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8Clause 8, page 5 line 21, at end insert--
("(4) The rights of access conferred by subsection (1) shall not be exercisable in relation to any document relating primarily to accounts which--
(a) are subject to audit by the Auditor General for Scotland or the Auditor General for Wales, and are not also subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General, or
(b) are subject to audit under section 2 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 or section 97 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 and do not relate to a body specified in section 98(1) of the National Health Service Act 1977.
(5) In this section "relevant non-departmental public body" means a non-departmental public body which is one for which the department whose accounts are undergoing examination is responsible; and for this purpose "non-departmental public body" means a body--
(a) which is not a government department or comprised within a government department,
(b) which exercises public functions of a governmental nature which might otherwise fall to be exercised by central government, and
(c) an officer of which has been designated by a government department as its accounting officer in respect of the preparation of its accounts.")
The Commons disagreed to this amendment for the following reason--
8ABecause it would alter the financial accounting and audit arrangements made by the Commons, and the Commons

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do not offer any further reason, trusting that the above reason may be deemed sufficient.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 8 to which the Commons have disagreed for the reason numbered 8A.

Moved, That the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 8 to which the Commons have disagreed for the reason numbered 8A.--(Lord McIntosh of Haringey.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Football (Disorder) Bill

4.48 p.m.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read a third time.--(Lord Bassam of Brighton.)

Lord Ackner: My Lords, I have a slightly unusual invitation to offer the Government. It is not unexpected because I have given them notice. My invitation is that they should adjourn today's proceedings until tomorrow. My reason for doing so, quite simply, is that I tabled three amendments of some importance which were moved at about 10.30 p.m. last night. After the Minister had conceded that he would be able to give me additional information if I tabled my amendments today, I withdrew last night's amendments on the express ground that there was an understanding that I would be able to bring forward these matters without objection on Third Reading.

In regard to one of the items on which he could not at that time help, the noble Lord, Lord Bassam of Brighton, said,

    "I undertake to look further at the point. Again, if the noble and learned Lord tables these amendments tomorrow"--

that is today--

    "we will endeavour to respond to this point".--[Official Report, 25/7/00; col. 394.].

On that basis, as soon as the Public Bill Office opened I asked for my amendment to be put down again, with a significant alteration--an alteration designed to persuade the noble Lord that what I was asking for was nothing like as strenuous as he thought. I then learned for the first time that because of Standing Order No. 48, and I quote:

    "No amendment, other than a privilege amendment, shall be moved upon the Third Reading of a public Bill unless notice of the amendment has been given to the Clerk not later than the day preceding that on which the amendment is to be moved, in sufficient time to enable the amendment to be printed and circulated in the form in which it is to be moved".

I understand that the Public Bill Office let it be known yesterday that it normally closed the list at 6 p.m. but on yesterday's occasion they would be more flexible. That did not sound as if at 10.30 it was going to be possible, and in any event I wished to think again about the amendment to see whether I could

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reduce the extent of my demands, which the noble Lord, with characteristic courtesy, had suggested might be thought to be excessive.

The Public Bill Office was, unbeknown to me, still available to take minutes through the devotion to duty of their Principal Clerk up until midnight, I believe. But no one had pointed that out and no one had suggested it, either to me or to the noble Lord, Lord Bassam. We were both under the impression, or at least I was, that in this super-fast-track Bill time limits had been waived: otherwise there would be absurdities. It would mean that if the Bill had gone on, as it nearly did, beyond midnight there would be no prospect of putting any amendments down in respect of that material--

Lord Carter: My Lords, the noble and learned Lord is not quite correct on that last point because the parliamentary day does not end until the business of that day is completed. So even if that stage of the Bill had continued until 2 o'clock in the morning that was still the day on which it started. The Public Bill Office was open until after midnight, and a phone call there would have provided the answer.

