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Division No. 1


Ackner, L. [Teller.]
Addington, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Barnett, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Beloff, L.
Birk, B.
Blackstone, B.
Bridge of Harwich, L. [Teller.]
Bruce of Donington, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Clanwilliam, E.
Coventry, Bp.
Craigavon, V.
Darcy (de Knayth), B.
David, B.
Dean of Beswick, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dilhorne, V.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.
Elis-Thomas, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Fisher of Rednal, B.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Greene of Harrow Weald, L.
Grey, E.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Healey, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollick, L.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Houghton of Sowerby, L.
Howell, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Kennet, L.
Kilbracken, L.
Kinloss, Ly.
Lauderdale, E.
Leigh, L.
Lloyd of Berwick, L.
Longford, E.
Lowry, L.
McGregor of Durris, L.
McNair, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Mar, C.
Marlesford, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mayhew, L.
Monkswell, L.
Napier and Ettrick, L.
Nicol, B.
Norrie, L.
Oliver of Aylmerton, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Perry of Walton, L.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Rawlinson of Ewell, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roskill, L.
Russell, E.
Sandwich, E.
Seear, B.
Sefton of Garston, L.
Serota, B.
Shaughnessy, L.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shepherd, L.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Strafford, E.
Strathcarron, L.
Taylor of Gosforth, L.
Templeman, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Varley, L.
Waverley, V.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whaddon, L.
Wharton, B.
White, B.
Wigoder, L.
Winchilsea and Nottingham, E.
Young of Dartington, L.


Addison, V.
Ailsa, M.
Aldington, L.
Allen of Abbeydale, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Annaly, L.
Ashbourne, L.
Astor, V.
Balfour, E.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Borthwick, L.
Boyd-Carpenter, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Butterworth, L.
Byron, L.
Cadman, L.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carnock, L.
Chelmsford, V.
Chesham, L.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Cochrane of Cults, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Coleraine, L.
Colville of Culross, V.
Colwyn, L.
Courtown, E.
Cranborne, V. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Denham, L.
Downshire, M.
Dundonald, E.
Elles, B.
Erne, E.
Erroll, E.
Fanshawe of Richmond, L.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Gridley, L.
Hacking, L.
Harding of Petherton, L.
Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Henley, L.
Hives, L.
Hogg, B.
HolmPatrick, L.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Inglewood, L. [Teller.]
Jeffreys, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Johnston of Rockport, L.
Kenilworth, L.
Kimball, L.
Kinnoull, E.
Kirkhill, L.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lindsay, E.
Long, V.
Lucas, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
McConnell, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Massereene and Ferrard, V.
Merrivale, L.
Mersey, V.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Milverton, L.
Monteagle of Brandon, L.
Mottistone, L.
Munster, E.
Nicholls of Birkenhead, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Orkney, E.
Orr-Ewing, L.
Oxfuird, V.
Pender, L.
Rankeillour, L.
Rawlings, B.
Renwick, L.
Rodger of Earlsferry, L.
St. Davids, V.
Savile, L.
Seccombe, B.
Shannon, E.
Sharples, B.
Skelmersdale, L.
Skidelsky, L.
Stanley of Alderley, L.
Stewartby, L.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Trumpington, B.
Wakeham, L.
Westbury, L.
Whitelaw, V.
Wise, L.
Wolfson, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

12 Jun 1995 : Column 1591

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Conditional Fee Agreements Regulations 1995

The Lord Chancellor: My Lords, I beg to move.

Moved, That the draft regulations laid before the House on 20th April be approved [17th Report from the Joint Committee].—(The Lord Chancellor.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Criminal Appeal Bill

6.47 p.m.

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now again resolve itself into Committee on this Bill.

Moved, That the House do now again resolve itself into Committee.—(Baroness Blatch.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.

[The BARONESS HOOPER in the Chair.]

Clause 18 [Power to require appointment of investigating officers]:

Lord Scarman moved Amendment No. 32:

Page 14, line 19, leave out from ("may") to end of line 20 and insert ("either themselves appoint an investigating officer to carry out the inquiries or, if they think it appropriate, require the appointment of an investigating officer as provided in section 19.").

The noble and learned Lord said: I propose to be very brief in moving this amendment, because the proposal contained in it has been the subject of so much discussion and debate both inside and outside Parliament. Indeed, very considerable disquiet has been expressed, again both inside and outside Parliament, over the fact that the commission does not itself have power to conduct an investigation, and thus invariably consults by requiring the appointment of an investigator, himself a policeman, who will be selected by a chief of police. That being the situation, I ask myself why it is that the commission has been denied the power of conducting an investigation. Why must it invariably use the police?

