Saturday, November 11, 2006

End of the week

Other events Thursday to Friday:

Thursday 09.00 telephone conference with Counsel, the Information Commissioner and the Information Tribunal, to agree Directions in the matter of an appeal to the Information Tribunal under S 57 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Appeal No EA/2006/0054, between myself and the Information Commissioner. We were given leave to amend our Notice of Appeal, and the amended Notice, together with an Amended Peply by the Commissioner, are to be sent to the Tribunal ny November 30. The Cabinet Office is to be joined as a party to the Appeal, and they also have to serve a reply on the Tribunal by the same date. The bundle of documens to be used by the Tribunal is to be prepared by December 21, and the Commissioner and the Cabinet Office then have until January 4 to notify us whether they wish any additional documents to be added to the bundle and if so, to supply copies forthwith. The parties have until January 18 to agree the contents of the bundle, and we have to serve copies on the parties by January 25. Witness statements then have to be exchanged and served on the Tribunal by February 15, and by February 22, the parties have to inform the Tribunal whether they want any of the witnesses to attend the hearing for cross-examination. The Tribunal announces the name of those required to attend by March 1. So it looks as if, assuming that all goes yo plan, the hearing will be in March.

At 12.00 on Thursday, to Abbey Gardens to chair this Press Conference:

Lord Avebury, the Vice-Chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group
Cordially invites you to a debate on
The security imperatives and national reconciliation in Iraq
Guest Speaker: Mr Hadi Al Aamery
Member of Iraq’s Parliament and senior member of the Supreme Council of Political Security,
whose membership includes Iraq’s President, Prime Minister, Parliament President,
Commander of Allied Forces and leaders of political groups

Time: 12.00 am, Thursday 9th November 2006
Place: 1 Abbey Gardens (Annexe to the House of Lords), London SW1
For further information please contact: Lord Avebury on 020 7274 4617, email:
Or Mohammad Hussain on: 07958692005,

Mr al Aamery wants the coalition forces to withdraw to barracks, and only to engage in military operations at the request of the Prime Minister of Iraq. This would certainly provide a test of the capacity of the Iraqi army and police. He said that 12 of the 18 regions of Iraq were peaceful, and in the remaining 6, there was sectarian violence in two, while the others, all Sunni, were the scene of conflict between local people and the Saddamists and Taqfiris. The Taqfiris were not only dangerous in Iraq, but a cancer infecting the whole world.

In Baghdad particularly, organised crime was flourishing, partly due to the release of 40,000 criminal prisoners by Saddam.

Thursday evening Lindsay and I went to Heathrow to pick up Tordie, who arrived from Toronto at about 22.00.

Friday I chaired the Traveller Law Reform Unit Advisory Committee. The members expressed concern over the variable quality of the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Neds Assessments, which I now have to convey to the Minister, Meg Munn. They also discussed the question of whether more planning appeals were successful as a result of Circular 1/06, and we are going to see what statistical information the Planning Inspectorate can provide on this.

In the evening we went, with Tordie and Kina, to the 1st London Bach Society's Bach Prize final and presentation. The wonner, Elodie Kimmel, who graduated with distinction at the Royal College of Music in June, sang an aria from the Coffee Cantata, a recitative and aria from BWV209, and the very splendid aria from BWV51 Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen.

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