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Lord Monson: My Lords, I want to revert to one of the points raised by my noble friend Lord Ackner. It would appear from the Statement that the European Court of Human Rights has, in effect, made it illegal for any Home Secretary in the future to alter any life sentence tariff recommended by any trial judge whenever the person convicted is under the age of 18. But does the ruling go further than that by effectively outlawing the judicial setting of any tariff where the under-18s are concerned?

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, again I need to remind the House that we need time to study this judgment with great care. The point the noble Lord makes is important. But we need time to reflect on the issues raised in the judgment and see properly where our responsibilities lie in the future. We need to be given that time and I am sure that we will come back to the House and provide answers to the questions that have properly been raised during this short debate.

Lord Jopling: My Lords, leaving aside the details of the judgment which we understand the Minister is

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unwilling to enlarge on at this stage, does a judgment of this sort open the way for the lawyers who acted on behalf of the two young boys in this case to go for large sums of money in compensation?

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I do not believe that to be the case. I hope it is not the case in the future. It is certainly not the case in this matter.

Armed Forces Discipline Bill [H.L.]

1.36 p.m.

Lord Burlison: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do again resolve itself into Committee on the Bill.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.--(Lord Burlison.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.

Lord Burnham had given notice of his intention to move Amendment No. 3:


    Page 1, line 11, after ("except") insert--


("(a) under active service conditions; or
(b)").

The noble Lord said: Before we were so rudely interrupted the noble Baroness was discussing the question of "What is war?". I am sure she has taken the opportunity of the period in which the House has been sitting to discover this, as have I. It may be useful, for the benefit of Hansard, that I record what I discovered.

The Geneva Convention of 12th August 1949 and the First Additional Protocol apply. This, we believe will permit derogation under Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights. But if we wish to include non-international armed conflict, we need to add the Additional Protocols of 1977. The first Additional Protocol of 1977 applies to international armed conflict only. The second Additional Protocol applies to non-international armed conflict. Those Additional Protocols have been inserted into the Geneva Conventions Act 1957, Schedules 5 and 6, by the Geneva Conventions (Amendment) Act 1995.

Perhaps I may return to Amendments Nos. 3 to 14 and 77. I am grateful for the response of the noble Baroness in relation to Amendment No. 2 when I asked for something to be reconsidered. I feel however that she was unnecessarily rude--I mean that in the nicest sense of the word--when she said that she felt we wished to prevent members of the Armed Forces from benefiting from the European Rights Act and international law. That is by no means the case. As I said when I introduced this amendment, we were talking about the practicalities of the case. However, the noble Baroness has thought it proper not to agree with me.

I have no wish to create any conflict at this stage, but I would ask that both the noble Baroness and those responsible with her for framing this Bill should look

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again at what we have said. They must realise the difficulties involved; that is the problem. It is very easy for people to sit in Whitehall and talk about how legislation is to operate, but when you get into the field it is nothing like so easy. Indeed, that is what we have been trying to emphasise and I do so again. However, in the circumstances, I do not wish to move this amendment, Amendments Nos. 4 to 14 and Amendment No. 77.

[Amendment No. 3 not moved.]

[Amendment Nos. 4 to 14 not moved.]

Clauses l to 3 agreed to.

Clause 4 [Custody during court-martial proceedings]:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean moved Amendment No. 15:


    Page 22, line 16, leave out from ("Act") to first ("section") in line 18 and insert ("at any time after the commencement of his trial by court-martial,").

The noble Baroness said: In moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 16 to 38. The amendments are necessary to overcome potential practical difficulties, which have been identified in the procedure of carrying out custody reviews. These may occur between the appointment of the judge advocate and the commencement of the trial, or in the period between finding and sentence if there is an adjournment. The main effect is to allow any judicial officer to conduct custody reviews up until the date of the trial and during an adjournment.

In the first instance, the appointment to the court of a trial judge advocate may be some time before the trial commences. In the interim, he or she may not be available, perhaps because of officiating at a trial elsewhere. To avoid the practical difficulties that this might create, the amendment ensures that custody reviews may be heard by any judicial officer until the trial actually begins, at which point the judge advocate will take over this role. For example, during an adjournment between finding and sentence, the members of a court may disperse some considerable distance so similar difficulties might arise in that case. Therefore, we believe that it would be more convenient for a judicial officer to have jurisdiction rather than convening the whole court every eight days to review custody.

These are straightforward and practical amendments. The sole basis for them is to ensure that as much flexibility as possible is available to the services in the day-to-day administration of the new system of custody. In addition, to allude to the discussion that Members of the Committee had earlier on Amendment No. 1, I should also like to point out that identical amendments are required to be tabled for each of the three service Acts and that may, possibly, make the changes appear somewhat more numerous than is really the case. Quite a number of amendments have been tabled in my name, all addressing the same issues. However, they are multiplied by a factor of two or, in some cases, a factor of three because of the various discipline Acts with

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which we have to deal. That applies to the amendments relating to all the clauses and not just those relating to Clause 1. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean moved Amendment Nos. 16 to 32:


    Page 22, line 21, leave out from beginning to ("in") in line 22.


    Page 22, line 24, after ("accused,") insert ("references to a judicial officer").


    Page 22, leave out lines 26 and 27.


    Page 22, line 32, leave out ("court-martial") and insert ("judicial officer").


    Page 22, leave out lines 44 and 45.


    Page 23, line 4, leave out from ("Act") to first ("section") in line 6 and insert ("at any time after the commencement of his trial by court-martial,").


    Page 23, line 9, leave out from beginning to ("in") in line 10.


    Page 23, line 12, after ("accused,") insert ("references to a judicial officer").


    Page 23, leave out lines 14 and 15.


    Page 23, line 20, leave out ("court-martial") and insert ("judicial officer").


    Page 23, leave out lines 32 and 33.


    Page 23, line 37, leave out from ("Act") to first ("section") in line 39 and insert ("at any time after the commencement of his trial by court-martial,").


    Page 23, line 42, leave out from beginning to ("in") in line 43.


    Page 23, line 45, after ("accused,") insert ("references to a judicial officer").


    Page 24, leave out lines 1 and 2.


    Page 24, line 7, leave out ("court-martial") and insert ("judicial officer").


    Page 24, leave out lines 19 and 20.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 4, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 5 [Release from custody after charge or during proceedings]:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean moved Amendments Nos. 33 to 38:


    Page 24, line 25, leave out (", judge advocate or court-martial") and insert ("or judge advocate").


    Page 24, line 35, leave out (", judge advocate or court-martial") and insert ("or judge advocate").


    Page 25, line 4, leave out (", judge advocate or court-martial") and insert ("or judge advocate").


    Page 25, line 14, leave out ("judge advocate or court-martial") and insert ("or judge advocate").


    Page 25, line 29, leave out (", judge advocate or court-martial") and insert ("or judge advocate").


    Page 25, line 39, leave out (", judge advocate or court-martial") and insert ("or judge advocate").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 5, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 6 [Arrest during proceedings]:


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