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Lord Goodhart: My Lords, I have a certain regret at seeing the last of this new clause and at some suitable time I may have words with my honourable friend for being perhaps a little too frank about what I had passed to him in an e-mail.

Undoubtedly, the real protection for people against whom extradition is sought is Clause 21. That makes it a ground that to order extradition would involve a breach of the person's convention rights under the ECHR. Those include rights under Article 6.3. The purpose of the new clause was to simplify the matter and avoid some of the problems. In my view, it is clear that defendants against whom extradition is sought will rely strongly on Clause 21 as grounds for objecting to extradition. I therefore suggested that matters might be simplified and speeded up if it were possible for an overseas territory seeking extradition to say, "You do not need to go into the whole question of whether our procedures generally meet up with the rights because we will give an undertaking that in this case the rights will be fully observed.".

It is fair to say that not many states would have done that because, by implication, it suggests that their proceedings in general do not meet up with convention standards. It may be that most of the other territories would have been unwilling to accept that implication. However, I do not see that that would have involved the Secretary of State as a party to proceedings because his role would have come in only at a later stage and only if the overseas territory had chosen to rely on subsection (2).

However, I see—and I have from the beginning—that there are certain practical difficulties in the clause and on the balance of what the Government have done it is not an issue I would want to press. I want to draw attention to the fact that the Government have not chosen to reverse what I regard as the more important amendments we made to the Bill; those leaving out the gold plating and the abolition of the dual criminality rule. They are important amendments and I am pleased that the Government have allowed them to stand. In those circumstances, I have no wish to press further the retention of Clause 22.

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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, for his generosity in highlighting what we have achieved together. I want also to thank the Front Bench of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition and in particular the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay, for the way in which she has done the job so well. I thank, too, the noble Lord, Lord Hodgson. I hope that your Lordships will forgive me if I also thank my noble friends Lord Bassam and Lord Filkin for the sterling way in which they have supported me with the Bill.

On Question, Motion agreed to.


111Clause 84, page 45, line 7, at end insert— "(8) For the purposes of subsection (5), the judge should not regard as a retrial or (on appeal) a review amounting to a retrial, any proceedings that do not in particular include provision for—

(a) the suspect to be present at the retrial;
(b) the suspect to have like rights to hear and examine witnesses as he would have done at the original trial;
(c) the suspect to have the same right to publicly funded legal services as any suspect or defendant." The Commons disagree to this amendment but propose the following amendment in lieu—

111AClause 84, page 45, line 7, at end insert— "(8 ) The judge must not decide the question in subsection (5) in the affirmative unless, in any proceedings that it is alleged would constitute a retrial or a review amounting to a retrial, the person would have these rights—

(a) the right to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he had not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so required;
(b) the right to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him."

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on its Amendment No. 111 to which the Commons have disagreed and do agree with the Commons in Amendment No. 111A in lieu thereof. I have spoken to this amendment with Amendment No. 26A.

Moved, That the House do not insist on its Amendment No. 111 to which the Commons have disagreed and do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 111A in lieu thereof.—(Baroness Scotland of Asthal.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Lord Grocott: My Lords, I mentioned earlier that it was hoped we would be able to begin consideration of Commons amendments to the Sexual Offences Bill at 6.45 p.m. That remains the position and I therefore beg to move that the House do now adjourn during pleasure until that time.

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

[The Sitting was suspended from 6.19 to 6.45 p.m.]

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Sexual Offences Bill [HL]

A message was brought from the Commons, That they agree to certain Lords amendments to Commons amendments without amendment; they do not insist on a certain Commons amendment to which your Lordships have disagreed and agree to your Lordships' amendment in lieu thereof without amendment; they do not insist on a certain other Commons amendment to which your Lordships have disagreed but propose an amendment in lieu thereof to which they desire the agreement of your Lordships; and they disagree to the remaining amendment made by your Lordships in lieu of words left out of the Bill by a Commons amendment for which they have assigned a reason.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I beg to move that the Commons message be considered forthwith.

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

[The page and line refer to HL Bill 128 as first printed for the Commons.]

1AClause 2, Insert the following new clause— "Anonymity of suspects and defendants in certain cases (No. 2)

    (1) Subject to subsection (3), where an allegation has been made that a person has committed an offence listed in Schedule 3, no matter relating to that person shall be included in any publication if it is likely to lead members of the public to identify that person as the person who is alleged to have committed the offence, until and unless that person is charged.

