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Lord Chesham: My Lords, it is important that we set the concerns about human rights in a broader context. We want Turkey firmly anchored to western institutions. The closer Turkey is to western institutions, the better we are able to put across our concerns on human rights and the more influence we can bring to bear. Co-operation is a much more effective approach than confrontation.

Lord Wyatt of Weeford: My Lords, will the Minister give an assurance that so long as human rights are treated in Turkey in much the same way as they are treated in Bosnia, we will oppose Turkey joining the European Union?

Lord Chesham: My Lords, I wish to stress the point that I have made; namely, that the closer we can get to Turkey, the more influence we can put on it to make certain that the human rights situation is properly regarded.

Lord Jenkins of Putney: My Lords, will the noble Lord answer the specific question put by my noble friend Lord Cledwyn concerning reference to the United Nations?

Lord Chesham: My Lords, I cannot answer that question. I shall write to the noble Lord with the answer.

Lord Rea: My Lords, is the noble Lord aware that in the recent elections in Turkey there was widespread intimidation of supporters and members of HADEP--the party that represents Kurdish interests--as well as the inability of many of the displaced persons to vote at all, with the result that that party did not gain representation in the Turkish Parliament? Will this not drive Kurdish people to support the PKK, whereas if they had had democratic representation in parliament, that might possibly have moved them away from supporting that particular organisation?

Lord Chesham: My Lords, some problems did occur in the election on 24th December. We are grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Hylton, who is not present, for sharing with us his observations following his visit to Turkey in December, in particular on the situation in the south east. It is unfortunate that the 10 per cent. national threshold prevented smaller parties from winning seats in parliament. Neither HADEP nor MHP is represented

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in that parliament. However, HADEP did well in areas where it was expected to do so. There is no doubt that some harassment of the HADEP party took place. However, it is not clear that that affected the party's performance in the polls. The outcome of the general election for the three largest parties broadly reflected the preference of the people.

Lord Stoddart of Swindon: My Lords, can the noble Lord explain why closer ties with Turkey are deemed to be the best way to eliminate human rights abuses in that country, whereas in the case of Nigeria, where abuses of human rights have taken place and still occur, isolation is recommended?

Lord Chesham: My Lords, that is slightly wide of the Question on the Order Paper. I remind your Lordships that there will be a full debate on this matter on 14th February.

Lord Stallard: My Lords, the noble Lord seems to be optimistic about the outcome of discussions with Turkey. On what does he base his optimism? How does he equate that with the abysmal record of Turkey over Cyprus, despite 20 or so years of negotiation?

Lord Chesham: My Lords, I would hope that one could always be optimistic in these matters. There is still much room for improvement. We shall urge the new Turkish Government, when in place, to maintain the momentum of democratic and human rights reforms and in relation to Cyprus.

Lord Avebury: My Lords, has the Minister noticed that in the annual report of the OSCE reference is made to 12 conflict situations in the region where the OSCE is involved in conflict resolution and crisis management and that the situation in the south east of Turkey is the one instance where the OSCE is excluded? How does the noble Lord reconcile that fact with his assurance that membership by Turkey of western institutions will enable us to have any influence on it?

Lord Chesham: My Lords, I am afraid that I rather lost the thread of that question. Is the noble Lord prepared to repeat it?

Lord Avebury: My Lords, briefly, how does the noble Lord reconcile the fact that Turkey has been a member of the OSCE for many years but has not allowed the OSCE to visit the region with his assurance to the House that Turkey's membership of western institutions will enable us to influence it in the direction of better observance of human rights?

Lord Chesham: My Lords, we continue to stress to the Turks the importance of respecting international obligations on human rights. However, we believe that a more interventionist approach, such as using all enforceable mechanisms available through the OSCE, would be counterproductive. Turkey invited the OSCE parliamentary assembly delegation to visit in May 1995.

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If interventionist mechanisms had been applied the delegation might not have been able to enter the country at all.

Edinburgh Assay Office Order Confirmation Bill

Considered on report.

Arbitration Bill [H.L.]

Lord Fraser of Carmyllie: My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Moved, That the order of commitment to a special Public Bill Committee of 18th January last be discharged and that the Bill be committed to a Committee in the Moses Room.--(Lord Fraser of Carmyllie.)

Lord Wilberforce: My Lords, from these Benches I should like to express gratitude to the noble and learned Lord for his decision.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Criminal Procedure and Investigations Bill [H.L.]

3.4 p.m.

The Minister of State, Home Office

Baroness Blatch): My Lords, I beg to move that the Bill be now further considered on Report.

Moved, That the Bill be further considered on Report.--(Baroness Blatch.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Clause 15 [Introduction]:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 46:

Page 9, line 32, after ("officers") insert ("or officers of another investigating agency").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 46 I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 80 and 81. These are the first amendments on Report which deal with Part II of the Bill, which relates to criminal investigations, and in particular with the code of practice. Part II of the Bill consists, in effect, of a summary of the most important issues raised in the code of practice.

Those who were present on 19th December will know that there were differences between the Minister and myself on how best to approach these matters. I hasten to say that those differences were political and procedural rather than personal. I am very glad to say that as a result of discussions which took place on that day the Minister has sent to me and to other noble Lords who have expressed an interest in these matters a full and helpful letter--perhaps it is best described as a discussion paper--in which she addresses the issues

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raised in our Committee stage amendments to the code of practice, including those which in the end were not moved.

The Minister's letter was accompanied by a version of the code of practice which incorporated our amendments in order to see what the effect of those amendments should be. She followed up the letter by readily agreeing to a most helpful meeting, at which we were able to discuss all the issues raised by the code of practice and also other issues. I want to begin my remarks this afternoon by paying tribute to the noble Baroness for the co-operation that she has shown in ensuring that our debates on the code of practice are as helpful as possible.

