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The Earl of Mar and Kellie: My Lords, I thank the noble Earl for his explanation. My concern is that the special medical officer and the aftercare officer have to implement anything which is in the order. That is why I raised this amendment again. However, I am happy with the noble Earl's answer. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 68 not moved.]

The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendment No. 69:


Page 17, line 49, leave out ("under this Part of this Act") and insert ("in pursuance of an application for admission").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, I spoke to this amendment when I moved Amendment No. 64. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendment No. 70:


Page 18, line 7, leave out ("under this Part of this Act") and insert ("in pursuance of an application for admission").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, I also spoke to this amendment when I moved Amendment No. 64. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendment No. 71:


Page 18, line 17, leave out from first ("and") to end of line 18 and insert ("any other person who has been consulted under subsection (3) (a) of section 35B of this Act;").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 71 it may be for the convenience of the House if I also speak to Amendments Nos. 73, 74, 80, 88, 92, 93, 99, 102, 111, 116, 117, 122, 123 and 124.

Noble Lords: Hear, hear!

The Earl of Lindsay: My Lords, we believe in efficient working in this House.

In the light of the discussions in Committee about the importance of the nearest relative, we are proposing to clarify his role. As your Lordships may have gathered from that lengthy list of amendments, these are quite complicated changes, but I shall attempt to be as clear as possible.

We propose that, in addition to any situation in which he may already be consulted, the nearest relative should be consulted, if practicable and if the patient does not object, at the following points: first, before an application for a community care order is made; secondly, before the renewal of a community care order; thirdly, before a proposed variation of conditions; fourthly, before reassessment in hospital is directed; and, fifthly, before a community care order is revoked by the special medical officer. We also propose that the patient, in addition to any point at which he must already be consulted, must be consulted before the renewal of the order and before the revocation of the order by the special medical officer.

We also propose that, if he has been consulted, the nearest relative is also informed at various points in the following ways. First, if he is consulted before an

1 May 1995 : Column 1271

application is made, then he will be sent a copy of the community care order and he will be sent a copy of the written explanation given to the patient when the order is made. Secondly, if he is consulted about the renewal of the community care order, then he will be notified of any renewal and he will be sent a copy of the written explanation given to the patient. That is proposed in government Amendment No. 96, but I shall mention it briefly here. Thirdly, if he is consulted about a proposed variation of conditions, then he will be sent a copy of the proposed variation of conditions and a copy of the approved variation of conditions. Fourthly, if he is consulted about a proposed reassessment in hospital, he will be sent a copy of the pre-hospital reports and the direction requiring the patient to attend hospital. In all these cases, if the nearest relative has been consulted, the patient will have no right to prevent him being informed.

We have deliberately excluded the case of revocation from this scenario because it is a particularly important part of the community care order. Where a community care order is revoked, the nearest relative will always be informed. That is regardless of whether the revocation has been by the special medical officer or the Mental Welfare Commission and regardless of whether the nearest relative has been consulted.

The other amendments make technical changes to the procedures by which the nearest relative receives a copy of the written explanations given to the patient. This will occur only where the nearest relative has been consulted. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Miller of Hendon: My Lords, I beg to move that further consideration on Report be now adjourned. In moving this Motion I suggest that the Report stage begin again not before eight o'clock.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

Royal Assent

7.3 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker (Baroness Hooper): My Lords, I have to notify the House, in accordance with the Royal Assent Act 1967, that the Queen has signified her Royal Assent to the following Acts:

Finance Act,

Building Societies (Joint Account Holders) Act,

Civil Evidence (Family Mediation) (Scotland) Act,

Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act,

Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation Act.

Human Rights Bill [H.L.]

Read a third time.

Clause 1 [Incorporation of European Convention on Human Rights into United Kingdom law]:

Lord Scarman moved Amendment No. 1:


Page 1, line 12, leave out ("subsection (1) above") and insert ("Schedule 1").

1 May 1995 : Column 1272

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, this is purely a drafting amendment. It would substitute for the provisions of "subsection (1)" in Clause 1(1) "Schedule 1". The schedule sets out the articles of the convention to be incorporated into law and the first protocol. "Schedule 1" is all that need be said. I beg to move.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): My Lords, all the amendments in the names of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Scarman, and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Archer, and the noble Lord, Lord Lester, although minor in nature, appear to the Government to be entirely sensible improvements to the Bill as it presently stands. It follows that the Government will not seek to oppose them, notwithstanding their wider concerns about the Bill as a whole.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Scarman moved Amendment No. 2:


Page 1, line 13, leave out ("serve as") and insert ("be").

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, this again is purely a drafting amendment, but there is some point in getting the matter right now rather than purely from the point of view of drafting.

Clause 1(2) provides that the provisions shall:


    "serve as an aid to the construction of primary and secondary legislation".

My amendment would delete the words "serve as" so that it reads the provisions shall:


    "be an aid to the construction of primary and secondary legislation".

Clearly, this is a purely drafting amendment. However, there is a lack of harmony in speaking of words in an Act of Parliament as "serving as an aid". There is almost a degree of subordination of Parliament. The matter is perfectly straightforward if those words are deleted and the word "be" is inserted. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Scarman moved Amendment No. 3:


Page 1, line 13, leave out ("primary and secondary legislation") and insert ("any enactment").

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, again this is a drafting amendment. Clause 1(2) (a) refers to the provisions serving as an aid to the construction of "primary and secondary legislation". That is a long description and a rather academic description of something that could be put in terms which are already used in the Bill. Therefore, I propose to delete the words "primary and secondary legislation" and insert the words "any enactment". The clause would then read:


    "The provisions set out in Schedule 1... shall ... be an aid to the construction of any enactment".

That covers the whole field of statute law. I chose those words because they pick up and echo subsection (5) in which there is a reference to the meaning of the word "enactment" in the Bill. It indicates quite clearly that the Bill applies to the whole of the United Kingdom. Therefore, any enactment covers the whole of statute law. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 4 not moved.]

Lord Scarman moved Amendment no. 5:


Page 1, line 16, leave out ("in the United Kingdom").

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The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move the amendment equally briefly. There is no need to indicate that legal proceedings are "in the United Kingdom". If one deletes those words, the provision states:


    "The provisions set out in subsection (1) ... shall ... be taken into account in equity and at common law, so that effect may be given to them in any legal proceedings".

It can only be "in the United Kingdom". The additional words are surplusage.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

In The Title:


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