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261BPage 86, Line 32, at end insert—

"SCHEDULE
Procedure for ending notification requirements for abolished homosexual offences
Scope of Schedule

1 This Schedule applies where a relevant offender is subject to the notification requirements of this Part as a result of a conviction, finding or caution in respect of an offence under—
(a) section 12 or 13 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 (c. 69) (buggery or indecency between men), or
(b) section 61 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 (c. 100) or section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 (c. 69) (corresponding Northern Ireland offences).
Application for decision

2 (1) The relevant offender may apply to the Secretary of State for a decision as to whether it appears that, at the time of the offence, the other party to the act of buggery or gross indecency—
(a) where paragraph 1(a) applies, was aged 16 or over,
(b) where paragraph 1(b) applies, was aged 17 or over,
and consented to the act.
(2) An application must be in writing and state—
(a) the name, address and date of birth of the relevant offender,
(b) his name and address at the time of the conviction, finding or caution,
(c) so far as known to him, the time when and the place where the conviction or finding was made or the caution given and, for a conviction or finding, the case number,
(d) such other information as the Secretary of State may require.
(3) An application may include representations by the relevant offender about the matters mentioned in sub-paragraph (1).
Decision by Secretary of State

3 (1) In making the decision applied for, the Secretary of State must consider—
(a) any representations included in the application, and
(b) any available record of the investigation of the offence and of any proceedings relating to it that appears to him to be relevant,
but is not to seek evidence from any witness.

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(2) On making the decision the Secretary of State must—
(a) record it in writing, and
(b) give notice in writing to the relevant offender.
Effect of decision

4 (1) If the Secretary of State decides that it appears as mentioned in paragraph 2(1), the relevant offender ceases, from the beginning of the day on which the decision is recorded under paragraph 3(2)(a), to be subject to the notification requirements of this Part as a result of the conviction, finding or caution in respect of the offence.
(2) Sub-paragraph (1) does not affect the operation of this Part as a result of any other conviction, finding or caution or any court order.
Right of appeal

5 (1) If the Secretary of State decides that it does not appear as mentioned in paragraph 2(1), and if the High Court gives permission, the relevant offender may appeal to that court.
(2) On an appeal the court may not receive oral evidence.
(3) The court—
(a) if it decides that it appears as mentioned in paragraph 2(1), must make an order to that effect,
(b) otherwise, must dismiss the appeal.
(4) An order under sub-paragraph (3)(a) has the same effect as a decision of the Secretary of State recorded under paragraph 3(2)(a) has under paragraph 4.
(5) There is no appeal from the decision of the High Court.
Interpretation

6 (1) In this Schedule a reference to an offence includes—
(a) a reference to an attempt, conspiracy or incitement to commit that offence, and
(b) a reference to aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of that offence.
(2) In the case of an attempt, conspiracy or incitement, references in paragraph 2 to the act of buggery or gross indecency are references to the act of buggery or gross indecency to which the attempt, conspiracy or incitement related (whether or not that act occurred).
Transitional provision

7 Until the coming into force of the repeal by this Act of Part 1 of the Sex Offenders Act 1997 (c. 51), this Schedule has effect as if references to this Part of this Act were references to Part 1 of that Act."

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 261B in lieu of the Commons Amendment No. 261 to which the Lords have disagreed.

I hope that, in relation to this amendment, I will be able to give the noble Lord, Lord Thomas of Gresford, and the noble Baroness, Lady Noakes, a little more pleasure than I could on the previous amendment.

The House will be aware that, in the other place, the Government introduced to this Bill a schedule that provided for a procedure for the removal of the notification requirements from offenders convicted of buggery and indecency between men when the activity was consensual and the victim was aged 16 or 17. However, it came to my attention, shortly before your Lordship's House was due to consider this amendment, that the procedure provided for was insufficient. This was because it referred only to the offences of buggery and indecency between men and

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omitted to include an attempt, conspiracy or incitement to commit these offences or aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of the offences.

I am pleased to say that that omission has now been rectified by my honourable friend Paul Goggins in the other place. I am therefore seeking agreement to Amendment No. 261B, which provides for a suitably revised procedure, with the relevant new paragraph at paragraph 6. I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Thomas of Gresford, will agree with the liberality of this amendment and, if it were put to a Division, would be more than content to see every lemming in this House go through the Lobby, because they would not be lemmings they would be discharging their duty. I beg to move.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 261B in lieu of the Commons Amendment No. 261 to which the Lords have disagreed.—(Baroness Scotland of Asthal.)

Baroness Walmsley: My Lords, we have just been talking about the workable solution that we have been trying to insert into the Bill. I agree with the regret expressed by the noble Lord, Lord Wedderburn, that we were unable to find a workable solution to the issue of criminalising half the teenage population of this country. However, the amendments are a workable solution. Little did I know, when I raised this issue at an earlier stage of the Bill as it passed through this House, that it would take right up until the last minute to find the perfect and accurate workable solution.

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I am delighted that a workable solution has been found. I thank the Minister for her tenacity in ensuring that this has come back in a form which I think that we all intended from the outset. The notification procedures cast such a shadow across the lives of those people put under it. It would be regrettable if the notification procedures had to be applied to those who committed acts which are no longer offences under the law. I am grateful to the Minister and, of course, we support the amendment.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I therefore take this opportunity to thank noble Lords on all Benches who have supported me and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Falconer, who held the brief before me. I thank the noble Baronesses, Lady Noakes and Lady Walmsley, and the noble Lord, Lord Thomas of Gresford, for their energy and tenacity in ensuring that the Bill is now in very good order.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Transas Group Bill

Returned from the Commons with the amendments agreed to.

Anti-social Behaviour Bill

Returned from the Commons with the amendments agreed to.

Courts Bill [HL]

Returned from the Commons with the amendments agreed to.

        House adjourned at twenty two minutes past seven o'clock.


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