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Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 190L:


The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, this group of amendments seeks to extend to Scotland the provisions for foreign travel orders in the same way as they are currently provided for in the Bill for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, thereby providing a United Kingdom-wide system of such orders.

The purpose of Amendment No. 190L is to provide that the definition is contained in subsection (2) of Clause 111 of,


    "protecting children generally or any child from serious sexual harm from the defendant outside the United Kingdom",

for the purpose of the making of a foreign travel order under subsection (3) is widened to cover the doing abroad of anything that would constitute an offence listed in Schedule 3 to the Bill if done in any part of the United Kingdom. At the moment, the definition only covers acts which would be offences if done in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The amendment effectively includes the Scottish offences listed in Schedule 3.

The purpose of Amendment No. 190M is to provide that the definition "relevant offence" at subsection (3) of Clause 112 is widened to cover criminal acts done overseas that would constitute offences listed in the specified paragraphs of Schedule 3 to the Bill being offences involving children if done in any part of the United Kingdom including Scotland. At the moment, the definition covers only equivalent offences committed in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

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Amendment No. 190N provides for appeal against the making of a foreign travel order in accordance with normal civil procedures in Scotland. It also makes clear that where an appeal has been taken in Scotland, a foreign travel order can continue to have effect pending the outcome of the appeal.

This amendment brings the procedure into line with established Scottish practice and mirrors as far as possible the foreign travel order appeals provisions that will apply in the rest of the United Kingdom as well as following the approach that we have put in place in relation to appeals against notification orders in Scotland.

Amendment No. 190P sets out the modifications appropriate to Scotland and the Scottish legal system subject to which foreign travel orders are to apply to Scotland. The procedures for the foreign travel order mirror the proposed procedures for notification orders so these modifications ensure that the various legal processes are consistent so far as concerns Scotland.

Amendment No. 190Q recognises that the Scottish equivalent to "an order for conditional discharge", which is not a competent Scottish sentence, is "a probation order". In the same way that courts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will not be able to make an order for conditional discharge in imposing sentence for breach of a foreign travel order, this amendment will prevent the Scottish courts from making probation orders for breach of a foreign travel order. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 112 [Section 110: qualifying offenders]:

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 190M:


    Page 58, line 42, leave out "England and Wales or Northern Ireland" and insert "any part of the United Kingdom"

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendments Nos. 190N and 190P:


    After Clause 115, insert the following new clause—


"APPEALS IN RELATION TO FOREIGN TRAVEL ORDERS: SCOTLAND
In Scotland—
(a) an interlocutor granting, refusing, varying, renewing or discharging a foreign travel order is an appealable interlocutor; and
(b) where an appeal is taken against an interlocutor so granting, varying or renewing such an order the order shall, without prejudice to any power of the court to vary or recall it, continue to have effect pending the disposal of the appeal." After Clause 115, insert the following new clause—


"SECTIONS 110 TO 114: SCOTLAND
(1) Sections 110 to 114 apply to Scotland with the following modifications—
(a) references to a chief officer of police and to his police area are to be read, respectively, as references to a chief constable and to the area of his police force;
(b) references to the defendant are to be read as references to the person in respect of whom the order is sought or has effect;

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(c) an application for a foreign travel order is made by summary application to any sheriff within whose sheriffdom lies any part of the area of the applicant's police force (references to "the court" being construed accordingly);
(d) for paragraphs (a) to (c) of section 114(5) there is substituted—
"(a) the sheriff who made the foreign travel order; or
(b) where the application is made by a chief constable, a sheriff whose sheriffdom includes any part of the area of the applicant's police force".
(2) A record of evidence shall be kept on any summary application made by virtue of subsection (1)(c) above.
(3) The clerk of the court by which, by virtue of that subsection, a foreign travel order is made, varied, renewed or discharged shall cause a copy of, as the case may be—
(a) the order as so made, varied or renewed; or
(b) the interlocutor by which discharge is effected,
to be given to the person named in the order or sent to him by registered post or by the recorded delivery service (an acknowledgement or certificate of delivery of a copy so sent, issued by the Post Office, being sufficient evidence of the delivery of the copy on the day specified in the acknowledgement or certificate)."