    (2) If any matter is published or included in a relevant programme in contravention of subsection (1), the following persons, namely—

(a) in the case of a publication in a newspaper or periodical, any proprietor, any editor and any publisher of the newspaper or periodical;
(b) in the case of any other publication, the person who publishes it; and
(c) in the case of a matter included in a relevant programme, any body corporate which is engaged in providing the service in which the programme is included and any person having functions in relation to the programme corresponding to those of an editor of a newspaper; shall be guilty of an offence.

    (3) Subsection (1) shall not apply—

(a) if the person against whom the allegation has been made waives his right to anonymity; or
(b) if it is disapplied in relation to a specific person by a magistrates' court on application by a police officer of at least the rank of inspector." The Commons disagree to the amendment proposed by the Lords in lieu of the words left out of the Bill by Commons Amendment No. 1 for the following reason—

1BBecause it is unnecessary to make provision for the anonymity of suspects and defendants.

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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 1A to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 1B.

We recognise the difficulties associated with this area of law. Being accused of a sex offence often carries with it great social stigma, and the adverse publicity that often results from being linked to such an allegation can have serious consequences for a person's status and reputation.

Amendment No. 1C in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Thomas, seeks to provide anonymity to a person suspected of an offence under this Bill up to the point of charge. It also provides for circumstances whereby the reporting restrictions can be lifted either by the suspect or by a magistrates' court, including a single justice, upon application by a police officer of the rank of inspector or above or an equivalent Customs and Excise officer. It provides for a penalty of a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale. There are definitions of "publication" and "relevant programme" which follow those set out in the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.

There are a number of deficiencies in relation to this amendment. It limits its scope to sexual offences under the Bill. That statement is ambiguous. It is not clear whether it is intended to cover offences in Part 1 of the Bill only or to include those set out in Part 2 as well. It also does not make clear whether it includes offences of aiding, abetting and counselling, and so on. If the provision is limited to offences in Part 1 of the Bill, that means that sexual offences set out in previous Acts will not be covered by reporting restrictions and nor will offences relating to child pornography under the Protection of Children Act 1978, with no obvious reason why that is so.

There is no defence for the commission of the offence, except where a relevant programme is broadcast live. Therefore, the proprietor of a newspaper would commit an offence if one of his staff revealed a suspect's identity, even if he had no knowledge of that whatever. It might be said that the penalty is only a fine and that therefore it is justifiable to create a strict liability offence in those circumstances. Regrettably, we do not agree. It should not be forgotten that the result would be that the proprietor would have a criminal record.

Amendment No. 1C provides that anonymity can be lifted by the court only on application of the police at the rank of inspector or above or an equivalent Customs and Excise officer. That would place an undue burden and difficulty on the enforcement authority investigating the crime. It would also mean that the victim or the press would not be able to apply for the defendant's anonymity to be lifted. It would also be most unfortunate for any amendment on anonymity to be made to Clause 2. Such provisions immediately following a clause on the matter of rape would fail to show sensitivity to the victim of such a crime and would give undue prominence to this issue. The clause seems properly to belong at the beginning of Part 3 of the Bill.

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We have listened very carefully to the representations from those concerned about the real harm that can be caused by the reporting of defendants' details. We also recognise that much concern in such cases arises from the damaging publicity that is often generated pre-charge. We believe that informed and strengthened guidance to the police and the media is preferable to any change in legislation.

Agreement has been reached with ACPO that it will amend its media and disciplinary guidelines to all forces to give greater prominence to the rules that govern the release of information about anyone suspected of, but not yet charged with, an offence. That stronger guidance has already been put into effect, bringing the importance of the issue to the attention of police officers.

The Government have held creative and constructive discussions with the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission. As a result, the press is now looking at its code of conduct to see how it can be strengthened to ensure that those suspected of but not yet charged with offences are not named in the media. The Government have gone much further than the proposed amendment.

We have made it clear in our dealings with the police and the media that we expect them to apply such self-regulation in relation to all offences, including the heinous crime of murder. The Government have never been of the view that sexual offences should be singled out in the way proposed by the amendment.

We understand why the noble Lord, Lord Thomas of Gresford, has sought—properly, in his view—to press the amendments. We understand, too, the mischief that he wishes to see cured. We clearly wish to address that ourselves. We will address it through the regulation that will be put in place. The Government will continue to work positively with the media and ACPO to ensure that self-regulation is adhered to.

Notwithstanding the unkind analysis that I have had to make of the amendment, I assure the noble Lord that I understand why he sought to craft something that might be a little better than that brought forward before. I am so sorry that he does not appear to have succeeded.

Moved, That the House do not insist on its Amendment No. 1A to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason 1B.—(Baroness Scotland of Asthal.)

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