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Lord Falconer of Thoroton: I apologise for interrupting. If the proposal regarding Lindholme comes off, as was made clear in the letter that the noble Lord read out earlier, places will be available within six to

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nine months. I believe that the noble Lord said that there would be no places at all until 2002. That is right in relation to Aldington and Heathrow, but not in relation to Lindholme.

Lord Avebury: I accept that; but Lindholme will not deal with more than about a third of the people who are presently in prison. In the period leading up to spring 2002, there will still be a large number of people who do not fall into any of the categories mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Mostyn, in his letter as being necessarily accommodated in prison. Those people will be there simply because we have not provided the facilities for them. That is a shame and a scandal.

Lord Cope of Berkeley: I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 194A and 194B not moved.]

Clause 131 agreed to.

Clause 132 [Fingerprinting]:

Lord Cope of Berkeley moved Amendment No. 195:


Page 90, line 3, after ("B") insert ("or any child").

The noble Lord said: This amendment also stands in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Alton. It provides that if a child--that is to say, someone under 18--is to be fingerprinted, there should be some extra control over that in the form of the senior immigration officer giving permission for it. I shall not argue the case in any detail; nor shall I seek to pre-empt the Minister's reply, except to say that I take no pride in the particular drafting of the amendment; it is the point behind the amendment that I seek to achieve. If I should receive a favourable answer, I should be willing to accept any drafting that the noble and learned Lord might want to suggest. I beg to move.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: I apologise for attempting to interrupt the noble Lord who moved his amendment very briefly. Although some drafting issues arise in relation to this matter, the Government accept in principle the purpose of the amendment and will table an amendment at Report stage to deal with the point.

I should briefly set out the Government's position. Currently, we have the power to take the fingerprints of children who are asylum seekers, or dependants of asylum seekers. We take the view that it is not necessary or desirable as a matter of routine to take fingerprints from children under 16. Consideration is given to fingerprinting a child only where there are serious doubts as to his or her real identity, for example where the child holds a false travel document, has no travel document at all or has been accompanied to the United Kingdom by a known facilitator. Where real doubts arise, authorisation to take the fingerprints of a child must be obtained from a chief immigration officer, or a higher executive officer in the case of fingerprints taken at the public caller unit in Croydon, and the parent, guardian or an adult with responsibility for the child must be present.

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Before a child is fingerprinted, the chief immigration officer explains to the person with responsibility for the child that the child is to be fingerprinted and the reasons for so doing. If there are any doubts as to the need for fingerprints, and there are any signs that the child is distressed, discretion is exercised in favour of not taking fingerprints. These procedures are set out in full in IND staff instructions and have operated successfully for the past five years without the need for extra legislative provision. However, the Government accept the merits of the arguments for legislative underpinning and we shall table an amendment at Report stage to achieve this.

Lord Cope of Berkeley: I am most grateful to the noble and learned Lord for his reply and undertaking to table a government amendment on Report. In the light of that, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 195A:


Page 90, line 9, at end insert--
("( ) "Claim for asylum" has the same meaning as in Part VI.").

The noble and learned Lord: I should like to deal with government Amendments Nos. 195A, 195B, 195F, 206A, 207C and 210ZA. Perhaps I may take them in a slightly different order from that in which they appear on the Marshalled List. To deal first with Amendment No. 195B, asylum seekers who have valid leave to enter and subsequently seek asylum prior to the expiry of that leave will, if granted asylum, be granted indefinite leave to remain. Those who arrive at a port and seek asylum immediately on arrival are treated as "port cases" or alternatively "on-entry" cases. If granted asylum they will be granted indefinite leave to enter. The purpose of government Amendment No. 195B is to ensure that when asylum is granted, irrespective of whether the applicant is an in-country case or a port case, destruction of fingerprints occurs at the same time.

