Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Lord Monkswell: I hesitate to rise in this debate but one of my concerns, which I am sure is shared by other Members of the Committee, is the reference which the Minister made to Pepper v. Hart. In effect she was saying that what is written on the face of the statute does not matter and that as long as it has been uttered by a Minister it is okay and that is the interpretation the courts will make of it. It is one thing to enable the courts to interpret statutes which may be difficult to interpret in later years with regard to what Parliament wanted to see happen. It is quite another to say, "We do not need to write this on the face of the Bill because a ministerial statement has been made and therefore Pepper v. Hart will sort it out". It is quite important that wherever possible we write things clearly on the face of Bills.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I do not accept the interpretation of my amendment given by the noble Lord, Lord Harris of Greenwich. He said that we ought perhaps to consider having "any report" instead of "every report" and "may" instead of "shall". However, the amendment is absolutely clear. It says that the commission shall,


The commission can leave them out if it wants to. I do not think the Minister has made a good case. It is desirable for the instructions to the commission not only to be administrative instructions, as they are in Schedule 1 and, indeed, to a lesser extent in Clause 8, but that the commission should be reminded in public of the opportunity that it has to make progress and to undertake preventive as well as remedial action on miscarriages of justice. To that extent I disagree with the Minister's reply. It may be a matter I shall want to return to at a later stage.

Lord Harris of Greenwich: Perhaps I may have a reply from the noble Baroness. I asked her whether she is prepared to do what the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh, suggested; namely, to look at this matter between now and the next stage of the Bill to see whether it is possible to get some agreement on it. I am not asking her to commit herself finally, but it would be extremely helpful were she to say that she will look at the matter again.

Baroness Blatch: It is my practice to consider everything very carefully. I shall look particularly at that point.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

12 Jun 1995 : Column 1630

Baroness Blatch had given notice of her intention to move Amendment No. 63:


Page 24, leave out lines 2 to 4 and insert:
("11. The Secretary of State shall defray the expenses of the Commission up to such amount as may be approved by him.").

The noble Baroness said: In not moving this amendment I apologise profusely to the Committee. Now that I have composed myself, perhaps I may say that I spoke to this amendment but simply used the wrong number, which threw all Members of the Committee.

[Amendment No. 63 not moved.]

Schedule 1 agreed to.

Schedule 2 [Minor and consequential amendments]:

Baroness Blatch moved Amendments Nos. 64 to 67:


Page 24, line 25, at end insert:
("( ) In section 5 (disposal of appeal against conviction on special verdict), in subsection (1), for "by a person in whose case" substitute "in a case where".").
Page 25, line 2, at end insert:

("The Costs in Criminal Cases Act (Northern Ireland) 1968

(c.10 (N.I.))
. In section 4 of the Costs in Criminal Cases Act (Northern Ireland) 1968 (costs awarded by Court of Appeal), at the end insert—
"(5) Where section 47A of the Criminal Appeal (Northern Ireland) Act 1980 (death of convicted person) applies, any reference in this section to the appellant includes the person approved under that section."").
Page 26, line 8, at end insert:
("The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (c.23)

. In section 21(1) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (interpretation of Part II), before the definition of "defendant's costs order" insert—
""accused" and "appellant", in a case where section 44A of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 (death of convicted person) applies, include the person approved under that section;".").
Page 26, line 31, at end insert:
("The Legal Aid Act 1988 (c.34)

. In section 21 of the Legal Aid Act 1988 (availability of representation for the purposes of criminal proceedings), after subsection (10) insert—
"(10A) Where section 44A of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 (death of convicted person) applies, the reference in subsection (1) above to the convicted person shall be construed as a reference to the person approved under that section."").

The noble Baroness said: I spoke to these amendments with Amendments Nos. 12 to 17. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Schedule 2, as amended, agreed to.

Schedule 3 agreed to.

In the Title:

Baroness Blatch moved Amendment No. 68:


Line 6, after ("section;") insert ("to amend section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988;").

The noble Baroness said: I spoke to this amendment with Amendment No. 52. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Title, as amended, agreed to.

House resumed: Bill reported with the amendments.

        House adjourned at seventeen minutes past nine o'clock.


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page