2017 | Enero 27
Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill [HL]
Moved by Baroness Cox
My Lords, I am profoundly grateful to all noble Lords speaking in this debate and to many other noble Lords who have expressed their support for the Bill but are unable to be in their place today. The Bill seeks to address two interrelated issues: the suffering of women oppressed by religiously sanctioned gender discrimination, and a rapidly developing alternative quasi-legal system which undermines the fundamental principle of one law for all.
However, in a society such as ours, submission to the law of the land is precisely what all other systems of law and belief must accept. The law of this land, the law by which we all abide, is the fundamental basis of our security. In an increasingly diverse society, it is the bedrock of our common freedom, yet it is vulnerable, for the law which serves us so well is not always as carved in stone as some people think. As circumstances change, the law updates to protect every segment of our society, always without prejudice. The powerful and the needy obey it to the letter or are punished.
So I fully agree with the objectives of the Bill. Women should be made aware of their rights and, for those women who are particularly vulnerable in some of the closed societies that are developing even within our own society, the judiciary should make every effort to ensure that they are aware of their rights and generally prevent a parallel system developing. Yes, we should probably give two cheers for the inquiry and the Home Office report—and yes, we are fully committed to the principles and clauses in the Bill proposed by the noble Baroness, Lady Cox, who is a great fighter for liberation not just in this country but also, as we have seen, in Burma, South Sudan and elsewhere. I am a great admirer of her work.