Tuesday 15 October 2013
Interview with the Attorney General
"Duration: 28 minutes
In this week's programme, the Attorney General for England and Wales Dominic Grieve speaks to Joshua Rozenberg in an extended interview.
To begin, they discuss the issue of sentencing and the attorney general's role as gatekeeper to the appeals court. How does he go about deciding whether a sentence is lenient or unduly lenient - and therefore worthy of an appeal? What are the factors he takes into consideration? And how can members of the public make an appeal to his office, to ask for a case to be reviewed?
The programme also speaks to Lord Justice Sir Colman Treacy, a senior member of the Sentencing Council, about the council's advisory role, asking whether he thinks sentencing is becoming more lenient.
The conversation moves on to international law, and the recent raids by US special forces in Libya and Somalia, in which a suspected leader of Al Qaeda was detained. Did the United States break international law by taking such action? And what about the British government's decision to push for military action in Syria - would it have been legal?
Finally, many voices within the Conservative Party want to restrict the influence of the European Court of Human Rights. But does Dominic Grieve agree with his cabinet colleagues? He warns of the potential cost to the UK's reputation and to the promotion of human rights around the world.
Dominic Grieve QC MP, Attorney General for England and Wales
Lord Justice Sir Colman Treacy, senior member of The Sentencing Council
Ann Oakes-Odger MBE, founder of KnifeCrime.org
Dapo Akande, Co-Director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict"
Generally honest and correct, from Treacy and Grieve.