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Lord McNally: My Lords, before the Minister sits down, perhaps I may make our position clear. As the noble Lord will be aware, there is still a strong belief on these Benches that the Government would be wise to accept the suggestion of such an advisory council. However, before the noble and learned Lord, Lord Ackner, makes any calculations of his own in that respect, I should again stress that we do not think that such an advisory council can be forced upon the Government. Therefore, although we have made our position clear on the principle, we would not be able to support the noble and learned Lord if he pressed the matter to a Division tonight.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, as always, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord McNally, for his courtesy in indicating the precise position of the Liberal Democrat Benches.

Lord Ackner: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Williams, commenced his speech by saying that the advice is already available to the Home Secretary. He spent no time at all in dealing with the advice which I say would have been given by an independent council relative to the automatic life sentence, which he

22 Jul 1998 : Column 928

castigated when he was in Opposition. The noble Lord gave no form of justification as to why his Government, knowing that they were hotly criticised not only by the legal profession but also by the judiciary and academics, brought it into effect. Moreover, the noble Lord gave no explanation as to why the "reviewable sentence", which was suggested way back in 1975 by the Butler Committee and used to a greater or lesser extent in Commonwealth jurisdictions, is not to be put in place here. Therefore, the noble Lord has established that the advice which is already available lacks the status to persuade the Home Secretary to do the sensible thing.

It is easy to ignore silent advice because there are not likely to be any critics if you do not accept it, and the general public do not know what the advice was. However, if you have a committee of status which is independent, and which would publish its advice as it should do, then you cannot turn a deaf ear to such advice without being prepared to justify it. It must be a great luxury for any Minister to enjoy to be able to refuse firmly advice which is sound and which should be listened to. I do not think that that ability would exist if the standing council were brought into existence. That is why it has been so strongly resisted. I do not believe that the Government should avoid having the views of this House expressed in regard to their refusal to adopt what I suggest is an entirely sensible approach to an independent organisation. Therefore, I seek the views of the House on my Motion.

6.23 p.m.

On Question, Whether Motion 1A shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 66; Not-Contents, 127.

Division No. 3


Ackner, L. [Teller.]
Aldington, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Ashbourne, L.
Beloff, L.
Brightman, L.
Carew, L.
Carlisle, E.
Carr of Hadley, L.
Clancarty, E.
Clifford of Chudleigh, L.
Congleton, L.
Craigavon, V.
Cumberlege, B.
Dacre of Glanton, L.
Dilhorne, V.
Dudley, E.
Dunleath, L.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elton, L.
Exmouth, V.
Flather, B.
Gladwyn, L.
Halsbury, E.
Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Henderson of Brompton, L.
Hooper, B.
Hylton, L.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Ironside, L.
Jauncey of Tullichettle, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Kintore, E.
Kitchener, E.
Laing of Dunphail, L.
Lane, L.
Lawrence, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Longford, E.
Lowry, L. [Teller.]
Lytton, E.
Marlesford, L.
Mersey, V.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monckton of Brenchley, V.
Mountgarret, V.
Napier and Ettrick, L.
Nelson, E.
Nolan, L.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Rees, L.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Russell, E.
Sandwich, E.
Shannon, E.
Sharples, B.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Slynn of Hadley, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Walpole, L.
Waverley, V.
Weatherill, L.
Weir, V.


Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Annan, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Barnett, L.
Bath and Wells, Bp.
Berkeley, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blease, L.
Borrie, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Burlison, L.
Callaghan of Cardiff, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L. [Teller.]
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Cork and Orrery, E.
Cunliffe, L.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Beswick, L.
Desai, L.
Diamond, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Erroll, E.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Ewing of Kirkford, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Fitt, L.
Gallacher, L.
Gilbert, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grantchester, L.
Grenfell, L.
Habgood, L.
Hacking, L.
Hardie, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Haskel, L.
Hattersley, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Holderness, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Islwyn, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
Kennet, L.
Kilbracken, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Lovell-Davis, L.
McFarlane of Llandaff, B.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller.]
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mishcon, L.
Molloy, L.
Monkswell, L.
Montague of Oxford, L.
Montrose, D.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Orme, L.
Paul, L.
Peston, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Renwick of Clifton, L.
Richard, L. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Ridley, V.
Rogers of Riverside, L.
St. John of Fawsley, L.
Sefton of Garston, L.
Serota, B.
Sewel, L.
Shepherd, L.
Shore of Stepney, L.
Simon, V.
Simpson of Dunkeld, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Stallard, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Tryon, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Varley, L.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Watson of Invergowrie, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitty, L.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the negative, and Motion 1A disagreed to accordingly.

22 Jul 1998 : Column 930

Lord Williams of Mostyn: I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 1.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 1.--(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

6.32 p.m.



Clause 2, page 3, line 16, leave out from ("protecting") to end of line 17 and insert ("from further anti-social acts by the defendant--

(a) persons in the local government area; and
(b) persons in any adjoining local government area specified in the application for the order;
and a relevant authority shall not specify an adjoining local government area in the application without consulting the council for that area and each chief officer of police any part of whose police area lies within that area.").

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 2.

This is a small, technical amendment. When the Bill was before your Lordships' House, the Government were concerned that this should be a local order used to tackle anti-social behaviour in a particular area, which would be granted by a local magistrates' court to prohibit that behaviour in that area only.

That is still the case. We intend the orders to remain local but in discussions in another place it became apparent that to restrict the application of the order to a single local authority area in every single case would be unnecessarily restrictive where a single pattern of behaviour might spread over two or more adjoining areas. That would be unwieldy, costly to operate and inefficient.

Therefore the amendment was proposed to avoid that kind of situation. It was accepted in another place. I hope your Lordships will be able to accept it, particularly as it contains the safeguard that all relevant authorities in the areas affected must be consulted before an order is sought. We would not expect an application to go forward without explicit agreement from all concerned.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 2.--(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

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