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The Lord Chancellor moved Amendment No. 2:


Page 7, line 11, at end insert:
("( ) Section (Admissibility and proof of Ogden Tables) (admissibility and proof of Ogden Tables) also extends to Northern Ireland.
As it extends to Northern Ireland, the following shall be substituted for subsection (3) (b)—

S. I. 1977/1251 (N.I. 18)

"(b) "action for personal injury" includes an action brought by virtue of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Act 1937 or the Fatal Accidents (Northern Ireland) Order 1977.".").

The noble and learned Lord said: I have spoken to the amendment. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 15, as amended, agreed to.

Schedule 1 [Consequential amendments]:

The Lord Chancellor moved Amendment No. 3:


Page 10, line 45, leave out ("in subsection (1) above").

The noble and learned Lord said: In moving Amendment No. 3, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 8. Amendment No. 3 is a drafting amendment to remove

20 Jun 1995 : Column 219

a redundant phrase and to ensure consistency between the English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish drafting. Amendment No. 8 removes a redundant phrase from the consequential amendment to the Vehicle and Excise Registration Act 1994. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Lord Chancellor moved Amendment No. 4:


Page 11, line 13, leave out from (""'copy'") to ("and") and insert (", in relation to a document, means anything onto which information recorded in the document has been copied, by whatever means and whether directly or indirectly,").

The noble and learned Lord said: In moving Amendment No. 4, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 5, 6 and 7.

Amendment No. 4 is a drafting amendment. Most of the consequential changes to legislation in Schedule 1 provide a free-standing definition, using that in the Bill, instead of referring readers to the Bill to find the definition. In other words, if one is looking at another statute, instead of having to come to this Bill to find the new definition, one can find the new definition included in that statute by amendment.

However, not all of the amendments do that consistently. This and the following three amendments ensure that a consistent approach is followed throughout the schedule. The amendment covers the definition of the word "copy" in Section 72 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Amendments Nos. 5, 6 and 7 have a similar purpose. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Lord Chancellor moved Amendments Nos. 5, 6 and 7:


Page 11, leave out line 16 and insert (""has the same meaning as in Part I of the Civil Evidence Act 1968" substitute "means anything in which information of any description is recorded.".").
Page 11, leave out lines 45 to 47 and insert:
(""5.—(1) In Part II of this Act—
'document' means anything in which information of any description is recorded;
'copy', in relation to a document, means anything onto which information recorded in the document has been copied, by whatever means and whether directly or indirectly; and
'statement' means any representation of fact, however made.
(2) For the purposes of Part II of this Act evidence which, by reason of a defect of speech or hearing, a person called as a witness gives in writing or by signs shall be treated as given orally."").
Page 12, line 40, leave out from ("proceedings'") to end of line 41 and insert ("means civil proceedings before any tribunal in relation to which the strict rules of evidence apply, whether as a matter of law or by agreement of the parties, and references to 'the court' shall be construed accordingly;".").

The noble and learned Lord said: With the leave of the Committee, and since the amendments are all connected, I beg to move Amendments Nos. 5 to 7 en bloc.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

The Lord Chancellor moved Amendment No. 8:


Page 13, line 18, leave out ("in subsection (1) above").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 1, as amended, agreed to.

20 Jun 1995 : Column 220

Schedule 2 agreed to.

In the Title:

The Lord Chancellor moved Amendments Nos. 9 and 10:


Line 1, leave out ("and").
Line 2, after ("evidence") insert (" and the admissibility and proof of official actuarial tables").

The noble and learned Lord said: I have already spoken to Amendments Nos. 9 and 10. I beg to move the amendments en bloc.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Title, as amended, agreed to.

House resumed: Bill reported with amendments.

Family Homes and Domestic Violence Bill [H.L.]

7.36 p.m.

Read a third time.

Clause 15 [Evidence of agreement to marry]:

The Lord Chancellor moved Amendment No. 1:


Page 11, line 31, leave out ("of betrothal").

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, Amendments Nos. 1 to 6 represent minor and drafting amendments that have arisen following further consideration of those agreed at the Report stage of the Bill.

Amendment No. 1 is intended to widen the types of ceremonies which can be adduced in evidence of an agreement to marry. The amendment therefore includes those who have undergone a marriage ceremony outside the requirements of English law, as well as those who have undergone betrothal ceremonies. Your Lordships will remember that that question was raised by a number of noble Lords. I believe that we have found a neat way to accommodate an enlargement of the circumstances that might be covered, by shortening what was already contained in the Bill.

Clause 17(1), which was added as a result of consideration by your Lordships in Committee and on Report, currently refers only to an undertaking being given by a respondent. A situation could arise, however, where it was necessary to take cross undertakings. That point was drawn to our attention by a practitioner who saw the Bill as reported. The point was made to us that undertakings might well be given by others than the respondent. Obviously your Lordships would wish to cover those undertakings. I am grateful for that information. It shows the importance of practical points of that kind being drawn to our attention in time. Amendment No. 2, therefore, is intended to clarify that the court is able to accept such undertakings from the applicant, the respondent or any other party to the proceedings.

Amendments Nos. 3 and 4 represent minor drafting improvements to Schedule 3. Amendment No. 5 represents a consequential amendment to Schedule 5, deleting "rights of occupation" in favour of the new term "matrimonial home rights".

20 Jun 1995 : Column 221

Amendment No. 6 is intended to allocate to the Family Division of the High Court proceedings arising from an appeal from an order or decision under Section 63(3) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 to enforce an order of a magistrates' court. The amendment adds proceedings under the Bill to paragraph 3(d) of Schedule 1 to the Supreme Court Act 1981.

As your Lordships see, all the amendments are minor and drafting amendments. Therefore, I have spoken to them together. I beg to move.

Lord Archer of Sandwell: My Lords, perhaps I may be permitted a few words on Amendment No. 1. It is a happy issue out of our afflictions. The amendment addresses the one unresolved issue which remained after Report stage in relation to the questions: who are associated persons, and how is that status to be established? The amendment completely meets our anxieties and we are most grateful.

Perhaps I may add my tribute to the draftsmanship, which is hardly short of genius. By the deletion of two superfluous words, the entire problem is removed. Would that all government amendments were at once so accommodating and so economical.

Lord Meston: My Lords, I completely associate myself with those words. In general, I should like to thank the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor and his officials for their continued consideration of the Bill through all its stages, with the result that it arrives in this form. In particular, I join with the noble and learned Lord, Lord Archer, in congratulating the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor on the lateral thinking which has brought about this rather neat amendment, Amendment No. 1.

Baroness David: My Lords, I thank the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor for the amendment. I believe that the matter arose from an amendment that I put forward at Committee stage which attempted to bring back into the Bill one of the group of associated persons which was in the Law Commission Bill but not in the Government's Bill.

It has been quite a long and interesting haul from Committee stage, through Report stage, to Third Reading. However, I am extremely grateful to the noble and learned Lord. He has written to me about the matter. He has taken infinite trouble to try to get it right. We are all grateful, and happy at the result. I support the amendment.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 17 [Undertakings]:


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