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Lord Dholakia: My Lords, I, too, thank the Minister for his explanation of the order. As the noble and learned Lord rightly pointed out, it covers the revised codes of practice relating to certain aspects of the PACE Act 1984.

The pattern of crime and criminality is continuously changing and the way in which police operations are carried out requires a regular revision of the codes. The last time the codes were revised was about eight years ago. As one who has not been a banker or a businessman but who has worked as a member of the Police Complaints Authority, I believe that it is right and proper that the codes should be revised to bring them into line with the present situation.

We welcome these revised codes. I agree with the Minister that they are not contentious. They strike the right balance between the need for responsible behaviour and the removal of the unnecessary paperwork that quite often burdens our police forces.

I have two or three questions for the Minister. In terms of detention, recording and drug testing, how does the code relate to the provisions of the Criminal Justice Bill currently passing through the House of Commons? Are there to be parallel codes for other law enforcement agencies with similar powers? Given that the Crime (International Co-operation) Bill, which is going through your Lordships' House at present, will soon be enacted, revised codes will be necessary, particularly bearing in mind that police forces from Europe may carry out similar functions to those specified in the codes. Is there any provision to incorporate foreign police forces under this code or will there be a separate code of practice for them?

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Overall, we see nothing objectionable in the order, and we welcome it.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, I am grateful for the welcome given to the amended codes. I will supply the noble Lord, Lord Hodgson, with the missing pages, and I apologise that they were not available.

The first point of the noble Lord, Lord Hodgson, was on paragraph 2.11 of Code B. A designated person is defined as a person other than a police officer designated under Part 4 of the Police Reform Act 2002, such person having the specified powers and duties of a police officer conferred or imposed on them. The same definition is used in paragraph 1.13.

The noble Lord referred to the notes on Section 6 of Code C. It could be proper for a solicitor to advise a client not to answer any question, depending on individual circumstances. For example, if the police had made inadequate pre-interview disclosure, such advice might be proper. It would depend on the circumstances.

The noble Lord asked about inhalers in relation to asthma under Code C. Paragraph 9.12 relates to more serious conditions such as heart conditions, diabetes, epilepsy or a condition of comparable potential seriousness. Even though paragraph 9.5 may not apply, the advice of the appropriate healthcare professional must be obtained. It will be a question of fact in every case as to whether the condition is of comparable seriousness to those identified in paragraph 9.12. It would be wrong of me to say whether that would or would not be so in a particular case.

The noble Lord referred to whether a tape recorder should be kept on, which I think was a reference to when a complaint is made. Under paragraph 4 of Code E, if the custody officer is called to deal with a complaint, the tape recorder should, if possible, be left on until the custody officer has entered the room and spoken to the person being interviewed. Continuation or termination of the interview should be at the interviewer's discretion, pending action by an inspector under Code C, paragraph 9.2. Paragraph 4 of Code E makes it clear that the tape recorder should, if possible, be left on.

The noble Lord spoke about shared premises. Under Code B, the officer conducting the search will need to satisfy himself that he has grounds for a search and lawful authority to search. If he is wrong and a company in shared premises suffers damages, it could sue for damages for trespass in the normal way, but that is a matter of fact in every case.

On Code E, the noble Lord raised the question of clear tapes. It is understood that that must mean new tapes, for the reason the noble Lord gave. He asked whether it was our intention to take DNA samples from everybody. No, it is not, but it is our intention to bring forward further changes for extending DNA and fingerprinting for those arrested and held in police detention. We will do that in the Criminal Justice Bill which is currently in another place.

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The noble Lord, Lord Dholakia, asked about drug testing, rightly pointing out that the codes will need revision when the Criminal Justice Bill's provisions on drug testing are enacted. That is another matter to bring forward at the appropriate time.

The noble Lord, Lord Hodgson, also asked about the reduction in rank required for authorities in relation to certain issues, from superintendent down to inspector. We believe that that is a sensible and practical measure. Inspectors are extremely responsible people and we think that that is an appropriate level at which those authorisations should be given.

I think that I have answered every question that has been raised. If I have not done so, I shall certainly write to those noble Lords concerned.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Lord Evans of Temple Guiting: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn during pleasure.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

[The Sitting was suspended from 8.36 to 8.41 p.m.]

Licensing Bill [HL]

Consideration of amendments on Report resumed on Clause 4.

[Amendment No. 24 not moved.]

Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville moved Amendment No. 25:

    Page 3, line 12, at end insert—

"( ) the protection of human rights"

The noble Lord said: My Lords, the version of the Bill that we study on Report does not carry the same health statement that the Bill carried at Second Reading and in Committee, whereby the Minister says that it is in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights. I do not intend to cast any disagreeable aspersion on the Minister in moving the amendment.

The Minister will remember that the issue of human rights arose late in our proceedings in Committee. There was an exchange between the noble Lord, Lord Davies, and myself at a late stage on Clause 180, so I do not apologise for introducing this simple amendment at this stage, on the licensing objectives in Clause 4.

Section 6(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998 makes it unlawful for a public authority to act in a manner incompatible with the convention, unless compelled to do so by a primary Act of Parliament. The Government have signalled their intention to produce an Act that is consistent with the convention, but the manner through which the intention is given effect in the Bill is in some respects unsatisfactory, because the licensing objectives do not include all the convention rights.

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The objectives do not require licensing authorities to protect the following convention rights: first, the protection of property rights of licensees and others whose property may be affected by the grant of licences, in Article 1, Protocol 1, and, secondly, the right to freedom of expression in Article 10. That has already been discussed in correspondence with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in a letter from a residents' association in Soho dated 28th January. That organisation believes that this amendment is the simplest way in which to ensure that licensing authorities have duties to consider all the convention issues, and other human rights issues, that arise, without having to specify each of them in the Bill. I beg to move.

Baroness Buscombe: My Lords, I support the amendment.

Lord Davies of Oldham: My Lords, as the noble Lord identified, the Bill must be interpreted in a manner compatible with the terms of the European Convention on Human Rights. I appreciate that, in moving the amendment, he is not casting any aspersion on the ministerial position of having signed the Bill as consistent with the broad objectives of human rights.

The Government contend that, no matter how noble the aim or aspiration, the licensing objectives must focus on the objectives to which a direct contribution can be made through the licensing regime itself. In particular, conditions may be attached to premises licences, which are necessary to promote the licensing objectives. It must be remembered, however, that conditions attached to licenses or club premises certificates will, if breached, give rise to the potential for criminal sanction. Such conditions, which relate directly back to the objectives listed in the Bill, must be capable of being couched in precise terms so that the licence holder, the enforcement agencies and the courts themselves will know when criminal behaviour has occurred.

Therefore, we are not focusing in the Bill's objectives on aspirational themes. We are focusing on practical, transparent restrictions that are necessary for the promotion of the Bill's licensing objectives. For example, to assure public safety, a strict limit of, say, 350 persons could be imposed as a venue's capacity. If 351 persons were present on the premises, everyone would be clear that something had gone wrong which could lead to a prosecution because an offence had occurred. Similarly, if closed circuit television is needed to prevent crime, it can be made a condition of the licence that CCTV is present, switched on and functioning.

The protection of human rights gives rise to an array of balancing acts, between rights that recognise obligations and rights between individuals. I think that the noble Lord, Lord Brooke, will recognise the force of that argument. The right of performers, for example, to freedom of expression on the premises needs to be balanced with the right of a nearby local resident to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions

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and his home. Those are not easy judgments, as our courts know only too well, and it really would be enormously difficult for a licensing authority to frame conditions in pursuit of such an aspiration, let alone to determine whether they were necessary in any particular set of circumstances.

Of course I do not disagree that the protection of human rights should be at the forefront of the minds of everyone involved in the licensing world. It is just not appropriate to include it in the objectives of Clause 4—which are already directed at ensuring that convention rights are observed, but which are, of course, designed to reflect the appropriate consideration for a licensing system and control that properly balances a range of competing interests.

I therefore recognise the amendment's objectives—the noble Lord has expressed them cogently and given them the highest consideration—and I know their source. However, this is a Licensing Bill that focuses on the decisions and judgments that licensing authorities must make. The Minister's signature on the Bill attests to the fact that it meets the test of observing the broad framework of human rights. I therefore hope that the noble Lord will withdraw the amendment.

8.45 p.m.

Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville: My Lords, I am extremely grateful to the Minister for the care and attention that he gave to the amendment and for the thoughtfulness of his response to it. He did not suggest that it was in any sense a paving amendment to other amendments which I may move later, but I think that, as its progenitor, I can so claim. As the opening ball of a quite prolonged series of amendments on human rights, it is of a rather categoric nature, and rather more full than the opening ball of many of the matches currently taking place in the southern hemisphere. I understand what he said. We will return to the subordinate elements of this issue. Meanwhile, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

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