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Lord Campbell of Alloway: My Lords, the purpose in tabling the amendment was to seek the very tight, analytical exposition that we have just received and to have it on the record. It seems to me to be wholly satisfactory. The other point in tabling the amendment is the very extraordinary width of powers and the arcane distinction which rather foxed me, too. Even

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without elucidation of that matter, I am wholly content. I thank the noble Lord. I shall not move my amendment.

Lord Mayhew of Twysden: My Lords, as a member of the devolved legislation committee, and speaking only for myself, perhaps I may express my own gratitude, which is neither transitory nor transitional, for the way in which the Government have responded to our recommendations. They were inspired by exactly the considerations that my noble friend Lord Campbell of Alloway had in mind when he tabled his amendment. The present position will be very satisfactory.

Lord Goodhart: My Lords, like the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mayhew, I am grateful to the Government for accepting the Committee's recommendation.

Viscount Astor: My Lords, when I moved my amendment earlier this morning the noble Lord, Lord Bach, intervened and said that I would be pleasantly surprised by what he had to say. He has fulfilled his promise by coming forward with Amendments Nos. 5 and 6. We welcome them and thank him.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 6:


Page 2, line 21, at end insert-
("In this subsection, "affirmative instrument" means a statutory instrument a draft of which was laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament or the House of Commons.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 7 not moved.]

Clause 5 [Commencement and duration]:

[Amendments Nos. 8 and 9 not moved.]

Lord Bassam of Brighton moved Amendment No. 9A:


Page 2, line 43, leave out ("four") and insert ("three").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, Amendment No. 9A has been tabled by the Government this afternoon during the course of our deliberations. It reflects the Government's intention to take on board some of the concerns and criticisms raised about the extent of the widely noted and acknowledged sunset clause. The noble Lord, Lord Alexander of Weedon, made a valuable contribution to our deliberations. When the Home Secretary had a lively, useful and entertaining meeting in the Committee Room upstairs, the noble Lord suggested that there should be a sunset clause. The Home Secretary, quite within character, said that he thought it was a good idea and that he would take it away and think about what such a clause might look like. We now have two sunset clauses on the face of the Bill. One comes into effect after one year and the second after four years.

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Yesterday, a number of Members of the Committee were critical of the proposal. They believed that there should be a six-month sunset clause followed by a one-year sunset clause. During the course of the Committee I managed reasonably to persuade Members that that was too short a period of time for us to examine, analyse and consider the impact of the legislation. Members of the Committee realised that we had a fair point.

There are few international football matches within the next six months. Yes, there are some important ones--football fans would say that all international matches are important--but there was a recognition that, perhaps with the exception of the one in Paris in September, they would not attract major problems and that we needed a longer period of time to examine the effectiveness of the measures after enactment of the Bill.

We rightly made the point that we needed to see how the measures would work over a number of years. Two important competitions are coming up. The run-up games to the final of the World Cup 2002 will provide a severe test--

Lord Harris of Greenwich: My Lords, the noble Lord wants to see whether the system is working effectively. Is there any prospect of the evaluation being carried out by an agency independent of the Home Office? That would provide many of us with great reassurance.

6.15 p.m.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for that intervention. It is a matter to which we could give careful consideration as it has some merit. However, we must carry out a proper appraisal. A measure of independence, and certainly advice independent of the Home Office, would add value.

In addition to the World Cup 2002 there will be the Euro 2004 games which are to be played in Portugal. That is an important competition and qualifying for it will be a major test. The location and time of the matches is yet to be determined because the draw has not been made. But they will obviously be against other European countries and the matches might be a lightning rod for the kind of hooligan acts we have seen during the past few months.

It is the view of the Government, which will probably be shared by NCIS and the police, that we need to have these measures in place in the run-up to the qualifying games for the World Cup 2002 and Euro 2004. It would be a poor reflection if we had in place a sunset clause which provided only limited cover for that period. If the measures which we believe will be effective were to be removed during the run-up to Euro 2004, no doubt our European competitor countries would have something important to say. They made their views volubly known during Euro 2000. They felt that perhaps we had not gone the extra mile towards putting in place measures which would deal effectively with the hooligan problem.

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For that reason, and because we have carefully reflected on what noble Lords have said, at page 2, line 43, we propose to leave out "four" and insert "three" for the second sunset clause contained in the legislation. That will take us up to 2004 and will provide us with ample opportunity to see whether the measures have been effective; perhaps to have a degree of independent evaluation and to receive those views; for us to work closely with the National Criminal Intelligence Service; for us to continue our close working relationships with the UK-wide police service; and for us to ensure that those measures enable us to make good use of the powers contained within them.

I recognise that the amendment we have tabled today does not go as far as some Members of your Lordships' House would like. I know that some of them take the view that the measure, because it is in some respects an infringement of civil liberties, should remain on the statute book for only the shortest possible time. We take the view that it needs to be there somewhat longer so that we can evaluate its effectiveness.

I say that based on the history of the football-related measures which have been passed in this country. As I have said on several occasions, we have seen the steady creation of legislation which has attempted to deal with different aspects of the problem of football hooligans. Collectively, that legislation has become effective. The legislation we seek to place on the statute book during this Session adds another element to that. We need to have a careful, thought-through, constructive evaluation of the impact of the legislation.

I recognise that another amendment on the Marshalled List would dramatically reduce the sunset clause by halving it from four to two years in its accumulated effect. I believe that that would be a mistake. I do not believe that it will enable us to make the type of judgment that we need to make on the value of the legislation; nor do I believe that it will give us the time to discover what impact it has had.

Lord McNally: My Lords, perhaps the Minister will give way on that point. I am not sure whether my question is addressed to him, to the Table or to the Chair. We are debating Amendment No. 9A. If it is carried, does that mean that Amendment No. 10 cannot be moved? We are often told that--

Lord Carter: My Lords, the answer is that, if Amendment No. 9A is accepted, Amendment No. 10 can also be moved.

Lord McNally: My Lords, that means that we would have two contradictory measures. I sometimes believe that we walk into the bacon slicer in this place.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I was looking forward to yet more learned debate and discussion about matters of procedure.

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The other important point with regard to our amendment is that it will provide a first year review. I believe that it would be wise for annual reviews to be built into the whole of the sunset period so that we may have a rolling programme to monitor the effectiveness of the legislation. In a sense, we already do that with other pieces of legislation, examining the impact of particular measures. I am not afraid for us to go down that route.

I believe that this legislation requires a period of stability. It is important and the measures are proportionate. I recognise the civil libertarian concerns, and we have brought forward amendments which actively pursue some of the points raised in another place and in your Lordships' House to match that concern. We have also given assurances. I believe that this longer sunset clause period is needed in order to carry out the important job of understanding whether the legislation is effective. That type of approach has not been adopted previously. It is a new approach and I believe that it says a great deal that it has been developed from your Lordships' House. I believe that the measure is right and proportionate and I urge your Lordships most strongly to adopt it.


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