As the Bill stands, the commission can only "require" the appointment of an investigating officer and the investigation must be carried out by that officer, that officer being himself a policeman appointed by the chief of police of the force where the trouble arose. It is true that the commission has the right to veto the appointment; it has the right to direct and supervise the conduct of the inquiry; but it does not have the right to appoint an investigating officer and conduct the investigation itself.

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I accept that in the majority of cases the commission will go to the chief officer of the police force concerned and require the appointment of a police officer as the investigating officer. I accept that in most cases that is an admirable way of conducting the investigation. The trouble is that inevitably, from time to time, cases will be referred to the commission in which public confidence will be damaged if the matter is made subject to a police investigation. That is not a reflection on the quality of our policemen; it is merely that there will be cases—perhaps sensational cases—where the police role has been such that, if the commission is to be able to act independently and strongly in the eyes of the public, it needs itself to conduct the investigation and appoint its own investigating officer. In principle, therefore, there is a strong body of opinion that we give the commission, in a case referred to it which needs to be investigated, the right to appoint its own investigating officer and itself to conduct the inquiry.

A number of objections have been raised. I shall mention only two, but they are both important. The first is, simply, that it will be too expensive. There has been no study of the cost. I see no reason why it should be more expensive to do it by an investigating officer and the staff of the commission, with the assistance of others who may well have investigating experience. As we know, both the membership of the commission and no doubt the membership of its staff, will include a number of persons highly qualified in the type of investigation that the commission would undertake from time to time. I cannot see why that should be more expensive than when the police do it. Until such time, therefore, as we see a detailed cost analysis, we should disregard that aspect, particularly as what is being argued is not a matter of finance but a matter of principle and a commission is being set up which must be seen to be strong and independent. "Independent" means, in a proper case, being independent of the police.

The other objection which I understand has some force is that it is said that only the police possess the powers to carry on an investigation of this type. It is said that members of the staff or others who are not in the police who may be required by the commission to conduct the investigation or participate in it do not have the powers of the police. Again, that position should be analysed. Of course they do not have the power of arrest. But under the Bill the commission possesses certain important powers of investigation. If Amendment No. 40 is accepted by the Committee, it will be given further powers. Let me briefly relate those powers to your Lordships.

First, under the Bill the commission can call for documents to be produced—documents which are in the possession of a public body. It can retain those documents and take copies of them. Also, the commission has the ordinary powers of investigation, which perhaps are not legal powers but they allow it to ask questions, to ask people for help and so forth. If Amendment No. 40 is accepted—this is important—the commission will be able to obtain a warrant which will operate against private persons in possession of a document, requiring them to produce that document. More important still, the amendment contains the

12 Jun 1995 : Column 1593

suggestion that the power should be given to magistrates to issue a warrant allowing the commission to enter premises, to search for documents, to take possession of them, copy them and so forth. Here perhaps I should correct something I said earlier. I said that Amendment No. 40 also covered the right to question. That right is already in the Bill.

The commission therefore will possess adequate powers for carrying out its investigation and it should have no difficulty in ensuring that the members it appoints to carry out the investigation, and the investigating officer himself, have the sort of experience needed. I suggest therefore that it is essential to give the commission the support of this amendment; that is to say, if it wishes to investigate a matter itself, for one reason or another, it should possess this reserve power to do so without in any way derogating the importance of what the Bill provides in the ordinary case; that is, for the investigating officer to be appointed by a chief of police upon the requirement of the commission. I beg to move.

7 p.m.

Lord Merlyn-Rees: I wish to speak in support of the views of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Scarman. I shall do so briefly because we discussed the matter at Second Reading, and, if nothing else, I hope we can be clearer as to how the system will work. At a later stage we shall deal with the matter of "direct" and "supervise" with regard to the new commission. In the old days, C3 in the Home Office certainly did not "direct" and "supervise" in this sense so it had no great powers to "direct" and "supervise" what the police were doing.

I am sensitive to the views of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Scarman, but the noble Viscount, Lord Runciman, whose report instigated the Bill, said:

    "Although the Royal Commission envisage investigations being carried out by a designated police force under the direct supervision of a new review body, that body should not be precluded from recruiting on to its own staff trained investigators who would not necessarily be police officers".

Why not? Given the powers of the new commission, which will be far greater than those of the old C3—this is the new concept of how to deal with miscarriages of justice—why should there not be on the commission trained investigators who would not necessarily be serving police officers? The noble and learned Lord, Lord Scarman, has argued that normally the investigation would be conducted by a police force. There are questions to be answered—perhaps at a later stage—about how investigators would be appointed and how they would be controlled, but I agree that there ought to be reserve powers to provide that they would not necessarily be serving police officers.

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