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Baroness Finlay of Llandaff: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that detailed response. I continue to have anxieties, particularly in relation to possible variations that may occur and the possibility of re-opening cases. This may cause anxiety both for those who have been claimants but who have made substantial recoveries and rehabilitated well, and for clinicians who have had claims made against them and the defence unions which bear the cost.

I should like to read carefully what has been said by the Minister and other noble Lords who have contributed to the discussion. In that spirit, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 153 to 156 not moved.]

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Clause 94 [Power to alter judicial titles: Northern Ireland]:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 157:


    Page 50, line 13, leave out "or repealing any enactment (whenever passed)" and insert ", repealing or revoking any enactment"

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 158:


    After Clause 96, insert the following new clause—


"EXTENSION OF TIME FOR CRIMINAL APPEALS TO HOUSE OF LORDS: NORTHERN IRELAND
(1) Amend paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the 1978 Act (applications for leave to appeal to House of Lords in certain criminal matters) as follows.
(2) In sub-paragraph (1)—
(a) for "fourteen" (in both places) substitute "28", and
(b) for "date of the decision of that court" substitute "relevant date".
(3) After sub-paragraph (1) insert—
"(1A) In subsection (1), "the relevant date" means—
(a) the date of the decision of the court below, or
(b) if later, the date on which that court gives reasons for its decision."
(4) Amend section 32 of the Criminal Appeal (Northern Ireland) Act 1980 (c. 47) (applications for leave to appeal to the House of Lords) as follows.
(5) In subsection (1)—
(a) for "fourteen" (in both places) substitute "28", and
(b) for "date of the decision of the Court" substitute "relevant date".
(6) After subsection (1) insert—
"(1A) In subsection (1), "the relevant date" means—
(a) the date of the Court of Appeal's decision, or
(b) if later, the date on which the Court gives reasons for its decision.""

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Bassam of Brighton moved Amendment No. 159:


    After Clause 96, insert the following new clause—


"FEES: NORTHERN IRELAND
In section 116 of the 1978 Act (fees) after subsection (1) insert—
"(1A) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), an order under that subsection may make provision for exemptions from fees and remission of fees (in whole or in part).""

The noble Lord said: My Lords, the amendment will help to facilitate access to justice by allowing for the exemption from, or full or partial remission of, court fees in Northern Ireland.

The new clause provides for the insertion of a new subsection (1A) into Section 116 of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978. Section 116(1) of the 1978 Act provides for the Lord Chancellor, after consultation with the Lord Chief Justice and the Treasury, to fix the fees to be taken in the Northern Ireland courts and the Enforcement of Judgments Office.

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The new subsection will allow for any order fixing fees to provide for the exemption from, or full or partial remission of, those fees, thereby taking account of financial hardship. No amendment can be any less controversial than this one. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 97 [Interpretation]:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 160:


    Page 52, line 9, at end insert—


"(8) In this Act "enactment" includes subordinate legislation and, except where otherwise provided, any reference to an enactment is to an enactment whenever passed or made; and "subordinate legislation" here has the same meaning as in the Interpretation Act 1978 (c. 30).
(9) In sections 94(6) and 99(4)(b) "enactment" also includes Northern Ireland legislation (whenever passed or made); and "Northern Ireland legislation" here has the same meaning as in the Interpretation Act 1978 (c. 30)."

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 98 [Rules, regulations and orders]:

Lord Bassam of Brighton moved Amendment No. 161:


    Page 52, line 13, leave out subsections (2) and (3) and insert—


"(2) None of the orders and regulations mentioned in subsection (3) may be made unless a draft of the statutory instrument containing the order or regulations has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.
(3) The orders and regulations are—
(a) the first order to be made under section 4 (areas of courts boards);
(b) regulations under section 29(5) (costs in legal proceedings);
(c) an order under section 31(6) or (8) (power to make permanent provision about collection of fines by fines officers);
(d) an order under—
(i) section 68 or 75 (powers to amend enactments in connection with Criminal Procedure Rules and Family Procedure Rules), or
(ii) section 99 (power to make consequential provision etc.),
which contains any provision (whether alone or with other provisions) amending or repealing any Act or provision of an Act;
(e) regulations under Schedule (Constitution and procedure of courts boards)."

The noble Lord said: My Lords, these amendments seek to improve the parliamentary scrutiny of secondary legislation provided for in the Bill. They are designed to meet parliamentary concerns about the delegated powers in the Bill and fulfil ministerial commitments to bring forward amendments in the light of the recommendations of the Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform.

Amendments Nos. 161, 165 and 166 seek to amend Clause 98 to increase the level of parliamentary scrutiny which applies to secondary legislation under the Courts Bill. As a result of these amendments, the first order establishing courts boards under Clause 4, as amended, will be subject to affirmative resolution

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under subsection 3(a). This is in response to parliamentary concern about these areas and will ensure full scrutiny when we establish areas. Similarly, under subsection (3)(e) regulations under the new schedule on constitution and procedure of courts boards will also be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.

Under subsection (3)(d) of the amendment, any orders under Clauses 68, 75 or 99 of the Bill which contain any provision which amends or repeals any Act or provision of any Act will be subject to affirmative resolution.

These amendments follow the Government's acceptance of the recommendations contained in the second report of the Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform and fulfils the commitments to bring forward amendments which were given by myself and my noble friend Lady Scotland on 11th and 27th March.

Amendments Nos. 165 and 166 also meet a recommendation of the Select Committee by providing that fees orders under Clause 87 should be subject to negative resolution for the first time. I undertook to bring forward a government amendment when responding to an amendment spoken to by the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, on 27th March.

There are further minor amendments to clarify the scope of the power to make orders under Clause 99(3). It is likely that we shall need to use the power in this clause to make numerous amendments to subordinate legislation, particularly to change references to justices, chief executives and petty session areas. However, Clause 99 as currently drafted is too restrictive in that it limits the power to subordinate legislation made before the passing of this Bill.

These government amendments have been grouped with Amendment No. 164. That amendment, brought forward by the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay, and the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, is the same as Amendment No. 145, tabled by the noble Lords, Lord Kingsland and Lord Hunt, and moved by the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay, on 27th March. This amendment would make the first order made under Clause 8 setting up local justice areas subject to the negative resolution procedure. As I think I said during the debate on 27th March, if this amendment has been prompted by concerns that my noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor will radically alter local boundaries when making the first order, the amendment is unnecessary.

Once again, I reassure noble Lords that the boundaries of local justice areas will be the same as those of petty session areas when the first order under Section 8 is made. Paragraph 29 of the Explanatory Notes makes this clear, and we gave assurances in Committee that we will spell this out in the transitional provisions of the Bill. These provisions are now to be introduced as a government amendment in another place. As noble Lords will know, we have recently tabled over 100 consequential amendments and repeals. It has not therefore been possible at this stage to bring forward the schedule of transitional

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provisions in this House. I invite noble Lords on the Opposition Benches not to press their amendment. I beg to move.


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