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Public Bill Committee Proceedings: 10 March 2009          

116

 

Coroners and Justice Bill, continued

 
 

8C      

Offences: further provision

 

(1)    

Proceedings for an offence under section 8, 8A or 8B may be brought

 

within the period of six months from the date on which evidence

 

sufficient in the opinion of the prosecutor to warrant the proceedings

 

came to his knowledge; but no such proceedings may be brought by

 

virtue of this subsection more than three years after the commission of

 

the offence.

 

(2)    

For the purposes of subsection (1)—

 

(a)    

a certificate signed by or on behalf of the prosecutor and stating

 

the date on which evidence sufficient in his opinion to warrant

 

the proceedings came to his knowledge shall be conclusive

 

evidence of that fact; and

 

(b)    

a certificate stating that matter and purporting to be so signed

 

shall be deemed to be so signed unless the contrary is proved.

 

(3)    

For the purposes of sections 8A and 8B “the relevant maximum” is—

 

(a)    

in England and Wales, 51 weeks;

 

(b)    

in Northern Ireland, three months.

 

(4)    

In relation to an offence committed before the commencement of

 

paragraph 48 of Schedule 26 to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), the

 

reference in subsection (3)(a) to 51 weeks is to be read as a reference to

 

three months.”’.

 


 

Orders under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997

 

Mr Edward Garnier

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Jeremy Wright

 

Withdrawn  NC34

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘A court sentencing or otherwise dealing with a person (“the defendant”)

 

convicted or acquitted of an offence—

 

(a)    

of grievous bodily harm contrary to sections 18 or 20 of the Offences

 

Against the Person Act 1861;

 

(b)    

of any offence contrary to section 21 of the Offences Against the Person

 

Act 1861;

 

(c)    

of any offence contrary to sections 22, 23, 24 or 25 of the Offences

 

Against the Person Act 1861;

 

(d)    

of actual bodily harm contrary to section 47 of the Offences Against the

 

Person Act 1861;

 

(e)    

of common assault contrary to section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act

 

1988; or

 

(f)    

of a racially or religiously aggravated offence contrary to section 29 of

 

the Crime and Disorder Act 1998


 
 

Public Bill Committee Proceedings: 10 March 2009          

117

 

Coroners and Justice Bill, continued

 
 

may, as well as sentencing him or dealing with him in any other way, make an

 

order under sections 5 or 5A, as appropriate, of the Protection from Harassment

 

Act 1997.’.

 


 

Responsibility for publication of prohibited image

 

Mr Edward Garnier

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Jeremy Wright

 

Not called  NC35

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

A person has a defence if—

 

(a)    

he was not the author, editor or publisher of the prohibited image,

 

(b)    

he took reasonable care in relation to its publication, and

 

(c)    

he did not know, and had no reason to believe, that what he did caused or

 

contributed to the publication of the prohibited image.

 

(2)    

For this purpose “author”, “editor” and “publisher” have the following meanings,

 

which are futher explained in subsection (3)—

 

“author” means the originator of the image, but does not include a person

 

who did not intend that an image originated by him be published at all;

 

“editor” means a person having editorial or equivalent responsibility for the

 

content of the image or the decision to publish it; and

 

“publisher” means a commercial publisher, that is, a person whose business

 

is issuing material to the public, or a section of the public, who issues

 

material containing the image in the course of that business.

 

(3)    

A person shall not be considered the author, editor or publisher of an image if he

 

is only involved—

 

(a)    

in printing, producing, distributing or selling printed material containing

 

the image;

 

(b)    

in processing, making copies of, distributing, exhibiting or selling a film

 

or sound recording (as defined in Part I of the Copyright, Designs and

 

Patents Act 1988) containing the image;

 

(c)    

in processing, making copies of, distributing or selling any electronic

 

medium in or on which the image is recorded, or in operating or

 

providing any equipment, system or service by means of which the

 

statement is retrieved, copied, distributed or made available in electronic

 

form;

 

(d)    

as the broadcaster of a live programme containing the image in

 

circumstances in which he has no effective control over the maker of the

 

image;

 

(e)    

as the operator of or provider of access to a communications system by

 

means of which the image is transmitted, or made available, by a person

 

over whom he has no effective control.

 

    

In a case not within paragraphs (a) to (e) the court may have regard to those

 

provisions by way of analogy in deciding whether a person is to be considered the

 

author, editor or publisher of a statement.

 

(4)    

Employees or agents of an author, editor or publisher are in the same positions as

 

their employer or principal to the extent that they are responsible for the content

 

of the image or the decision to publish it.


 
 

Public Bill Committee Proceedings: 10 March 2009          

118

 

Coroners and Justice Bill, continued

 
 

(5)    

In determining for the purposes of this section whether a person took reasonable

 

care, or had reason to believe that what he did caused or contributed to the

 

publication of a prohibited image, regard shall be had to—

 

(a)    

the extent of his responsibility for the content of the image or the decision

 

to publish it,

 

(b)    

the nature or circumstances of the publication, and

 

(c)    

the previous conduct or character of the author, editor or publisher.

 

(6)    

This section does not apply to any publication which arose before the section

 

came into force.

 

(7)    

For the avoidance of doubt, the burden of proving or disproving, as the case may

 

be, any of the facts or matters in subsections (1) to (6) above is on the

 

prosecution.’.

 


 

Guidance on offences involving hatred on grounds of sexual orientation

 

David Howarth

 

Jenny Willott

 

Not called  NC36

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

The Secretary of State must issue guidance explaining the operation of the

 

offences under Part 3A of the Public Order Act 1986 (c. 64) that involve hatred

 

on the grounds of sexual orientation.

 

(2)    

When considering whether to consent to a prosecution for an offence falling

 

within subsection (1), the Attorney General must have particular regard to—

 

(a)    

guidance issued under subsection (1), and

 

(b)    

the importance of the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of

 

thought, conscience and religion, respect for private and family life and

 

freedom of assembly and association provided by the European

 

Convention on Human Rights.’.

 


 

Prosecution not to disclose identity of witness to other defendants

 

David Howarth

 

Jenny Willott

 

Not called  NC37

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘Notwithstanding anything in the Criminal Proceedings and Investigations Act

 

1996 or any other rule of law about disclosure of material by a prosecutor to the

 

defence, where an order is made following an application under section 70(3) in

 

a case in which there is more than one defendant, the prosecutor shall not disclose


 
 

Public Bill Committee Proceedings: 10 March 2009          

119

 

Coroners and Justice Bill, continued

 
 

to the other defendants the identity of the witness covered by the order or any

 

information that might enable the witness to be identified.’.

 


 

Abolition of rule in Hollington v. Hewthorn

 

David Howarth

 

Withdrawn  NC38

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘Notwithstanding any rule of common law to the contrary, a finding of fact in

 

legal proceedings before any court or tribunal is admissible as evidence of the

 

existence of that fact in legal proceedings before any other court or tribunal.’.

 


 

Bridget Prentice

 

Agreed to

 

That certain written evidence already reported to the House be appended to the

 

proceedings of the Committee.

 

Bill, as amended, to be reported.

 


 
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