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Lord Windlesham: My Lords, this group of amendments, like those to Clause 1 which we debated before the Statement, relates to another mandatory requirement. We should not let this clause go without drawing attention to that. This time, I refer to attendance by parents, guardians or representatives of local authorities at the meetings of the youth offender panel in those cases where the offender is under the age of 16. Clearly, their supportive role is important and desirable. However, again, does it have to be mandatory?

In this situation, unlike with the making of referral orders which were the subject of the previous debate, a limited discretion is left with the magistrates. Perhaps the Minister could reflect on the fact that there is some discretion here, given that earlier he argued so strongly against the possibility of allowing any discretion. The limited discretion here means that where it would be unreasonable to expect a parent, guardian or representative of a local authority to attend, there is the discretion not to require them to do so.

I note in the Explanatory Notes on page 8 that an example is given of serious ill health. As a ground that seems sensible. I do not know if the Minister is able to give us any further examples of what might pass the test.

I conclude by asking the Minister a specific question. Is it still the case, as indicated on pages 8 and 9 of the Explanatory Notes, that those parents, guardians or representatives who fail to attend a meeting against the order of the court and without good reason, should be brought before the court for contempt?

Lord Cope of Berkeley: My Lords, this is a small group of mainly minor amendments, but nevertheless they have some significance. They are welcome. I particularly welcome Amendments Nos. 8 and 9 as they arose from a suggestion of mine.

With regard to the question of compulsion, I say to my noble friend Lord Windlesham that it is a different matter for the court to be able to compel the parents or

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other people in loco parentis to attend from requiring the magistrates to carry out a specific course of action which is what we were discussing earlier. I believe it is a good thing for parents to be obliged to attend, subject to the court having discretion in the cases set out in the amendment.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Windlesham, was tempting me to re-traverse the question of discretion and perhaps I should note his observations, which I appreciate were courteously made.

The question was put involving a parent who was perhaps suffering from ill health. The examples I gave included one where perhaps a parent had been involved in the commission of the crime. Attendance in that case would be inappropriate. The domestic arrangements may simply make it impossible for the parents to attend. For instance, one could imagine circumstances where one parent was extremely immobile and the other was simply not able to go to the court.

Though I will research this more carefully, if a court makes a referral order and an order requiring the appropriate person to attend and that person does not attend, then on the face of it the sanction of contempt would be available. I shall research that more carefully. I am reasonably satisfied in my own mind, but if I am wrong I will write to the noble Lord, if I may, and as always put a copy of the letter in the Library.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendments Nos. 6 and 7:

Page 5, line 22, leave out from ("is") to end of line 28 and insert ("(within the meaning of the Children Act 1989) a child who is looked after by a local authority.").
Page 5, leave out lines 37 and 38.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, with the leave of the House, I shall move Amendments Nos. 6 and 7 en bloc.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 8 [ First meeting: agreement of contract with offender]:

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendments Nos. 8 and 9:

Page 8, line 5, after first ("the") insert ("electronic").
Page 8, line 5, leave out ("(electronically or otherwise)").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, with the leave of the House I shall move Amendments Nos. 8 and 9 en bloc. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 24 [Evidence given in private]:

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendment No. 10:

Page 19, leave out lines 6 and 7 and insert--
("( ) A special measures direction providing for representatives of news gathering or reporting organisations to be so excluded shall be expressed not to apply to one named person who--
(a) is a representative of such an organisation, and
(b) has been nominated for the purpose by one or more such organisations,
unless it appears to the court that no such nomination has been made.").

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The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 10 I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 11 to 13. The first three amendments provide that if the court excludes the news media from the court, one representative must be allowed to remain and the media will have to nominate that representative.

We discussed these matters on earlier occasions. The point of Clause 24 is to allow the court to exclude certain individuals who may be upsetting a witness for either the prosecution or the defence; and to allow the court to exclude as many observers as possible so that witnesses who need privacy to encourage them to give their evidence coherently, completely and accurately, may have it.

On earlier occasions I indicated, particularly in answer to the noble Lord, Lord Cope, and the noble Viscount, Lord Astor, that I was in continuing discussions with the media. Having listened carefully to what the noble Lord and the representative said, we felt that we could balance that second aim better against the role of the press as representatives of the public. I stress that the press have an extremely important role to play. They are the ones able to disseminate what happens in courts, where the public may not be present, to a wider public.

Therefore my amendments require the court to allow one member of the media to remain, even if all other representatives of the news media are excluded. The court may wish to set a limit on numbers above that, and will be free to do so if--and only if--the justification provided by the clause exists for such a direction. We believe such situations will rarely arise. It will hardly ever be necessary to clear the court so completely that all but one member of the press is excluded. But there might be some circumstances where open justice can be safeguarded if only one member of the press is present.

We require the media to choose their nominee among themselves. It is better for the media to come to that conclusion. I believe, following our discussions, that they will be able to come to a consensus as to how they will nominate such a representative. If they fail to reach consensus and nominate more than one, the court will have to make the choice. It is therefore in the media's interests to choose their own representative rather than have an imposed choice.

Amendment No. 13 ensures that representatives of the broadcast media are covered by the new provisions, so that a broadcast journalist could be allowed to remain and a broadcast organisation could nominate a media representative. With the old wording of "newspapers or news agencies" that might not have been possible. Your Lordships will recall that on Report we agreed a similar amendment to the description used in the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 by agreeing Amendment No. 111B to paragraph 2 of Schedule 4. I beg to move.

Lord Cope of Berkeley: My Lords, this is a helpful response to our earlier discussions. It is also helpful that the Minister emphasised the rarity with which he believes it will be necessary to use these provisions.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendments Nos. 11 to 13:

Page 19, line 8, leave out (", however,").
Page 19, line 15, leave out subsection (4).
Page 19, line 19, leave out ("newspapers or news agencies)") and insert ("news gathering or reporting organisations)").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, with the leave of the House I shall move these amendments en bloc. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 27 [Video recorded cross-examination or re-examination]:

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendment No. 14:

Page 21, line 42, at end insert (", or
(b) that for any other reason it is in the interests of justice to give the further direction.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment stands alone and follows an undertaking I gave on Report following an amendment tabled by the noble Viscount, Lord Colville, to Clause 27. I said that I would consider whether an "interests of justice" test was necessary to allow courts to direct that video-recorded cross-examination could be reopened in certain circumstances other than when new issues came up between cross-examination and trial that were outside the control of the cross-examining party.

I hope that repeated cross-examinations will be rare. The kind of witness likely to be cross-examined on video before trial will be extremely vulnerable and repeated cross-examinations can be extremely distressing. Pre-trial video cross-examination should normally be the only cross-examination. Cross- examining parties will therefore be expected to exercise reasonable diligence to ensure that they cross-examine the witness on all relevant issues the first time round. Then, if something else comes up between that cross-examination and trial (whether through disclosure or in other ways) and they could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained those matters at the time of the original recording, they would be able to cross-examine on the new issue under the existing provisions in subsection (6).

Having thought about the noble Viscount's helpful contribution, I recognise that it is important not to compromise the interests of justice by preventing cross-examination of witnesses on important issues. The amendment therefore ensures that whenever it is in the interests of justice to allow further cross-examination, the judge will be able to allow it. I hope that the new provision will be relied on only occasionally, but it is a necessary safeguard to avoid unjust convictions resulting from witnesses not having been cross- examined on relevant issues at trial. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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Clause 33 [Complainants in proceedings for sexual offences]:

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