Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Twenty-Second Report


ANNEX

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND COURT SERVICES BILL

Memorandum by the Home Office

PART II
Protection of Children

35. This part of the Bill will complete the establishment of an integrated system for protecting children. Under this system those who 'come to notice', either when working with children or by commission of a serious criminal offence against a child, as posing a risk to children may, after a proper process, be made subject to a statutory ban on 'working with children'.

CLAUSE 25: MEANING OF "OFFENCE AGAINST A CHILD"



Power conferred on: The Secretary of State
Power exercisable by: Statutory Instrument
Parliamentary procedure: Affirmative resolution
Other relevant provisions: Schedule 4, Clause 34


36. Clause 25 refers to Schedule 4 of the Bill which is the list of relevant offences against children. Clause 25(2) confers the power on the Secretary of State to make an order by statutory instrument to make any modification of Schedule 4, which he thinks appropriate. This enables the Secretary of State to ensure that the legislation remains comprehensive in scope, covering all (and potentially new) circumstances in which an individual commits a serious offence against a child.

37. Since the list of criminal offences is a key element of the scheme, we feel Parliament should need to give positive agreement to any change before it is made. For this reason, the proposal is for any order to be made by affirmative resolution procedure.

CLAUSE 34: MEANING OF REGULATED POSITION



Power conferred on: The Secretary of State
Power exercisable by: Statutory Instrument
Parliamentary procedure: Affirmative resolution
Other relevant provisions: Clause 25


38. Clause 34 provides definitions of terms, including a definition of regulated positions that seeks to encompass all the positions and roles from which those subject to disqualification will be excluded. Clause 34(13) provides a power for the Secretary of State to amend the definition of 'regulated positions' by affirmative resolution procedure, should it become apparent that - perhaps because new positions are created or developed - there are positions not covered by this legislation that should be caught.

CLAUSE 35(1) DISQUALIFICATION IN SCOTLAND OR NORTHERN IRELAND



Power conferred on: The Secretary of State
Power exercisable by: Statutory Instrument
Parliamentary procedure: Negative resolution
Other relevant provisions: Clause 34


39. Clause 35(1) seeks the power for the Secretary of State to ensure that individuals who, under the law of Scotland or Northern Ireland are subject to a prohibition or disqualification which corresponds to the three means of disqualification provided for by clause 34, are subject to this part i.e. are disqualified from working with children in England and Wales. Statutory provisions are not yet in place in Scotland or Northern Ireland. This is intended to allow the protections provided by the integrated system to be available on a UK basis in due course.

40. The principle of extending the scheme across the UK should be debated when the clause containing the proposed order making power is discussed. If this is established there seems no reason subsequently for substantive debate on any orders laid. Negative resolution procedure is therefore considered the most appropriate way of making such changes.

(In addition the Bill is seeking to extend the regulation-making power contained in Section 9(2) and (3) of the Protection of Children Act 1999, for the purposes of the tribunal sitting in its 'review capacity'. This is for the Committee to note).


 
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