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33MPage 28, line 42, leave out "The first" and insert "That"
33NPage 29, line 3, leave out subsection (5)
33OPage 29, line 9, leave out "both of those two conditions are" and insert "that condition is"


The Lords disagree to Commons Amendments 33H to 33O, and insist on their Amendment No. 33 in respect of which the Commons have insisted on their disagreement, for the following reason—

33PBecause the Lords maintain their view that it is inappropriate to make provision for prosecution applications for certain complex or lengthy trials to be conducted without a jury.


The Commons insist on their disagreement with the Lords in their amendment but propose the following amendments to the words restored to the Bill by that disagreement and the following consequential amendment to the Bill:—

33QPage 28, line 34, after 'where' insert '(a)'.
33RPage 28, line 35, at end insert 'and
(b) notice has been given under section 51B of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (notices in serious or complex fraud cases) in respect of that offence or those offences.'.
33SPage 28, line 39, leave out 'both of the following two conditions are' and insert 'the condition in subsection (4) is'.
33TPage 28, line 39, leave out 'must' and insert 'may'

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33UPage 28, line 41, at end insert— '(3A) The judge may not make such an order without the approval of the Lord Chief Justice or a judge nominated by him.'

33VPage 28, line 42, leave out 'first'.
33WPage 28, line 45, leave out from 'that' to 'be' in line 46 and insert 'the interests of justice require that serious consideration should be given to the question of whether the trial should'.
33XPage 29, line 1, leave out paragraph (b).
33YPage 29, line 3, leave out subsection (5).
33ZClause 42, page 29, line 9, leave out 'both of those two conditions are' and insert 'that condition is'.
33AAClause 42, page 172, line 3, at end insert—
'(aa) an order under section 305(3) bringing section 42 into force,'

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on its Amendment No. 33 and do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 33Q to 33AA.

With your Lordships' leave, I intend to speak in relation to all amendments at this stage. I hope that that will suit the hour and your Lordships' desire. I am pleased to be able to tell noble Lords that all parties have reached an accommodation in relation to the matters outstanding between ourselves and the other place. When this House considered the Bill earlier today, we reached a happy agreement on some issues, but sent the Bill back to the Commons in relation to four unresolved issues.

Those issues were on Clause 41, which is on trial by jury alone at the defendant's application, Clause 42, which is about serious fraud cases, Clause 96, which is concerned with evidence of bad character and propensity, and Clause 101, which is about offences committed by the defendant when a child. Those were all areas where this House had raised legitimate concerns that the Government had been considering very carefully. On a number of them, the other place had already proposed some possible concessions. I am pleased to be able to report that agreement now seems to have been reached on all the outstanding issues.

The Government have listened very carefully to the concerns about Clause 41. We did not intend it to be the start of what some have described, I think, as a slippery slope. We are very aware that similar provisions have worked well in other jurisdictions, as I have mentioned. However, we are prepared not to proceed with the clause, and the other House has not insisted on its disagreement with this House on the issue.

On Clause 42, we continued to be concerned that a means would need to be found to allow long and complex serious fraud cases to be brought properly to justice. As we know, there are not many cases to which the provisions are likely to apply. I am pleased to be able to report that the Government have agreed with both opposition parties to look more at the details of the possible alternatives, such as an expert panel or assessors. That can be linked with our commitment to bring forward at an early opportunity the Law Commission's recommendations on multiple offending, and our work on corruption. We have given

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a commitment that we shall not implement the provision before that further work is undertaken and has been completed. An amendment was put forward in the other place that would require implementation to be by statutory instrument, agreed by affirmative order in both Houses.

The other place has agreed that Clause 96 should remain in the Bill, amended to include the presumption that a conviction of the same or similar offence should be retained. Finally, the Government have further addressed the concerns on Clause 101, which were set out so energetically by the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley. We are specifying that a previous conviction committed while a juvenile can be admitted in adult proceedings only for an indictable offence when the conviction was for an indictable offence.