I turn next to Amendment No. 195F. Clause 136 confers on an immigration officer the power to use reasonable force, where necessary, when exercising any powers conferred by the Immigration Act 1971 or the provisions of this Bill. It also provides for prison officers, constables, authorised officers of the Secretary of State and employees at detention centres to use reasonable force when exercising fingerprinting powers under Clauses 132 or 133 of the Bill. In future, it is envisaged that different methods to identify people will be developed; for example a sophisticated photograph. Clause 135 provides the Secretary of State with the power to make regulations to enable such new methods to be used in this context. Amendment No. 195F is designed to extend the power to use reasonable force to include these new methods. That power would be used only when absolutely necessary.

I turn next to Amendments Nos. 206A and 207C. These are simple but necessary amendments designed to re-locate a reference to Clause 135 to a more appropriate place in Clause 154. Clause 154 provides for the making of rules, regulations and orders to be by statutory instrument. As currently drafted, regulations under

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Clause 135 are to be made by affirmative resolution under Clause 154(3)(f). However, given that the subordinate legislation in question is to be made by regulations rather than by order, it is necessary to move the reference to Clause 135 to Clause 154(4).

I turn to the first and last amendments in this group: Amendments Nos. 195A and 210ZA. To set these two amendments in context, I remind the Committee that there are two definitions of the term "claim for asylum" contained in this Bill; one in Clause 155, which relates solely to claims made under the 1951 Refugee Convention, and the other in Parts V and VI of the Bill, which relate to claims made under the Refugee Convention and Article 3 of the ECHR. Amendment No. 210ZA is a straightforward amendment to make clear that for the purposes of the power to fingerprint those who claim asylum, the definition of the term "claim for asylum" is not covered by Clause 155 of the Bill, but, as Amendment No. 195A makes clear, by the Part VI definition contained in Clause 84. Thus, the power to fingerprint asylum seekers covers those who make claims under the Refugee Convention and those who make claims under Article 3 of the ECHR. I commend all of these amendments to the Committee. I beg to move.

9.30 p.m.

Earl Russell: I thank the noble and learned Lord very warmly for accepting the wider definition of "asylum" as used in Part VI of the Bill. While joining my noble friend Lady Williams of Crosby in the welcome for Amendment No. 195C, I would like to probe one point about it. Subsection (6) of the new clause states,


    "This section does not apply to any person exercising powers in Scotland".

I hope the Minister will forgive me if I ask him what does apply in Scotland. Since I imagine that osmosis will, as usual, take a certain amount of time, we need to consider whether safeguards do apply in Scotland. One imagines that the need for them will be exactly the same as it is elsewhere.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: I do not bring good news. Amendment No. 195C was dealt with four groupings earlier. We have not been dealing with that amendment in the present grouping.

Earl Russell: I must have an out of date grouping. I apologise to the noble and learned Lord.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 132, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 133 agreed to.

Clause 134 [Destruction of fingerprints]:

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 195B:


Page 90, line 35, after ("to") insert ("enter or").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 134, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 135 agreed to.

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Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 195C:


After Clause 135, insert the following new clause--

CODES OF PRACTICE (NO. 2)

(" .--(1) An immigration officer exercising any specified power to--
(a) arrest, question, search or take fingerprints from a person,
(b) enter and search premises, or
(c) seize property found on persons or premises,
must have regard to such provisions of a code as may be specified.
(2) Subsection (1) also applies to an authorised person exercising the power to take fingerprints conferred by section 132.
(3) Any specified provision of a code may have effect for the purposes of this section subject to such modifications as may be specified.
(4) "Specified" means specified in a direction given by the Secretary of State.
(5) "Authorised person" has the same meaning as in section 132.
(6) "Code" means--
(a) in relation to England and Wales, any code of practice for the time being in force under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984;
(b) in relation to Northern Ireland, any code of practice for the time being in force under the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989.
(6) This section does not apply to any person exercising powers in Scotland.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 136 [Use of force]:


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