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Lord Harris of Greenwich: One does not want to continue this discussion at any length because we

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discussed some aspects of the matter a little time ago. To complete the point I made earlier, and with regard to the point which has just been made by the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh, we now expect additional time for the Report stage of the Bill. Indeed, for the reasons I indicated earlier, we would be failing in our duty if we were not to have additional time.

Following what the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh of Haringey, has just said, if substantial and other amendments are to be put down at the Report stage, I hope that those amendments will be put down a significant period before the beginning of the Report stage; otherwise we shall have a repeat of the problems we face at the moment. The noble Baroness does her best to assist the Committee, but it is most important that one should register this point now so that she is aware of our serious dissatisfaction about the way in which this whole matter has been dealt with.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Blatch moved Amendment No. 122:


Page 19, line 38, leave out subsections (3) and (4).

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 30, as amended, agreed to.

Baroness Blatch moved Amendment No. 123:


After Clause 30, insert the following new clause--

Restrictions on reporting

(".--(1) Except as provided by this section--
(a) no written report of matters falling within subsection (2) shall be published in Great Britain;
(b) no report of matters falling within subsection (2) shall be included in a relevant programme for reception in Great Britain.
(2) The following matters fall within this subsection--
(a) a ruling made under section 30;
(b) proceedings on an application for a ruling to be made under section 30;
(c) an order that a ruling made under section 30 be discharged or varied or further varied;
(d) proceedings on an application for a ruling made under section 30 to be discharged or varied or further varied.
(3) The judge dealing with any matter falling within subsection (2) may order that subsection (1) shall not apply, or shall not apply to a specified extent, to a report of the matter.
(4) Where there is only one accused and he objects to the making of an order under subsection (3) the judge shall make the order if (and only if) satisfied after hearing the representations of the accused that it is in the interests of justice to do so; and if the order is made it shall not apply to the extent that a report deals with any such objection or representations.
(5) Where there are two or more accused and one or more of them objects to the making of an order under subsection (3) the judge shall make the order if (and only if) satisfied after hearing the representations of each of the accused that it is in the interests of justice to do so; and if the order is made it shall not apply to the extent that a report deals with any such objection or representations.
(6) Subsection (1) does not apply to--
(a) the publication of a report of matters, or
(b) the inclusion in a relevant programme of a report of matters,
at the conclusion of the trial of the accused or of the last of the accused to be tried.

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(7) Nothing in this section affects any prohibition or restriction imposed by virtue of any other enactment on a publication or on matter included in a programme.
(8) In this section--
(a) "publish", in relation to a report, means publish the report, either by itself or as part of a newspaper or periodical, for distribution to the public;
(b) expressions cognate with "publish" shall be construed accordingly;
(c) "relevant programme" means a programme included in a programme service, within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act 1990.").

The noble Baroness said: It is envisaged that pre-trial hearings at which rulings under Clause 30 may be made will normally be held in open court. This gives rise to the need for reporting restrictions to ensure that matters which might be prejudicial to the trial are not reported. The proposed new clauses after Clause 30 provide for this. They set out the proceedings which are subject to reporting restrictions, the circumstances in which restrictions may be lifted, and create an offence of contravening the restrictions.

The proceedings under Clause 30 which would be subject to reporting restrictions include a ruling made by the judge, proceedings on an application for a ruling, an order that a ruling be discharged or varied, and proceedings on an application for a ruling to be discharged or varied or further varied.

The judge dealing with any of the above matters would be able to make an order to lift reporting restrictions in their entirety or to a specified extent. In exercising his discretion to make an order to lift reporting restrictions, the judge must have regard to the representations of the accused, or each of the accused, and be satisfied that to make such an order would be in the interests of justice.

The amendment contains provision for the restrictions on reporting to cease at the conclusion of the trial of the accused or, where there is more than one accused, the last of the accused to be tried.

The second new clause after Clause 30 creates an offence of contravening the reporting restrictions and lists those whose contravention of the restrictions would constitute an offence. It provides that the offence is to be triable summarily only, with a maximum fine of level 5 on the standard scale. The consent of the Attorney-General will be required before proceedings can be brought in England and Wales for an offence under the new clause. The aim is to have consistency and to have the same test applied right across the board. I beg to move.

Viscount Colville of Culross: I wonder whether the Minister can answer one point. As I understand it, the judge can say, under subsection (3), that matters may be reported or that they may be reported to a specified extent. Is the specification to be that of the judge? What I have not followed--it is difficult to follow in the Bill because it has been widely changed--is the subordinate legislation aspect. When I see something which says "specified", I tend to think that it is subordinate legislation. I think that this may not be, but it may be wiser not to use the word "specified" because that word normally inclines one to think that there is some statutory instrument which one must consider. If the Minister is simply saying that the

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judge may say to what extent restrictions may be lifted or removed, that is fine, but I do not think that "specified" is a very good word to use.

Baroness Blatch: It is at the discretion of the judge. "Specified" means that we have moved from a blanket ban on reporting to allowing the judge to determine reporting restrictions on part of the proceedings and to lift the restrictions on other parts, as specified by him.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: I wonder whether the Minister can assist us on one matter of detail. I appreciate that I have not given the noble Baroness notice. That is because the point arose as I pondered her explanation. I know that this is a cause of concern for some newspapers. Is it envisaged that when applications of any sort in respect of publicity for preparatory hearings are made, members of the press should have a right of audience, a locus standi, to address the judge so that their views may be taken into account?

Baroness Blatch: I can only imagine--I shall have to come back to the noble Lord with more detail--that in practice when a judge is taking a view on whether restrictions should be lifted or pressed, it would be for somebody to give reasons why that should not be the case and for the judge to make a judgment about it. I can only imagine that that would happen in court. If I am wrong, I shall come back to the noble Lord on that point.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Blatch moved Amendment No. 124:


After Clause 30, insert the following new clause--

Offences in connection with reporting

(".--(1) If a report is published or included in a relevant programme in contravention of section (Restrictions on reporting) each of the following persons is guilty of an offence--
(a) in the case of a publication of a written report as part of a newspaper or periodical, any proprietor, editor or publisher of the newspaper or periodical;
(b) in the case of a publication of a written report otherwise than as part of a newspaper or periodical, the person who publishes it;
(c) in the case of the inclusion of a report in a relevant programme, any body corporate which is engaged in providing the service in which the programme is included and any person having functions in relation to the programme corresponding to those of an editor of a newspaper.
(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine of an amount not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.
(3) Proceedings for an offence under this section shall not be instituted in England and Wales otherwise than by or with the consent of the Attorney General.
(4) Subsection (8) of section (Restrictions on reporting) applies for the purposes of this section as it applies for the purposes of that.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 31 negatived.

7.15 p.m.

Clause 32 [Application of this Part]:


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