Lord Ackner: My Lords, it was not a phone call that the noble Lord the Minister thought was necessary: otherwise he would not have said to me that he would look further at a particular point if I tabled my amendments tomorrow. He said that at col. 394 of Hansard. However, I am grateful for the Chief Whip's intervention. I always learn something from him whenever he stands up, sometimes to my benefit and sometimes not.

I was about to stress to your Lordships the importance of the amendment. When a number of us attended a meeting which the Home Secretary called about a week ago, the noble Lord, Lord Alexander, raised a point about the sunset clause. I raised the point which is covered by my amendments. Quite simply, it is this: that if notices were to be served by the police based upon their suspicions or based upon their belief, it was then right that the respondent to those notices should be given proper details as to the basis of the belief or the suspicions alleged.

The Government had stressed that these were in the nature of civil proceedings, and it is established procedure in civil proceedings that if you make an unparticularised allegation you have to face up to a request for further and better particulars. Take the simplest of cases: if the rather incompetent draftsman had entered particulars of claim or a statement of claim alleging that a driver was negligent, full stop, and if as a result of that negligence the plaintiff had suffered damage, he would immediately be required to provide further and better particulars of the alleged negligence, stating the facts of the matters relied upon in support of that allegation. In other words, was the negligence in driving too fast, not staying awake, driving on the wrong side of the road or whatever it was?

Many of your Lordships have taken the view that these proceedings were wrongly called civil when they were criminal proceedings, or certainly more of a

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criminal kind than civil. In the criminal code it is a basic and fundamental rule of natural justice that you must be provided with full particulars of any allegation which the prosecution is relying upon. In both fields, civil and criminal, that is because it is only just that you should know what is the case you are required to meet.

The result of my making this type of observation at the meeting was held as an important contribution, and the two contributions which were in fact looked upon as being of significance were the sunset clause and my clause in regard to notice. On Second Reading, the noble Lord the Minister in his winding-up speech said:

    "The noble and learned Lord, Lord Ackner, made a number of helpful detailed points about drafting, particularly on new Sections 21A and 21B. We are of course going to pay very close attention to his advice, and I should like to place on record our thanks to him for the advice and encouragement that he gave us during the open session".--[Official Report, 20/7/00; col. 1258.]

The Bill itself had recognised the point that I had made by providing in new Section 21A, which is concerned with summary detention, that the police officer who had reasonable grounds for suspecting that the respondent had at any time caused or contributed to any violence or disorder and had reasonable grounds to believe that making a banning order in his case would help to prevent violence or disorder at or in connection with any regulated football matches would be required to give his reasons for detaining him in writing. These reasons, quite simply, could be the grounds he had for suspecting and his belief. I accordingly requested that it should be an obligation to provide full particulars of the facts and matters relied upon in support of his suspicion for belief. I did likewise under new Section 21B.

I asked the Minister specifically if he could tell me what he envisaged would be covered by the reasons. He was unable to do so, but offered to make inquiries and provide that information today. The same applied to the grounds under new Section 21B. He said that guidance would be provided. He was unable to tell us what the guidance would be but promised that it would be provided tomorrow--today that is. This important matter of informing a respondent of the nature of the case that he has to meet under this very strange legislation, with allegations of suspicion and belief being the foundation of the police's case, just does not exist at the moment. It will not exist unless the Minister is prepared to adjourn today's proceedings until tomorrow. By that time I shall be able to comply with the requirements of standing orders. It cannot do the Government any harm because many noble Lords thought that was the result of yesterday's successful amendment on this very subject.

On the other hand, if the Government adhere to today's proceedings, there will be an unfair result in a Bill which is replete with possibilities of further unfairness.

5 p.m.

Lord Lucas: My Lords, the House was quite clear in its wish yesterday. It wished the Bill to be organised so that we could debate Report stage and Third Reading

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on separate days. The Chief Whip therefore made arrangements for amendments to be accepted until midnight. He did not tell any of us. He certainly did not tell me. He did not tell the noble and learned Lord, Lord Ackner. None of us knew about that.

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