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Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 196:

Page 124, line 17, at end insert:
(". In section 164(1) (b) (i) (Crown employment), the words from "136" to "143" are omitted.
. In section 166(5) (reciprocity with other countries), the words from "136" to "143" are omitted.
. Section 172(1) (b) (review of Board's determinations) is omitted.
. In section 177 (general financial arrangements), in subsection (3) (b) (i), the words from "136" to "143" are omitted.
. In section 178 (meaning of "trustee" and "manager"), in paragraph (b), the words from "136" to "143" are omitted.
. In section 181 (general interpretation), in subsection (3), the words from "136" to "143" are omitted.").

The noble Lord said: This amendment was debated with Amendment No. 172. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 197:

Page 124, line 18, after ("(sub-delegation)") insert:
("(a) in subsection (1), the words from "136" to "143" are omitted, and
(b)") .

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 198 had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.]

Schedule 6, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 146 and 147 agreed to.

Clause 148 [Parliamentary control of orders and regulations]:

[Amendments Nos. 198A, 198B, 198C and 198D not moved.]

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Clause 148 agreed to.

Clauses 149 and 150 agreed to.

Schedule 7 agreed to.

Clause 151 [Extent]:

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 199:

Page 93, line 3, after (" 16(2)") insert (" 61(5)").

The noble Lord said: Clause 61(5) deals with the relationship of modifications under subsection (2) (d) of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988. As taxes are an accepted matter under the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973, it is appropriate for Clause 61(5), like the 1988 Act, to extend to Northern Ireland. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 151, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 152 agreed to.

Clause 153 [Commencement]:

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 199A:

Page 93, line 23, leave out ("section 144") and insert ("sections 144 and (Equal treatment in relation to official pensions)").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 200 not moved.]

Clause 153, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 154 agreed to.

House resumed: Bill reported with amendments.

Civil Evidence (Family Mediation) (Scotland) Bill [H.L.]

7.6 p.m.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now resolve itself into Committee on this Bill.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Baroness Carnegy of Lour.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.

[The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (Lord Murton of Lindisfarne) in the Chair.]

Clause 1 [Inadmissibility in civil proceedings of information as to what occurred during family mediation]:

Baroness Carnegy of Lour moved Amendment No. 1:

Page 2, line 4, at end insert:
("(4) A certificate by the Lord President approving an organisation under subsection (2) above shall be—
(a) in such form as may be prescribed by Act of Sederunt; and
(b) admissible as evidence in any civil proceedings and sufficient evidence of the matters contained therein.").

The noble Baroness said: In moving this amendment, and if the Committee agrees, I shall speak at the same time to Amendment No. 4 which is consequential. Clause 1(2) establishes that family mediation which is protected by this Bill must be conducted by the accredited mediator and accreditation may only be to an approved organisation. That is clearly an important

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principle, given that the Bill's purpose is to render information about what occurs in family mediation inadmissible as evidence in civil cases.

Because this rule of admissibility applies to civil proceedings in all Scottish courts, it is the Lord President of the Court of Session who will grant approval to accrediting organisations. In the course of consideration of how the accreditation procedure will work in practice, it has become clear that the Lord President will need a certain amount of flexibility in the form of approval of organisations. It is also important that the means by which he conveys his approval shall not be called into question. Amendment No. 1 seeks to provide that.

The first part of the amendment states that the form of the certificate of approval shall be by Act of Sederunt, a common enough proceeding, I understand, in such circumstances. It is suggested as the right way to proceed in the Law Commission report.

The second part of the amendment establishes that the certificate of approval will be admissible in evidence and be sufficient proof in itself that the organisation named on it has been approved by the Lord President for the purposes of the Bill; that is to say, if a certificate of approval from the Lord President is presented in evidence to a civil court, the organisation to which the certificate refers is indeed an approved organisation. I hope that the Committee can accept Amendment No. 1.

I now turn to Amendment No. 4. This amendment becomes necessary because Amendment No. 1 includes the word "prescribed". The Lord President's power to prescribe by Act of Sederunt as proposed in Amendment No. 1, unlike the Secretary of State's powers of prescription elsewhere in the Bill, does not involve regulations, nor the approval of this House or another place. Amendment No. 4 therefore ensures that Clause 3(2) is not applied to an Act of Sederunt. I hope that the Committee will feel able to accept the amendment. I beg to move Amendment No. 1.

The Earl of Mar and Kellie: The two amendments expand further on the power of the Lord President to approve organisations involved in family mediation. Clause 1(2) refers to organisations concerned with family mediation which are approved by the Lord President for inclusion in the inadmissibility of evidence scheme. Clause 1(3) allows the Lord President to place a time limit on the approval and to withdraw approval at any time if unsatisfactory circumstances arise.

Amendment No. 1 would create subsection (4), explaining that approval for the organisation will be expressed in a legally backed certificate issued by the Lord President. That certificate will be the only proof required in civil proceedings that the organisation is approved; hence evidence generated during its family mediations is inadmissible. I support the amendment and believe it will establish beyond doubt the status of evidence from family mediation.

Lord Macaulay of Bragar: We have always made it clear that we shall give the Bill a fair wind through your Lordships' House, but I have not yet had an opportunity to discuss with the noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy, the question of consultation before the Lord President approves a particular organisation. The Bill does not seem

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to cover that. Unlike most Bills, it does not contain a provision stating,"The Lord President, having consulted with interested parties or with any parties designated by the Secretary of State, shall approve" an organisation.

I am not trying to be awkward, but it seems that the Lord President will have an absolute right to say yes or no to a particular organisation without any representation from that organisation. That may be a matter to return to on Report, after consultation with the Scottish Law Commission and the Government.

The Lord Advocate (Lord Rodger of Earlsferry): I am grateful to my noble friend Lady Carnegy for her explanation of the reasons for the amendments. I understand that they derive from representations made by the Lord President as to the arrangements which should be made in connection with his functions under Clause 1. I am sure that the amendments will achieve the effects which my noble friend explained and I am pleased to confirm that the Government are willing to see them incorporated in the Bill.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: Before my noble and learned friend sits down, does he have a view on the question of consultation, about which the noble Lord, Lord Macaulay, asked?

Lord Rodger of Earlsferry: Before approving any particular organisation, obviously the Lord President will have received an approach from it and will have made such inquiries as he thinks appropriate before taking a decision. It is precisely to allow him to obtain the necessary information that the power is given in the amendments.

Lord Macaulay of Bragar: Before the noble and learned Lord sits down, it is not so much a question of consultation as of allowing others to say, "This is not an appropriate body to be involved in such matters". I think that the field should be opened and that this matter should not be left to the Lord President absolutely. Nothing in the Bill states that the Lord President "shall consult" with anybody before approving an organisation.

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