Mr David Durant
40 Windmill Hill
7th June 2008
Dear Mr Burrows,
I would like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to the current draft legislation “The Governance of Britain – Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill” which is currently before Parliament.
I am very impressed to see the contents of Part 1, Section 1 removing sections 132-138 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 returning free protest to Parliament Square.
However, I am extremely concerned about Part 2, Section 2, Subsection 1 “Power to Intervene to Safeguard National Security”.
The Attorney General may, if satisfied that it is necessary to do so for the purpose of safeguarding national security –
a) give a direction to the Director of the Serious Fraud Office that no investigation of specified matters is to take place in England and Wales;
b) give a direction to any prosecutor, in relation to an investigation of specified matters, that no proceedings for an offense are to be instituted in England and Wales in respect of those matters;
c) give a direction to any prosecutor that proceedings for specified offense that are being conducted in England and Wales against specific person are not to be continued.
This section of the legislation appears to be in direct response to the current BAE Systems inquiry.
If passed this would effectively allow government oversight of financial criminal investigations allowing such proceedings to be blocked by “National Security” reasons that are unlikely to be made available to the general public or even Parliament.
I am very interested to know your personal position on Section 12 of this bill and the position of the Conservative Party.
I would strongly encourage you to urge the government to remove Section 12 before the final parliamentary vote.
Thanking you for your time.