It is important that those debates should be as helpful and as full as is necessary because, as the Minister made clear before Christmas, the code of practice is still in the process of finalisation. It is still out to consultation and views are still coming in. The debates ought to make, and I hope will make, a substantial contribution to the consultation process. Although they do not arise in consideration of the present amendments, your Lordships will have noted that Amendments Nos. 74 to 77 and 119, some of which are in my name and some in the Minister's name, address the issues both of formal consultation on the code of practice and of parliamentary approval of the code of practice which we urged at the Committee stage.

Again, without anticipating in detail the debate which will take place on that amendment, I am glad to say that the outcome of those discussions and the further consideration by the Minister and her officials has been that the Government have agreed with the Select Committee on Delegated Legislation that the code of practice, which is such an important part of this Bill, shall be subject to formal consultation and to approval by Parliament in due course. Therefore, I believe that that issue, which might have divided us, will no longer divide us. The views that we expressed at an earlier stage have been not merely taken into account but accepted by the Government at this stage.

I hope that that fact will colour the way in which we debate specific issues relating to the code of practice. That is the spirit in which I want to address the issues. We may still disagree about particular aspects of them. It may be that the Government will find it possible to agree to some of the suggestions that we made in amendments tabled in Committee and in amendments tabled again today. It is certainly true that, following correspondence and talks, we have found it possible to amend some of our own Committee stage amendments in order to recognise the justice of the points that the Government have made and to remove some of the anomalies which they pointed out as regards the amendments. Of course, we should have preferred the Bill to have been produced for Second Reading in its final form rather than subject to so many amendments. Of course, we should have preferred the code of practice to have been available at the outset rather than only a few days before the Committee stage. However, I

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recognise that the Minister and her officials have done the best they can in the intervening period to remedy those initial defects.

Amendments Nos. 46, 80 and 81 are concerned with the issue as regards to whom the code of practice applies. Amendment No. 46 was moved and debated at Committee stage and, if I may say so, we had some rather extraordinary replies from the Minister. In part she was entirely justified in drawing attention to the defect of an amendment in Clause 15 in that it did not refer to Clause 19 which provides that people other than the police shall have regard to the code of practice. I offered my apologies straightaway to the Minister for not recognising that point fully in the way in which the amendments were drafted. I hope that by adding Amendments Nos. 80 and 81 we have overcome that difficulty and can return to address the substantive issue.

Amendment No. 46 provides that the code of practice shall apply to all investigative authorities. That is reinforced--perhaps it is an alternative formulation--by Amendments Nos. 80 and 81 to Clause 19 which provide that the other investigative agencies shall not only have regard to the code of practice, as in the Bill as drafted, but shall comply with the code of practice. It seems to us essential that if a code of practice is to be complete, it shall include the ability of the police to delegate parts of their investigation to other people, and to recognise that in many investigations other people such as the local authority officials, Customs and Excise, or private investigators may have a responsibility for some parts of the investigation. If the code of practice is to be fully effective, it must cover them too. That is what we seek to achieve in the amendment.

In response to an amendment in Committee, the Minister correctly described the effect of Amendment No. 46. However, she said that it could not be done because the Bill is being put forward by the Home Secretary who was responsible for preparing the code; and that many of the people in other investigatory agencies--Customs and Excise, or trading standards officers--are under the command of other Secretaries of State.

In replying, I made the point--I repeat it--that legislation does not need to take account of such differences. Legislation is prepared by "the Secretary of State"; and that is deliberate. The titles and responsibilities of Secretaries of State may change. Legislation is put forward by government rather than on behalf of a particular Secretary of State although each Bill is presented by a specific department.

I return to the point because I did not receive a satisfactory answer from the Minister. If it is true that in order to have a satisfactory code of practice in the conduct of criminal investigations we must include in that code agencies which are not the responsibility of the Home Secretary, then other Secretaries of State will have to be involved in preparing and enforcing the code. The conduct of government requires that that should happen. Indeed, legislation constantly and regularly provides for that. It is not necessary to say in legislation on every single occasion that, for example, on producing

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an environmental measure the Secretary of State for the Environment has to be backed by the Secretary of State for Wales in so far as that legislation covers Wales. To a lesser extent, the same is true for Scotland where the system of law is different and legislation often has to be framed differently. However, the principle that government are seeing to the effectiveness of legislation rather than a specific department is well known and well understood. Denial of that principle ought not to be used as an argument against amendments of this kind.

I put it to the House, as I put it to the Committee, that if the codes of practice are to be effective, and if they are to cover, as I believe they should, all those involved in criminal investigations, then it is necessary for the codes to cover other investigative authorities and for them to be required not to have regard to but actually to comply with them. On that basis, apologising for the length of the introduction, I beg to move Amendment No. 46.

3.15 p.m.

Lord Campbell of Alloway: My Lords, I should like to associate myself with the observations of the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh of Haringey, having been the cause of part of the trouble starting at Second Reading. I am very relieved that the matter should have been resolved in this amicable way. I thank my noble friend the Minister.

I find it difficult to understand why these amendments are grouped. I wish to agree unreservedly with Amendment No. 80. However, I am under some difficulty with Amendments Nos. 46 and 81 because surely they are too wide. I agree that we must cover all prosecuting authorities including, for example, the Customs and Excise, but surely not local authorities. I seek the assistance of my noble friend the Minister on this. Is it really the intendment that this provision should go so wide; and, if so, would it not be somewhat impracticable?

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