Thursday, December 4, 2014

A strange debate scheduled in Parliament

Palace of Westminster
The Telegraph reports a strange proposal that the House of Commons debate the court-martial case of a Royal Marine sergeant:
Oliver Colvile, Conservative MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport, has now secured a three-hour general debate on an e-petition which called for [Sgt. Alexander] Blackman to be freed and to have his murder conviction rescinded as he "defended his country from a terrorist".
The petition received 107,235 signatures, meaning it passed the 100,000-name threshold to ensure it is considered for a debate in Parliament.
Parliamentary time in Westminster Hall to discuss the petition has been reserved on January 26 following Mr Colvile's representations to the Backbench Business Committee, which decides the issues debated in time allocated to backbench MPs.
The debate will allow MPs to discuss Blackman's case, but there will be no vote afterwards. Mr Colvile, whose constituency includes the Royal Marines of 3 Commando Brigade, said it was not up to MPs to decide if he was freed.
He said: "I think it is incredibly important that we as politicians do not interfere in the specifics of this or any case, and that our judicial system remains above influence."
Readers in the UK: can someone kindly explain the purpose of this debate?

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