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Baroness Anelay of St Johns: I thank the Minister for her comments on the research point that I raised and which was echoed by the noble Baroness, Lady Stern. It is tempting for governments to try to find headline figures that make them look as though they are being tough. That happens with governments of all hues. The difficulty is to ensure that one justifies that. That is why I asked about research.
I was intrigued by the part of the noble Baroness's explanation in which she said that the provision would bring us in line with Scottish legislation. My goodness! A number of times, I have tabled amendments to ask why we are different from Scotland, and the response from her and other members of the Government has been that one of the joys of devolution is to have differences. Hey prestothe Government accept that sometimes we have to be the same. She will find that I table a few more amendments of that sort in future.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Simply because we do not have to be the same does not mean that that we cannot learn from others. I am very happy to learn from Scotland from time to time, as my name demonstrates.
Viscount Colville of Culross: I have not given the noble Baroness any notice of my question and I apologise, because she may not know the answer. I was looking at relevant orders under Clause 187. Now that we have got to Clause 190, one ingredient of a relevant order is an unpaid work requirement. It is my recollectionI may be completely out of datethat when one imposed a community service order, one could do it only with the consent of the defendant, otherwise one was sentencing him to what constitutes slavery, which is in contravention of our international obligations and the European convention. Will it still be necessary to require consent for unpaid work requirements under the Bill?
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: I think that it is. I shall certainly write in confirmation, particularly if I am wrong, but I believe that unpaid work is something to which the defendant would have to agree, primarily because if one does not get his assent there may be alternatives. I shall definitely have to write once I know the precise position, because I do not know whether no means yes or yes means no, coming from that Box.
The noble Baroness said: Amendments Nos. 180 and 195AZA deal with the activity requirement. There has to be a correction. The amendments ensure that community rehabilitation centres can be used for any purpose on a community sentence, not only within the supervision requirement. I beg to move.
The noble Lord said: I have some difficulty with this group of amendments. The noble Lord, Lord Adebowale, rang me last night and asked me whether I would move the amendment on his behalf. I said I had no difficulty in doing so. This group of amendments is tied up with a number of amendments in the names of the noble Lord and my noble friend Lady Walmsley. In between are a number of amendments in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Seccombe.
My difficulty is that this morning the noble Lord, Lord Adebowale, was told that we would not reach this amendment today and that he would have the opportunity to move it on the next occasion in Committee. I am therefore reluctant to move it on his behalf. It would be helpful to know whether we intend to proceed at this stage and to move forward. If we are moving forward, I suggest that I do not move the amendments and that they are dealt with on Report. I should be grateful if I could be informed about the nature of business after ten o'clock.
Lord Grocott: We were hoping to conclude with the group beginning with Amendment No. 195AA. There have been brisk discussions with the usual channels, having moved on more swiftly than we thought. If the group cannot be moved by someone else, the alternative is to bring it back at Report stage.
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