the police, the judiciary, human rights, discrimination, the legal profession, the work of the courts and various historical, practical and ancillary subjects. At 370 pages, it is a considerable read but a triumph of brevity and wit in view […]

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How do we win back our freedom? – Telegraph

the insidious accretion of power to a benign and democratic state, through the use of the legislative process to restrict what we do and shape who we are, is more destructive in the long run because it creates a society of pliant individuals who look for someone else to help them out. Personal responsibility is destroyed and gives way to a notion that the state or one of its many agencies will provide everything. We become dependent upon others rather […]

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David Cameron: Reducing the burden and impact of health and safety

Via The Conservative Party | News | Speeches | David Cameron: Reducing the burden and impact of health and safety, David Cameron further sets out his vision to turn Britain around: Three weeks ago at the Young Lecture I said that the ultimate ambition of a future Conservative Government was to create the big society… …a thick, intricate web of mutual obligation in which we fulfil our responsibilities to ourselves and each other. I argued that achieving this vision requires […]

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