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The Earl of Onslow: Can the Minister say why it would be more bureaucratic to have this provision in the Bill than giving the police guidance regarding answering such questions? I should have thought that exactly the same number of people will ring up with this request, whether or not it is in the Bill. What is the extra bureaucratic aspect that would arise from putting this provision on the face of the legislation, as opposed to it just being there by way of guidance?

Earl Russell: The Minister said that this provision would not contribute to the prevention of hooliganism. But, with respect, that can never be the sole motive for legislation, although it is a good and necessary motive. The Minister may be forgiven for thinking that the Second Reading debate took place rather a long time ago. However, he may remember that I said that one of the things that seems to me to produce the very worst legislation is a Bill that has but one purpose. We must legislate for the prevention of hooliganism but also for the doing of justice. If we remember both those objectives, we might get it right. But if we do not, we certainly will not get it right.

Lord Woolmer of Leeds: There is one interesting possibility here, although I can immediately see the dangers. Most of the large clubs have away-supporters' clubs. Of course, the England team has an English supporters' club. If it were possible for the police, so to speak, to give a clean bill of health to fans as a condition of being a member of such a club and qualifying for the purchase of tickets, that would certainly be a way in which legitimate fans could get that kind of clearance.

However, there is a problem; namely, that people might reasonably say that, in order to become a member of a club, you could open yourself up to being investigated by the police. Nevertheless, it suggests a potential avenue by which people who are legitimate football supporters could seek to gain clearance by associating themselves with the mechanism that links in with the acquisition of tickets. Therefore, in a sense, you could at a stroke have a legitimate ticket holder and a member of a club with such clearance. It would be an incentive for such fans to join a club of that nature.

Lord Goodhart: Although I am inclined to agree with what the Minister said about the possible

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administrative problems that might be caused by these amendments, the arguments for something of this nature are powerful. They are not only powerful; they are also very strong arguments against having the summary procedure under new Section 21A.

Lord Lucas: I find myself agreeing with what both previous speakers said. However, under the current timetable of the Bill, I understand that nothing can be done to put this provision on the face of the Bill. Indeed, it would take too much discussion. I shall be happy to rely upon what the Minister said. It is essential that the police should have some way to deal with such questions. That will play an important part in ensuring that the Bill does not upset relationships between the police and those whom they are policing.

Lord McNally: Before the Minister responds, perhaps I may ask him to think most carefully about the suggestion made by the noble Lord, Lord Woolmer. This could perhaps be a possible subject for the attention of the study group that is working parallel to the Bill.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The noble Lord has anticipated 50 per cent of what I intended to say. In response to the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Lucas, I put forward the argument that this is something that could properly be dealt with by way of guidance. That applies similarly to the point made by my noble friend Lord Woolmer. We are discussing one of those issues upon which the working group could spend some time. We shall certainly have to address the issue of membership clubs and the qualifications that people may have to pass in order to become members of them. There is also the relationship between that situation and criminal records and information that the police may hold. As I am sure the Committee will recognise, one of our proposals in the legislation deals in part with that issue.

Lord Lucas: In the context of the present position of this Bill, I am very content with the Minister's explanation. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment Nos. 39 and 40 not moved.]

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 41:


    Page 6, line 6, at end insert--


("( ) In this Part "causing or significantly contributing with intent to any serious violence or disorder" includes conduct likely to encourage others to cause or significantly contribute with intent to any serious violence or disorder.").

The noble Lord said: The best reply that I could possibly receive on this amendment is that it is not necessary. It is drawn with the single purpose of making sure that, if not Mr Murdoch, then at least the editor of the Sun is caught by this Bill. I beg to move.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The noble Lord is right in saying that the amendment is unnecessary. I do not believe that it adds anything in particular to the

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legislation. We have had the arguments as regards Amendments Nos. 39 and 40. I invite the noble Lord to withdraw his amendment.

