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Division No. 5

CONTENTS

Blatch, B.
Carlile of Berriew, L.
Cox, B.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goodhart, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Lucas, L. [Teller]
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Maddock, B.
Mancroft, L.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Norton of Louth, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Razzall, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Russell, E. [Teller]
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Wilcox, B.

NOT-CONTENTS

Acton, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Blackstone, B.
Bragg, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Chandos, V.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Crawley, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Gale, B.
Gilbert, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grenfell, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Jay of Paddington, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Judd, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mar, C.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Mitchell, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Nicol, B.
Pitkeathley, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rea, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sewel, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Turnberg, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Watson of Invergowrie, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winston, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

25 Jul 2000 : Column 403

11.12 p.m.

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 43:


Page 10, line 43, after ("him,") insert ("or where such a person has not been required to appear before the court to respond to such an application,")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 43 I should like to speak also to Amendments Nos. 44 to 46. All of these amendments address themselves to the last major government amendment tabled this morning which sets out to allow a magistrates' court to grant compensation to someone who is not made subject to a banning order but none the less has incurred costs.

There are four amendments in the group, the first of which addresses the question of what happens when the police produce no evidence in the magistrates' court. In that event the person has been prevented from travelling and so has lost his ticket and the right to attend the match. At the moment, if the police fail to produce evidence they are not liable to pay compensation. If, however, they produce inadequate evidence and the case is lost they may be required to pay compensation. I believe that that is inequitable. Amendment No. 44 provides that compensation should be paid out of the funds of the appropriate chief officer of police who, after all, is the person in charge of bringing the prosecution. If the chief officer is conscious of the fact that his budget will be hit if he brings lots of inappropriate prosecutions he will be less inclined to do so. It is right that responsibility should rest with the person who takes the decisions.

The first of the two subsequent amendments removes the subsection which places a limit on the amount of compensation. Amendment No. 44 is merely consequential. I beg to move.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, these four amendments which would modify the clause dealing with compensation were tabled early this morning.

Amendment No. 43 would extend the compensation provisions to cases where a person has been detained by a police officer under new Section 21A but not had a notice issued against him under new Section 21B. We had not included such a provision because the maximum period for which a person may be detained by a police officer is now six hours. It is in any case quite usual for people to be detained for such a period without there being any specific provisions for compensation. We think that this is a reasonable analysis and we are not, therefore, persuaded or convinced that any additional provision is required to cover a period of detention of that length.

25 Jul 2000 : Column 404

Amendment No. 44 would provide that compensation, as the noble Lord, Lord Lucas, explained, be paid out of police funds rather than central funds. Again, we are not persuaded that this is the right route. We think that it would be better for it to be a call on central funds, otherwise it might begin to interfere with the judgment perhaps of the police in seeking to detain someone.

Amendment No. 45 would abolish the £5,000 ceiling on compensation which subsection (3) currently provides for. The sum of £5,000 seems to me to be an entirely appropriate figure. It is the same figure which magistrates' courts are able to award currently as compensation for crime. I cannot think of many circumstances where someone who has been held, ultimately wrongly, and prevented from enjoying the benefit of watching England play another disastrous game away somewhere in middle Europe, would run up a bill which might come to more than £5,000. It might be argued in view of some recent performances by England that the compensation could be larger, I suppose--I am not so sure about that!

Amendment No. 46 is consequential upon Amendment No. 44. We believe that the amendment we have brought forward on compensation is generous and appropriate, going well beyond the common law position. Therefore we cannot recommend that Amendments Nos. 43 to 46 be accepted.

Lord Lucas: My Lords, if I understand the Minister aright, he says that once the notice has been issued under new Section 21B the right to compensation exists whatever the police do about it. They cannot in some way avoid the right to compensation by failing to appear or failing to press a charge at the magistrates' court. The trigger has been pulled by the issuing of the new Section 21B notice. That will necessarily trigger an appearance before and a decision by the magistrates. If I have misunderstood, I hope that the Minister will tell me. Otherwise, there is a loophole.

I agree that on the Minister's interpretation, which I accept, there is not the problem I sought to resolve. There is only a holding for six hours rather than the possibility of someone being detained for 24 hours and at the end of the day not appearing before a magistrate in a way which would trigger the compensation provision.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I think that the noble Lord's understanding is right. It that is not so, I shall endeavour to advise the noble Lord further.

Lord Lucas: My Lords, under those circumstances, I am happy to beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 44 to 46 not moved.]

25 Jul 2000 : Column 405

Schedule 2 [Minor and consequential amendments]:

Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 47:


Page 14, line 18, at end insert-

("Legal Aid Act 1988 (c. 34.)

.--(1) The Legal Aid Act 1988 is to have effect in relation to proceedings under-
(a) sections 14B and 14D of the Football Spectators Act 1989,
(b) sections 14G and 14H of that Act (so far as relating to banning orders made under section 14B), and
(c) sections 21B(2) and 21D of that Act,as if those proceedings had been included in the definition of "criminal proceedings" in article 1(2) of the Access to Justice Act 1999 (Commencement No. 3, Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2000.
(2) Sub-paragraph (1) is to have effect subject to any provision made by an order under section 3 of this Act or under section 108(1) of, or paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 14 to, the Access to Justice Act 1999.")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment, together with consequential modifications to legal advice and assistance regulations, which will be affected by secondary legislation, will ensure that legal advice and assistance are available for a person who appears in court following an application by the police for a banning order.

The Government take the view that these proceedings are sufficiently serious that in appropriate cases publicly funded legal help should be available. A person will be able to apply through their solicitor for assistance and the application will be subject to approval by the Legal Services Commission. The form of help that will be available is termed assistance by way of representation (ABWA). Although requests for approval will be dealt with as quickly as possible, it will not be possible to make this form of help available in circumstances where the police have given notice to a person to appear before a court within 24 hours. In these circumstances and other cases where a person appears in court unrepresented, the court duty solicitor will be able to provide help. I hope that it is generally agreed in the House that it is important that there should be these provisions for those detained in that way. I beg to move.


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