Jo Stevens MP

A strong voice for Cardiff Central

Jo Stevens - Labour MP for Cardiff Central

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Yesterday, along with my colleague and Shadow Attorney General, Karl Turner MP, I circulated this advice and guidance on avoiding risk of contempt of court, to fellow MPs and members of the House of Lords.

I would ask anyone who uses social media and publishes blogs to please read it carefully and bear it in mind. Thank you.

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"It is clear to everyone that proceedings are now active, given the charges and court appearance on Saturday. We thought it would be helpful to provide some guidance to colleagues on the issue of contempt of court as none of us would wish the proceedings to be inadvertently affected.

Colleagues should please refrain from publicly discussing or passing comment on the facts of this case until the conclusion of the trial. Colleagues should particularly refrain from any form of vilification of the defendant prior to the conclusion of the trial.

It is important that nothing is said or done which could prejudice the defendant from having a fair trial and that ultimately, justice is done.

Colleagues should keep in mind that 'publication' includes speeches, writings or other communication in whatever form, including social media activity, which is addressed to the public at large or any section of the public. [Section 2. Contempt of Court Act 2981].

Please be aware that the risk of culpability if any publication is deemed by the court to reveal matters which might be inadmissible in evidence and which may influence jurors or by commenting on the merits of the case or prejudicing it, vilification of the suspect under arrest, or publicly disclosing sensitive material that is subject to a court order restricting such disclosure.

Our advice is that there should be no further substantive comment on the case, except for the wish that it is thoroughly investigated so that justice can take its course. Colleagues may wish to share this advice with their local Constituency Labour Parties, trade unions and solidarity groups and we would welcome that."

Karl Turner MP, Shadow Attorney General

Jo Stevens MP, Shadow Solicitor General

Trial of Thomas Mair - Guidelines on Contempt of Court

Yesterday, along with my colleague and Shadow Attorney General, Karl Turner MP, I circulated this advice and guidance on avoiding risk of contempt of court, to fellow MPs and members of the...

Due to unforeseen circumstances I have had to cancel my advice surgeries on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th June 2016.

If you need my assistance or advice, please contact my constituency office on 02921 329736 in the first instance.

Future surgeries will be advertised here.

Surgery Cancelled 17th-18th June 2016

Due to unforeseen circumstances I have had to cancel my advice surgeries on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th June 2016.

Today in Justice Questions I took the opportunity as Shadow Prisons minister to raise with the Government the importance of remaining a member of the European Union in order for compulsory prisoner transfer agreements to stay in place. This system was established by the European Union and enables Britain to deport prisoners back to their country of origin.

My first question was:

Is it not the case that as the former Chancellor and Justice Secretary the Rt Honourable Member for Rushcliffe put it that if we ever left the European Union we would go back to a system of prisoner transfer where we had absolutely no ability to deport anybody to their country of origin unless we could persuade the government of that country to accept them. Why would we risk losing that progress?

Prisons Minister Andrew Selous response:
The Honourable lady is right in that if this country leaves the EU we will lose the compulsory prisoner transfer agreement that we currently have and that will cause issues in terms of trying to return the current number of Europeans prisoners within our prisons.

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My second question was:

Does the Minister agree with me that rather than sniping from the side-lines on these issues we should be playing our full part in coordinated international security frameworks such as:

•             The Prisoner Transfer Directive

•             The European Arrest Warrant

•             Eurojust – the body that leads judicial cooperation between member states

•             And the Schengen Information System

As all of these ensure that our EU membership continues to help protect us against crime, terrorism and threats to our security – yet more reasons to vote to remain on 23rd June.

Prisons Minister Andrew Selous response:
This Government wants to see as many compulsory Prisoner transfer agreements as possible because it is hard work trying to transfer all foreign nationals of whatever nationality out of prisons from England and Wales so therefore all compulsory transfer arrangements are useful and currently we have them with all members of the European union with the exception of Ireland and Bulgaria

You can watch my exchange at Justice Questions below:

Justice Questions – EU Prisoner Transfer Directives

Today in Justice Questions I took the opportunity as Shadow Prisons minister to raise with the Government the importance of remaining a member of the European Union in order for...

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