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I agree with that.

The amendment tabled in another place was a cross-Bench amendment. I think that it would be extremely useful if the Government accepted our amendment now, because they will know how close the vote was there. I cannot accept an argument that they may advance, namely that the world would be a safer place if this protection were taken away. Clearly any judges involved would be alive to the sort of questions that the police might ask, and I suspect that they would be sympathetic to any legitimate requests from the police.

This is a small but significant amendment. If we are to adopt post-charge questioning it must be seen as an acceptable form of law enforcement and police investigation, and I appeal to the Minister to accept our proposal.

Chris Huhne: I shall be brief, as we are pleased that progress has been made on this matter, and that the Government accept the case for post-charge questioning. Like the hon. Gentleman, we want this to be accepted as a part of English law that people can feel is making a genuine contribution and has the necessary checks and balances. That is why we would like this Cross-Bench amendment from the Lords to be incorporated into the Bill; it will allow the judge to identify the scope, and it will provide certain essential safeguards that will build this more fundamentally into English law in the long run. We will support the amendment, and I hope that, in light of what he has heard, the Minister will be able to do so as well.

Mr. Coaker: First, let me thank the hon. Members for Ashford (Damian Green) and for Eastleigh (Chris Huhne) for their appreciation of the changes we have made and the amendments we have accepted, and I would like to go through the group as a whole. I should inform the House that we agree with the Lords in respect of amendments Nos. 16 to 24, but we disagree with the amendments offered in lieu. I am sorry to disappoint the hon. Gentlemen on that, but I will explain our reasons.

19 Nov 2008 : Column 326

Amendments Nos. 16 to 20 remove the ability of a police superintendent to authorise post-charge questioning about the offence charged. Rather than authorisation by the police, all questioning will need to be authorised by a Crown court judge in England and Wales, a sheriff in Scotland and a district judge in Northern Ireland.

The amendments limit the period for which post-charge questioning can be allowed to a maximum of 48 hours before further authorisation must be sought. This 48-hour period would run continuously from the commencement of questioning and would include time for meal breaks, sleep, and consultation with legal advisers. Questioning would be authorised only if the judge deemed that it would not interfere unduly with the preparation of the defendant’s defence to the charge or any other criminal charge that he may be facing; in effect, this would prevent questioning close to, or during, a defendant’s trial.

The amendments allow the judge to authorise questioning for an offence not specified in terrorism legislation if it appears that the offence the person has been charged with has a connection to terrorism. For example, a judge could authorise post-charge questioning for the offence of murder if it appeared that it was connected to terrorism. The amendments also allow the judge authorising questioning to impose such conditions on the questioning—the location or length of the questioning, for example—as he or she deems necessary in the interests of justice. They do not, however, specify that the judge could determine the scope of questioning, unlike the Opposition’s amendments.

We had considered including in the Bill a provision that allowed the judge to impose conditions on the matters in respect of which questioning was authorised. However, we received representations and, following further consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, the police and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in Scotland, we do not believe that it would be appropriate to specify that a judge could determine the scope of police questions. We believe that to do so would, in effect, lead to the judge drawing up acceptable questions that could be put to the suspect from which the police would not be able to deviate. This has obvious practical problems. For example, what happens if the suspect mentions an alibi during questioning on which the police do not have authorisation to question? Do we really want the police to have to stop the interview and apply for further authorisation from a judge simply to ask further questions about that alibi?

We must remember that the judge may exclude any evidence unfairly obtained by means of making a ruling under section 78 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. In addition, there are safeguards that apply to the suspect during questioning; for example, they have the right to legal representation.

The roles of the police and the judiciary are clear and well understood in our criminal law. Allowing interference in the scope of an investigation by limiting the questions that can be asked would be a blurring and complication of those well defined roles.

6.30 pm

Amendment Nos. 22 to 24 remove the order-making power that allowed the Secretary of State to disapply the compulsory requirement for all post-charge questioning
19 Nov 2008 : Column 327
to be video recorded with sound. Under these provisions, all post-charge questioning will be video recorded with sound in all parts of the UK. With those brief remarks, I ask the House not to accept amendment (a).

