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Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, I suspect that my noble friend and I may disagree about the overall policy and what lies behind it in terms of the military strategy. The Statement makes clear that, although it is possible that results from military activity might produce casualties or an outcome which may lead to greater human suffering, that would be something that everybody would regret. However, it would be unrealistic to say one could possibly avoid it. Obviously, it is impossible to say that one will always avoid civilian casualties. However, I would draw my noble friend's attention to the military activity--indeed, the bombing--which took place in Iraq some months ago. By the use of precision methods and weapons, casualties were kept to an absolute minimum. That will always be the intention of anybody undertaking this type of military activity. However, it will be totally unrealistic and inappropriate to say that any sort of military action carries with it an automatic guarantee.

Lord Marlesford: My Lords, do we not now need a long-term objective into which military action can be fitted? Perhaps I may suggest to the noble Baroness the Leader of the House that by having rejected the

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Rambouillet Accord--which offered the best possible deal to the Serbs--and by his behaviour in Kosovo since that time, President Milosevic has forfeited for Serbia any further right in the involvement of the affairs of Kosovo. The international community should now aim for an independent Kosovo with a 90 per cent. population of Albanians as a separate member of the United Nations. At least then we would be clear what we are aiming at. That would be a long-term solution to that particular problem.

Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, as regards the long term, I would reiterate that which was embraced in the Rambouillet political agreement to which the Kosovo Albanians have signed up. They presumably accepted the spirit as well as the letter of the agreements which included a large degree of autonomy for Kosovo, substantial self-administration and--the point made in the Statement--an independent police force, and so on. That is clearly something at which we should continue to aim. As regards independence, the noble Lord suggested that only one side is negotiating. However, I suspect if it is only one side, we would be back in the situation we were in when discussing whether or not NATO would be prepared to fight its way in on the ground. I reiterate that that is not the Government's position. However, if two sides were negotiating on independence, we could support any solution which was freely negotiated between the parties. Frankly, that seems an unlikely solution.

Baroness Ludford: My Lords, perhaps I may raise a point following on from that of my noble friend Lady Williams concerning President Milosevic being the problem and not the solution. Have I correctly noted a moving on in the position by the Government and other NATO allies? The Statement says that if Kosovo was left to the mercy of Serbian repression, there would be a risk of re-igniting unrest in Albania and destabilising Macedonia. The attitude used to be that if one envisaged any other possibilities but Serbian repression in Kosovo, that was destabilising. Have I correctly noted an evolution in thinking? Are we now to understand that it is destabilising to allow the persistence of repression rather than to keep an open mind to other possibilities, which I believe would be a more welcome evolution in NATO's thinking? The first leads to the kind of conclusion which my noble friend pointed out; that is, that we treat existing regimes, even authoritarian ones, as necessary to stability. That is the route to the problems into which we sometimes run.

Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, as the noble Baroness rightly points out, the Statement refers to the wider regional implications. I hope that in my reply to the noble Baroness, Lady Williams of Crosby, I indicated that that was deliberate for the reasons that I set out. I described it in shorthand as a "domino theory". I think that we all understand that.

President Milosevic has not been indicted by The Hague Tribunal, although noble Lords may find that surprising. He is the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and if we want to do any kind of business

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with him on the political solution, we must continue to have contact with him. That does not mean in any sense that we approve of him, but we think that the best way to ensure the rights of others in the region is to show the strength that we are indicating that we may have to show in relation to Kosovo.

Lord Glenamara: My Lords, will the noble Baroness bear in mind that I and, I imagine, many others although supporting the Government and the Armed Forces nevertheless have grave doubts about this policy? We are not Bennites by any means, but we have doubts about this, for two reasons. First, this may have exactly the opposite effect on Milosevic from what we intend; secondly, we could get sucked into a ground war. All the talk about that today terrifies me. The noble Baroness said that NATO has no will to send ground troops into Yugoslavia, but they are already there; they are over the border in Macedonia. What happens if the Serbs attack our troops in Macedonia? It is a grave danger. I hope that the Government appreciate that, although we support them, we have grave doubts. I do not want Britain to be involved in a third Balkan war. That would be an appalling state of affairs.

Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, of course, I respect my noble friend's point of view. As he rightly says, I am sure that many people both inside and outside this House will feel extremely concerned about this. However, I am sure that my noble friend also feels that, to quote the exact words used by the noble Baroness, Lady Williams, we are faced with a "humanitarian catastrophe". We are faced with a situation which all of us find absolutely appalling in humanitarian terms. We cannot ignore that and we must take action about it. In response to various earlier questions, I have already referred to the point which my noble friend raised about the potential difficulties, crises and problems in engaging ground troops. I reiterate that, as the Statement indicates, the NATO troops which at the moment are based in Macedonia would vigorously defend any attack made on them. There is no question that they would not do so. Equally, it is not NATO's intention that they should fight their way into Kosovo to impose any sort of military solution.

Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Bill [H.L.]

5.33 p.m.

Proceedings after Third Reading resumed on Clause 1.

Lord Windlesham moved Amendment No. 3:

Page 2, line 2, leave out ("sentence") and insert ("order").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment is consequential on Amendment No. 2 which was decided on a Division shortly before the Statement. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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Lord Windlesham moved Amendment No. 4:

Page 2, line 2, leave out ("for the offence by ordering him").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 5 [Making of referral orders: attendance of parents etc.]:

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendment No. 5:

Page 5, line 10, leave out subsection (3) and insert--
("(3) The court shall not under this section make an order requiring a person to attend meetings of the youth offender panel--
(a) if the court is satisfied that it would be unreasonable to do so, or
(b) to an extent which the court is satisfied would be unreasonable.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this group contains Amendments Nos. 5 to 9 and Amendment No. 41. They are all relatively minor amendments and have been tabled to correct slight drafting oversights. By these amendments, we also intend to give sufficient flexibility to the court and the panel in tackling offending behaviour.

Amendments Nos. 5, 6 and 7 seek to ensure maximum flexibility in dealing with parental attendance. A key objective is to ensure that parents are fully involved. Your Lordships have already agreed amendments to ensure that more than one parent or guardian may be required to attend panel meetings. However, there will be some circumstances where it is not possible or appropriate for a parent or guardian to attend. The Bill, as drafted, already acknowledges that. Previous amendments to the clause have left that provision sitting a little awkwardly, so we have revised the formulation to sit more comfortably--I hope that your Lordships agree--and to make clearer the range of considerations that the court may take into account. That may include whether or not a parent was involved in the commission of a crime, the health and domestic arrangements of the parents, and the relationship between those the court proposes to require to attend with the offender and with each other.

On Report, I indicated that I would review the element of Clause 5 relating to those cases in which it will be appropriate for a court to require a local authority representative to attend panel meetings. Our original formulation followed Section 34A of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933. On reflection, I am concerned that that may be unduly rigid, restricting, as it may, the role of the local authority to those cases where it has parental responsibility following a care or emergency protection order. I think that it is preferable to use the wider formulation of "looked after" cases, as they are described in the Children Act 1989. That is a broader category, and will include those cases where a young offender is accommodated by the local authority, perhaps temporarily during a family crisis, but where the local authority has not acquired parental responsibility.

I can assure your Lordships that that will not prevent the full involvement of parents in appropriate cases, since the courts already have the power to require more than one appropriate adult to attend panel meetings. That would mean that both the parents or guardians and a local authority representative could be required to attend if the court thinks it appropriate.

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On Report, the noble Lord, Lord Cope of Berkeley, tabled an amendment which sought to remove the words "or otherwise" from the provision which precludes the inclusion of electronic monitoring in the contract. I said that I thought that that amendment was technically defective, but that I would look at it again. The phrase "or otherwise" was intended as a catch-all. The noble Lord correctly identified that there is a danger that it might catch more than we intended. Therefore, Amendments Nos. 8 and 9 will reword the subsection, omitting the words "or otherwise", and I hope that they fully meet the point most helpfully raised by the noble Lord.

Finally, Amendment No. 41 seeks to ensure that arrangements in Schedule 1 for bringing the offender before the court for breach proceedings will apply in Scotland, so that a young offender who fails to comply and crosses the Border may be brought back to court to face the consequences. That rectifies a drafting oversight and I hope that your Lordships will accept it. I beg to move.

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