Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Ninth Report


ANNEX 2

Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill

Memorandum by the Home Office

Introduction

This Memorandum, which is provided by the Home Office in consultation with the Scottish Office and the Northern Ireland Office, sets out the delegated powers conferred by the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill and indicates the Parliamentary procedure which is considered appropriate.

CLAUSE 4

Clause 4 provides the meaning of 'position of trust' and sets out the four conditions in which a person aged 18 or over is said to be in a 'position of trust' in relation to a person under that age. Clause 4(1) provides that further conditions may be added by an order made by statutory instrument by the Secretary of State.

By clause 4(6) the order making power under clause 4(1) is subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.

The four conditions are set out in clause 4 subsections (2) to (5). They are: where the younger person is detained in an institution under a court order or under any enactment and the older person is regularly involved in caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of persons under 18; where the younger person is resident in and provided with accommodation by a local authority, an equivalent Northern Ireland body or a voluntary organisation in a home or other place and the older person is regularly involved in caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of persons under 18 there; where the younger person is in any of the following: a hospital; a residential care home, nursing home, mental nursing home or private hospital; a community home, voluntary home, children's home or residential establishment; or a home provided under section 82(5) of the Children Act 1989; and the older person is regularly involved in caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of persons under 18 there; and where the younger person is in full time education in an institution and the older person is regularly involved in caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of persons under 18 there or in another education institution by arrangement with the first.

It may be necessary to add other conditions. As this would amend primary legislation and potentially increase the burden on local authorities and other bodies, the affirmative resolution procedure is considered appropriate.

CLAUSE 7

Subsection (2) provides that for the purposes of the Scotland Act 1998, the Bill shall be treated as a pre-commencement enactment within the meaning of that Act. One effect of this is that, in relation to Scotland, on 1 July 1999, the power to make orders under clauses 4 and 7 will become exercisable by the Scottish Ministers within the meaning of that Act.

Subsection (3) provides that the Bill will come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by order appoint; and different days may be appointed for different purposes. The order making power under subsection (3) is exercisable by statutory instrument. The power is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure, in common with most commencement order-making powers.

March 1999




 
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