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 116 [Offence: breach of SOPO or interim SOPO]:

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 190Q:


    Page 60, line 35, at end insert "(or, in Scotland, a probation order)"

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Astor of Hever moved Amendment No. 191:


    After Clause 126, insert the following new clause—


"REVIEW OF OPERATION OF ACT
(1) The Secretary of State shall publish each year a review of the operation of this Act.
(2) The review shall cover the following matters—
(a) conviction rates in respect of the offences contained in the Act, including trends in conviction rates;
(b) practical difficulties encountered in interpreting the offences contained in the Act and their related defences;
(c) sentencing experiences in respect of the offences contained in the Act in comparison with the maximum sentences prescribed by the Act;
(d) any cases where prosecutions have proceeded in circumstances which were not envisaged when the Act was passed.
(3) The first report under this section shall cover the period from the commencement of the Act to the 31st March following the second anniversary of the commencement of the Act.
(4) A copy of the review shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament."

The noble Lord said: My Lords, Amendment No. 191 will insert a new clause after Clause 126. This new clause would require an annual review to be published and laid before each House of Parliament on the operation of the Act. The matters to be included in the review are set out in subsection (2).

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Throughout our consideration of the Bill we have encountered a number of difficulties in being sure that the legislation that the Government have drafted will deal adequately with the problems it is designed to address. The Government have tabled welcome amendments to deal with many of the issues but there remain a number which have not been satisfactorily resolved. It may help noble Lords if I draw briefly from that list in order to illustrate the purpose behind each of the paragraphs of subsection (2).

Paragraph (a) asks for conviction rates and trends in conviction rates. The clearest example to give here is that for the newly defined offence of rape. I am sure that noble Lords will have joined me in being shocked at the 2001 conviction statistics given by the Minister on our first day in Committee. Only 41.2 per cent of rape trials resulted in a guilty verdict and that compares with 73.4 per cent for all trials by jury. I think that most of us believe that that has to be wrong, but there is still no consensus on how to achieve a better result through legislation. When this Bill is enacted it will have something in it dealing with the issue, whether Clause 1 as currently drafted or something else. Paragraph (a) would ensure that Parliament kept in view the conviction rates so that if they failed to respond there would be a further opportunity for Parliament at least to debate the issues.

Paragraph (b) asks for practical difficulties encountered in interpreting the offences and the related defences. Again, we have had many issues raised here. A simple example is whether the definitions of care workers stand up and what kind of contact is determined to be "regular" for both the abuse of trust and care worker offences.

An annual review summarising the issues would indicate to Parliament whether the Government were right or whether further legislation was desirable. Paragraph (c) covers reports on sentencing experience. Many of the offences have an option of summary conviction or conviction on indictment—for which sentences vary widely.

Regarding Clause 17, for example, the offence of sexual grooming, there is an option of summary conviction. Following amendment in Committee, that now has a maximum sentence on conviction on indictment of seven years. An annual report would allow Parliament and others to satisfy themselves that the law, which is designed to catch dangerous sexual predators, is resulting in appropriate sentences.

Lastly, paragraph (d) covers cases where prosecutions have proceeded in circumstances that were not envisaged when the Act was passed. We have had some interesting discussions in Committee about how the Bill, which is often extremely widely drafted, will be applied in practice. For example, the abuse of trust offences in Clauses 18 to 22, while drafted in broad terms, is intended for offences involving 16 and 17 year-olds. We do not yet have a way of excluding from the Bill's ambit harmless sexual activity between two mentally-disordered patients or between

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consenting teenagers. However, we have been told that the Act would not be used to attack those areas. An annual review would allow all those difficulties to be kept in view.

We discussed a similar amendment briefly in the middle of the night on our last Committee day. The Minister then said that the Act must be fully operational before its success could be tested in any meaningful way. I accept that. Amendment No. 191 allows for a two-year lag before any reporting requirement would begin. I know that the Minister agrees that monitoring is important. The issue is whether the obligation to monitor and then report should be in the Act. We think that it should. I beg to move.


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