Damian Green: I rise briefly to say that the Minister set up an Aunt Sally in his opposition to the amendment. I was not convinced by the idea that questioning would be materially disadvantaged if the judge had to define

which is the wording of amendment (b). I therefore commend amendment (a) to the House.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 208, Noes 284.
Division No. 332]
[6.31 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Amess, Mr. David
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Baron, Mr. John
Barrett, John
Beith, rh Sir Alan
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Beresford, Sir Paul
Binley, Mr. Brian
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Brokenshire, James
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Browning, Angela
Bruce, rh Malcolm
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Alistair
Burt, Lorely
Butterfill, Sir John
Cameron, rh Mr. David
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clark, Greg
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clegg, rh Mr. Nick
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Donaldson, rh Mr. Jeffrey M.
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Drew, Mr. David
Duddridge, James
Duncan, Alan
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, Mr. Mark
Foster, Mr. Don
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Christopher
Gale, Mr. Roger
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
George, Andrew
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian
Greening, Justine
Greenway, Mr. John
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heath, Mr. David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Holmes, Paul
Horam, Mr. John
Horwood, Martin
Howarth, David
Howarth, Mr. Gerald

Howell, John
Hughes, Simon
Huhne, Chris
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kramer, Susan
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Laws, Mr. David
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lidington, Mr. David
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
Maples, Mr. John
Mason, John
McCrea, Dr. William
McDonnell, John
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Moore, Mr. Michael
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mulholland, Greg
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Neill, Robert
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Mr. George
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, Mr. James
Paisley, rh Rev. Ian
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Price, Adam
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Angus
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Rowen, Paul
Ruffley, Mr. David
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Alan
Smith, Sir Robert
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Mr. Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swinson, Jo
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Teather, Sarah
Timpson, Mr. Edward
Tredinnick, David
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Weir, Mr. Mike
Wiggin, Bill
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Williams, Stephen
Willott, Jenny
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Wilson, Sammy
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wishart, Pete
Wright, Jeremy
Young, rh Sir George
Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Richard Benyon and
Mr. Crispin Blunt

Ainger, Nick
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Baird, Vera
Balls, rh Ed
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta

Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Des
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, rh Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byrne, rh Mr. Liam
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Chapman, Ben
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, rh Yvette
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs. Claire
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Dai
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, rh Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harris, Mr. Tom
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, rh John
Henderson, Mr. Doug
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hood, Mr. Jim
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, rh Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, rh Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Mackinlay, Andrew
Mactaggart, Fiona
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John

Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McCartney, rh Mr. Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McFadden, rh Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGuire, rh Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, rh Mr. Tony
Meale, Mr. Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, rh Edward
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Morley, rh Mr. Elliot
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prescott, rh Mr. John
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, rh James
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Roy, Lindsay
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Christine
Ryan, rh Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Sharma, Mr. Virendra
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andy
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui
Smith, John
Snelgrove, Anne
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Thornberry, Emily
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, rh Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Wills, rh Mr. Michael
Wilson, Phil
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Wood, Mike
Woodward, rh Mr. Shaun
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek
Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Frank Roy and
Ian Lucas

Question accordingly disagreed to.

Lords amendment No. 16 agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 17 to 33 agreed to.

19 Nov 2008 : Column 331

Clause 51

Scheme of this Part

Lords amendment: No. 34.

Mr. Coaker: I beg to move, That this House agrees with the Lords in the said amendment.

Madam Deputy Speaker (Sylvia Heal): With this it will be convenient to discuss Lords amendments Nos. 37 to 81 and 117 to 126.

Mr. Coaker: The group covers amendments to the notification, notification order and foreign travel restriction order provisions. Four substantive issues are addressed in the amendments with a further number of comparatively minor and technical amendments. First, Lords amendment No. 46 has the effect of ensuring— [Interruption.]

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order. Will Members who are not staying for the debate please refrain from private conversation or leave the Chamber quickly and quietly?

Mr. Coaker: Lords amendment No. 46 has the effect of ensuring that the notification requirements will not apply to anyone under the age of 16 on the date that they are dealt with for a terrorism or terrorism-related offence. Lords amendment No. 71 will mean that notification requirements apply only for a period of up to 10 years when someone is aged 16 or 17 on the date of their conviction for a relevant offence, regardless of the length of the sentence imposed—provided of course that the sentence is for 12 months or more.

Lords amendment No. 71 also changes the notification period for persons aged 18 or over on the date of conviction. Those sentenced to 10 years or more or to an indeterminate sentence for a relevant offence will have to notify for 30 years under the proposed amendment rather than for the indefinite notification period. Adults sentenced to between five and 10 years will be required to notify for 15 years, once again instead of the indefinite notification period. The period for persons sentenced to between 12 months and five years or given a hospital order will remain as 10 years.

I know that the rest of the amendments have cross-party support and we agree with them.

Damian Green: I rise to say simply that I started this afternoon’s proceedings by saying that the Bill had returned from the Lords in a significantly better shape than that in which it had left this House. This group of amendments is another example of that, and we are especially pleased by the change in the notification requirements for young people under 16. We think that that is a significant improvement, for which we should be grateful to the other place.

In the other place, Lord West said that he was very “hurt” that the change had been described as a “cave-in”, so I shall merely congratulate Ministers on their appropriate flexibility in agreeing to the Bill being changed in this way.

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