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Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 212A:


On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 405 [Gaming contracts]:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 213:


    Page 218, line 9, leave out ("any contract") and insert ("a contract if").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, with Amendment No. 213, I should like to speak also to Amendments Nos. 214 and 215. These amendments make changes to Clause 405 in line with a commitment that we made in Committee in another place to look again at the clause and ensure that it is capable of giving the same protection for the enforceability of certain contracts, which might otherwise be subject to the statutory and common law rules relating to gaming provided for under the existing legislation.

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These regulations are important--at least they are for some people--although they are technical amendments. The clause as it stands is too narrow, because under subsection (2)(b) it expressly applies only to regulated activities. Therefore, it would not apply to a contract entered into in the course of any activity benefiting from the exclusion of the scope of regulated activities under the Bill. This contrasts with the Financial Services Act 1986 which states that contracts entered into in the course of an activity which benefits from an exclusion set out in Part III or IV of Schedule 1 to that Act do benefit from the exemption set out in the Act.

At the same time subsection (2) of Clause 405 does not work in its current form. It refers to regulated activities falling within paragraph 2 of Schedule 2, whereas in fact no activities as such fall within Schedule 2, given that Schedule 2 simply provides an indicative list of the sort of things about which orders under Clause 20 may be made rather than sets out which activities will be regulated under the Bill.

Amendments Nos. 213 to 215 introduce a new Treasury order-making power which will be used to specify which contract-based activities will be covered by the statutory exemption from unenforceability replacing the reference to regulated activities in subsection (2)(b). I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

1.15 a.m.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 214 and 215:


    Page 218, line 10, at beginning insert ("it is").


    Page 218, line 11, leave out paragraph (b) and insert--


("(b) the entering into or performance of it by either party constitutes an activity of a specified kind or one which falls within a specified class of activity; and
(c) it relates to an investment of a specified kind or one which falls within a specified class of investment.
(3) Part II of Schedule 2 applies for the purposes of subsection (2)(c), with the references to section 20 being read as references to that subsection.
(4) Nothing in Part II of Schedule 2, as applied by subsection (3), limits the power conferred by subsection (2)(c).
(5) "Investment" includes any asset, right or interest.
(6) "Specified" means specified in an order made by the Treasury.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 216:


    After Clause 406, insert the following new clause--


("Service of notices

SERVICE OF NOTICES

.--(1) The Treasury may by regulations make provision with respect to the procedure to be followed, or rules to be applied, when a provision of or made under this Act requires a notice or other document to be given.

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(2) The regulations may, in particular, make provision--
(a) as to the manner in which a document must be given;
(b) as to the address to which a document must be sent;
(c) requiring, or allowing, a document to be sent electronically;
(d) for treating a document as having been given, or as having been received, on a date or at a time determined in accordance with the regulations;
(e) as to what must, or may, be done if the person to whom a document is required to be given is not an individual;
(f) as to what must, or may, be done if the intended recipient of a document is outside the United Kingdom.
(3) Subsection (1) applies however the obligation to give a document is expressed (and so, in particular, includes a provision which requires a document to be served or sent).
(4) Section 7 of the Interpretation Act 1978 (service of notice by post) has effect in relation to provisions made by or under this Act subject to any provision made by regulations under this section.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this new clause enables the Treasury, by order, to specify the way in which notices given to or by the authority (or other relevant persons) are to be taken to have been given. On the face of it, it may appear a minor point but precision would be important if, for example, a person had a specified number of days in which to do something from the date on which the notice was deemed to have been given or there was a question as to whether the notice was served on an appropriate person.

Such matters could be extremely important if the possibility of referring a matter to the tribunal depended on when the notice was deemed to have been given. Clearly it is also important that a notice should be given to an appropriate person in the firm, often the company secretary but certainly not the cleaner.

Section 204 of the Financial Services Act makes specific provision about service of notices. The Government considered making similar provision in the Bill. However, the Section 204 provision would not adequately deal with the range of matters that would need to be covered given the much wider scope of the Bill.

A further concern is that the provisions of Section 204 of the 1986 Act envisage service of notice in hard copy. Since that provision came into force, the use of the fax machine has become commonplace and acceptable for many types of formal communication but is not provided for under the 1986 Act. Clearly the development of new forms of transmission--mobile short messaging, electronic mail and other Internet-based communications systems--means that the extended use of electronic communications is inevitable. The Government would not wish to prevent the financial services industry from benefiting from the use of those technologies in its dealings with the regulator. For example, to keep regulatory burdens low, the authority is currently exploring an Internet-based system to enable firms to apply for approvals under Clause 58 of the Bill for their prospective employees.

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This new clause is a routine procedural measure which forms an important part of the overall package of measures to ensure that the authority acts appropriately when it carries out its regulatory functions. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 216A:


    After Clause 406, insert the following new clause--


("Jurisdiction

JURISDICTION IN CIVIL PROCEEDINGS

.--(1) Proceedings arising out of any act or omission (or proposed act or omission) of--
(a) the Authority,
(b) the competent authority for the purposes of Part VI,
(c) the scheme manager, or
(d) the scheme operator,
in the discharge or purported discharge of any of its functions under this Act may be brought before the High Court or the Court of Session.
(2) The jurisdiction conferred by subsection (1) is in addition to any other jurisdiction exercisable by those courts.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, with Amendment No. 216A I should like to speak also to Amendment No. 226ZA. These amendments effectively transpose the arrangements under Section 188 of the Financial Services Act 1986 so as to enable a person to seek judicial review of the authority, the competent authority under Part VI, the compensation scheme manager or the ombudsman scheme manager before an appropriate court in any part of the United Kingdom.

This is necessary because under the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgements Act 1982 a case against a company registered under the Companies Acts would normally need to be brought in the jurisdiction in which the company has its registered office. The companies to which these provisions relate are all registered in England and Wales. So without this provision a person would not otherwise be able to bring a case for judicial review before the Court of Session or the High Court in Northern Ireland. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 407 [Definitions]:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 217 and 218:


    Page 219, line 16, at end insert ("(except in provisions relating to the Competition Commission)").


    Page 219, line 17, at end insert--


(""control of information rules" has the meaning given in section (Control of information)(1):").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendment No. 218A not moved.]:

9 May 2000 : Column 1552

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 219:


    Page 220, line 3, leave out ("233(2)") and insert ("232").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 412 [Controller]:

[Amendments Nos. 219A to 219F not moved.]

[Amendment No. 220 had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.]


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