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Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 199:


Page 52, line 34, leave out ("assessor") and insert ("officer").

The noble Earl said: This is a very minor drafting point. Clause 94(2) refers to "officer". The word "assessor" was introduced in error. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 94, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 95 [General power to make rules]:

[Amendments Nos. 200 and 201 not moved.]

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 202:


Page 53, line 7, at beginning insert ("enabling or").

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The noble Earl said: This amendment avoids any suggestion that hearings of the Appeal Tribunal will usually be held in private. That option must have an appeal available. Evidence might have a security classification, be commercially sensitive or indeed be intensely private in nature. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 95, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 96 agreed to.

Clause 97 [Offences against orders and regulations under section 4]:

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 203:


Page 53, line 40, leave out ("such orders or regulations") and insert ("orders or regulations under section 4").

The noble Earl said: In moving this amendment, I wish to speak also to Amendments Nos. 204, 205 and 206. These amendments do not in any way extend the scope of the offences provided in Clause 97. They simply close a possible loophole which might have arisen if the various elements of the offence had been provided for in separate orders or regulations. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Earl Howe moved Amendments Nos. 204 to 206:


Page 53, line 44, leave out ("such orders or regulations") and insert ("orders or regulations under section 4").
Page 54, line 2, leave out ("such orders or regulations") and insert ("orders or regulations under section 4").
Page 54, line 4, leave out ("such orders or regulations") and insert ("orders or regulations under section 4").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 207:


Page 54, line 6, leave out ("and liable to be tried") and insert ("triable"). The noble Earl said: In moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 208. These are two minor amendments which save a few words in the Bill. They do not change the substance. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 208:


Page 54, line 10, leave out from ("punishment") to end of line 11 and insert ("provided for by service law;").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 209:


Page 54, leave out lines 18 and 19.

The noble Earl said: In moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 238. These amendments simply move a proposition from Clause 97 to Clause 107. In Clause 107 it applies to offences under Clause 97 and also under other clauses. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 97, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 98 [Failure to attend for service, duty or training]:

[Amendment No. 210 not moved.]

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 211:

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Page 54, line 36, leave out from ("himself") to ("or") in line 37 and insert ("to a person specified in the call-out notice or to any other authorised officer").

The noble Earl said: This amendment changes the wording of the offence in Clause 98 to match the wording used when call-out notices are defined; for example, in Clause 61(3). I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 212:


Page 54, line 42, at end insert--
("(1A) Subsection (1) applies to a person liable to recall as it applies to a member of a reserve force--
(a) with the substitution for references to a call-out notice of references to a recall notice; and
(b) as if paragraph (a) of that subsection referred to the time and place specified in the recall notice under section 73(3)(c).
(1B) An offence under this section is triable by court-martial or summarily by a civil court.").

The noble Earl said: Persons liable for recall under the Reserve Forces Act 1980 commit an offence if they fail to comply with a recall notice which is served on them; but the offence of failure to attend for service, etc. under Clause 98 of this Bill only applies to members of reserve forces. Persons liable to recall are not members of a reserve force. This amendment cures the omission by treating those served with a recall notice as if they were members of a reserve force served with a call-out notice. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 213:


Page 54, line 43, leave out subsections (2) to (5).

The noble Earl said: In speaking to Amendment No. 213 I shall speak also to Amendment No. 214. I shall not yet speak to Amendment No. 215. These two amendments make no substantive change to the Bill. They have two purposes: the first is to separate the offences in the new Clause 98(a) from those in the existing Clause 98 as amended. The second is to improve clarity. No substantive change is involved. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 98, as amended, agreed to.

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 214:


After Clause 98, insert the following new clause--

Failure to attend for duty or training

.--(1) A member of a reserve force who has entered into a full time service commitment or an additional duties commitment and, without leave lawfully granted or reasonable excuse, fails to appear at the time and place at which he is required to attend--
(a) in the case of a full-time service commitment, to begin the period of full-time service contemplated by the commitment;
(b) in the case of an additional duties commitment, to begin a period of service under the commitment,
is guilty, according to the circumstances, of desertion or absence without leave.
(2) A member of a reserve force who--

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(a) is required to undergo a period of training in accordance with section 21, a special agreement or an employee agreement (or any other requirement applicable to special members), and
(b) fails, without leave lawfully granted or reasonable excuse, to appear at any time and place at which he is required to attend,
is guilty of absence without leave.
(3) An offence under this section is triable by court-martial or summarily by a civil court.").

The noble Earl said: I have spoken to this amendment. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 99 [Punishment etc. of offences of desertion or absence without leave]:

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 215:


Page 55, line 24, leave out subsections (1) and (2) and insert--
("( ) An offence under section 37 or 38 of the Army Act 1955 or the Air Force Act 1955 or section 16 or 17 of the Naval Discipline Act 1957 (offences under service law of desertion or absence without leave) committed by a member of a reserve force is triable summarily by a civil court as well as by court-martial.
( ) A member of a reserve force convicted by court-martial of an offence under section 98(1) or (Failure to attend for duty or training)(1) is punishable as for an offence under service law of absence without leave (as the case may be).
( ) A member of a reserve force convicted by a civil court of--
(a) an offence under section 98(1) or (Failure to attend for duty or training)(1), or
(b) an offence under service law of desertion or absence without leave,
is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (or both).
( ) A person convicted of an offence under section (Failure to attend for duty or training)(2) is liable--
(a) if convicted by court-martial, to the same punishment as for an offence under service law of desertion or absence without leave;
(b) if convicted by a civil court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (or both).
( ) A person convicted by a civil court of an offence mentioned in this section, if sentenced to a term of imprisonment or if such a term is imposed in default of payment of any fine, is liable to be taken into military, air-force or naval custody (as the case may require).").

The noble Earl said: I am grateful to the Committee for allowing me to depart from the groupings as published. This amendment is introduced to improve the clarity of the Bill by referring explicitly to offences of desertion or absence without leave, rather than only referring back to the appropriate sections of the Service Discipline Acts, and to make some minor consequential changes arising out of the revision of Clause 98, and the insertion of a new Clause 98(a).

The purpose of the Clause, which is to specify the maximum penalties for offences of desertion or absence without leave, remains unchanged. It also removes the erroneous references to "man" in subsections (1)(a), (b) and (c), and subsection (2) of Clause 99 as drafted. It is the intention that all offences should apply equally to officers and men, and the amended draft reflects this policy by making the offences apply to members of a reserve force. There is no other substantive change.

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I should like to apologise to the Committee for the error in the original text. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.


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