I trust that the amendments are acceptable to your Lordships, and that we can now genuinely rejoice at the successful passage of this important piece of legislation. It has taken a great deal of our time. I hope that I can say that much of that has been a very great pleasure. I would like to thank all noble Lords opposite who have participated, not least the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay, with whom I have dealt so fully on so many occasions, and the noble Lords, Lord Hunt and Lord Kingsland, to name but three. I want also to thank Members on the Liberal Democrat Benches who have been so numerous that I hesitate to mention in case I leave someone out. But I thank in particular the noble Baronesses, Lady Walmsley and Lady Harris, and the noble Lord, Lord Thomas of Gresford. The noble Lord, Lord Roper, did not participate, save for being always present. So many took part.

On these Benches, I thank all of those who sat beside me and have painfully gone through the Bill in my company. In particular, I thank my noble and learned friend Lord Goldsmith, our Attorney-General, who has discharged his duty with such distinction and ability.

Noble Lords: Hear, hear!

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I commend the amendments to the House.

Moved, That this House do not insist on its Amendment No. 33 and do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 33Q to 33AA.—(Baroness Scotland of Asthal.)

Lord Hunt of Wirral: My Lords, I want to respond to the warm and gracious words of the Minister and to thank her for her comments. There was perhaps a little problem earlier today, but it has been resolved and we can look forward. I want also to thank the Minister for the tribute she paid and to join with her in thanking all noble Lords who participated in debates on the Bill. I thank, too, those who participated in the other place. I

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believe that the quality and standard of the debates have been exceedingly high and a great tribute to the work of this House.

In conclusion, I said earlier today that this discredited Government had a tendency to interfere with the constitutional structure of this country and I believe that as regards trial by jury they tried to do so again. But it was in the view of the majority of your Lordships a step too far and I thank all those who supported the move to say that jury trial has been with us for 800 years and should remain as strong as ever.

On several previous occasions, this Government have sought to restrict the jury system and I hope that this will be the last occasion on which this House has acted to save it. I am grateful to Members on all sides who have played a part and contributed to our success again today in safeguarding our precious freedom.

I want to single out the Home Secretary. As Members of this House will know, I have always paid tribute to the work of the Home Secretary, not just because he was my pair in the other place but because I respect him as an honourable man. When he rose to verify the agreement, I knew that it would be an agreement honoured. I thank him and all his colleagues in the Home Office for having reached a sensible agreement this evening.

That we have been able to proceed in preserving trial by jury is a vindication of our system which monitors and controls the exchanges between the two Houses of Parliament. The events of the past few days are precisely not a pretext to change this House. Rather, they underline the importance of maintaining a strong and independent House of Lords. The late Lord Devlin once famously said:

    "The first object of any tyrant in Whitehall would be to make Parliament subservient to his will; and the next to overthrow or diminish trial by jury, for no tyrant could afford to leave a subject's freedom in the hands of twelve of his countrymen".

Let no one who cares for liberty, when they listen to the gracious Speech next week and the Government's plans for this House, be in any doubt that had it not been for the independence of this House the right to jury trial would have been abolished in a range of cases.

We welcome the undertakings given by the Home Secretary in relation to serious and complex trials. While we would have preferred that Clause 42 had not been included in primary statute, we can accept it on the basis that it is now, as I heard it described in the other place, effectively "on ice". The powers can be exercised only after affirmative resolutions of both Houses.

This House rarely votes down affirmative resolutions but it retains the unfettered right to do so. It would now be right for me to put the Government on notice that, should they ever seek to exercise that power, we on this side would view it as one of the rare occasions when we would feel entitled to invite the House to vote down an implementing order.

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We have reached a satisfactory conclusion today, and I pay tribute to the leadership of my noble friend Lady Anelay, my noble friend Lord Kingsland and the great support of colleagues. However, in relation to jury trial, I suspect that this House would do well to remain carefully and continually on guard.

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