Lord Lucas: I look forward very much to the time when Mr Murdoch is served with a banning order and told that he cannot go to football matches in Europe because of what the Sun has been doing to our fans. It is not an insignificant contribution to the way in which people behave at football matches and the way in which they think of our opposing teams, particularly in Europe. I very much hope that the passing of this Bill will mark the passing of a particular type of headline and attitude in our tabloid newspapers. I suspect that I may be told to dream on. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Cope of Berkeley moved Amendment No. 42:


    Page 6, line 11, after ("tribunal") insert ("inside or").

The noble Lord said: This amendment attempts to ensure that the magistrates' court, in deciding these matters, may take into account the decisions of courts in and outside the United Kingdom. I realise that magistrates' court,


    "may take into account the following matters (among others)".

But if the legislation specifically states,


    "court or tribunal outside the United Kingdom",

it might be held that a court inside the United Kingdom was deliberately not spelt out here and is not included when it should be. I make it clear that the decision which the magistrates' court might wish to consider would not only be a conviction. If that were the case, the application would be under the new Section 14A rather than under new Section 14B. It would also include someone who has not been convicted of a violent offence at some time in the past. That is also relevant within the magistrates' court. It can be a decision either way. Not only should foreign courts be taken into account, but also our own courts or our tribunals. I beg to move.

Lord Goodhart: One of the amendments in this group is our Amendment No. 44, which deals with new Section 14C(4) set out on page 6 of the Bill. That section contains a non-exhaustive list of matters which magistrates' courts may take into account as far as they consider it appropriate to do so. It is not at all clear what is the purpose of the list since it is clearly not exhaustive, but the implication must be that the courts must pay special attention to matters under headings (a) to (e).

I would have no objection to the courts paying special attention to any decision of a court or tribunal inside or outside the United Kingdom. The Minister is moving an amendment to remove heading (b). We want to see the removal of headings (c) and (d) as well. We believe that deportation from a country outside the United Kingdom, or removal from premises there or elsewhere, may well be relevant factors. However, we

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see no reason why they should be given any special significance; they are simply ordinary facts which, along with other facts, need to be taken into account.

In the case of deportation and exclusion, we know all too well that in many cases perfectly innocent people are deported because they have been swept up by a police street cleaning operation whereby they grab everyone they can lay hands on and chuck them out of the country. There have been stories of wholly innocent Americans, who have no interest in football whatever, being caught in an operation of that kind and suddenly finding themselves in London. Therefore it would be quite inappropriate for any special attention to be paid to paragraph (c). Broadly speaking, we believe that the same applies to paragraph (d).

3.30 a.m.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: I shall deal with Amendments Nos. 42, 43, 44 and 45 in turn. The intention of Amendment No. 42 is clear enough, but I am advised that there is no question but that one court may have regard to the decision of another--this does not require to be stated explicitly. New Section 14C is simply a list of additional matters a court may--if it thinks it appropriate or relevant--take into account. I invite noble Lords to withdraw the amendment.

Government Amendment No. 43 removes paragraph (b) from new Section 14C, and responds to earlier criticisms of the Bill. Amendment No. 44 would delete references to deportation and removal from football grounds from the factors a court could take into account. We do not believe that that is wise in the circumstances.

Amendment No. 45 would have the effect (after the government amendment) that deportation on its own could not justify the making of a banning order. Of course, I accept that none of the factors in new Section 14C is sufficient on its own to justify the making of a banning order. Conduct recorded on video, for example, not mentioned in these amendments, might be entirely innocent holiday footage. But all the factors mentioned in new Section 14C may be relevant and may help to establish the necessary conditions in new Section 14B--that is, involvement in violence or disorder and grounds to believe that an order would help to prevent future violence and disorder at football matches. We should bear in mind not just one element here but the sum of several parts. I believe that we have helped by removing the power, as it was earlier described. Amendment No. 43 achieves that. I invite noble Lords to withdraw their amendments in this group.


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