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Lord Campbell of Alloway: I had considerable sympathy with this amendment before any noble Lord spoke. Having heard the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, I wholly accept that the sympathy was well placed. I point to just this. The reasonable grounds are no more and no less than intelligence 97 per cent of the time. Accepting that must be subject to

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the proviso as to the burden of proof and the condition under Section 14B of the Act. We shall return to that again and again.

I am not much good at citing cases, but under the old poll tax case of Benham, it is perfectly plain that these are criminal proceedings. Their substance is criminal. There is arrest, imprisonment and default. There is a substantial invasion of individual rights which could never be imposed by a civil court in any circumstances. These are criminal proceedings.

Unless the Government are prepared to accept the criminal burden of proof, we shall be bedevilled throughout this Bill with that problem and I shall not let go. That is not a threat--I never threaten--but that is what I intend to do. It is manifestly plain that it is a criminal situation with consequences for the subject. It is an assault on individual freedom. I agree that it has to be done, and I support it, but on a criminal burden of proof.

Perhaps the balance has been tipped too far and perhaps it has to be. But if there is a criminal burden of proof I will accept that, but without it I am concerned. I know that the noble Lord, Lord Bassam, has other affairs to attend to, but he may be able to read Hansard tomorrow. Perhaps he could take this matter on board. It is really not lawyers playing tricks. It is a matter of constitutional importance that affects the liberty of the subject.

Lord Faulkner of Worcester: I do not wish to go over the Second Reading ground again other than to make just one simple point. I do that not as a lawyer but as someone who has spent an enormous amount of time watching football matches not just in this country but also with the England team abroad. I have been horrified at the events that have taken place at those matches ever since the early 1970s.

To assume that somehow or other we can remove Part IV and be left with a meaningful piece of legislation is nonsense. I believe that Part IV constitutes the first attempt that we have made in this country to solve the problem of the England supporter travelling abroad. It seeks to place us on the same level as the German authorities established with the legislation that they passed immediately before the Euro 2000 competition. With hindsight, I think that it would have been better if we had passed similar legislation.

The Daily Mail of 1st June stated that,

    "German authorities ... last night began confiscating hundreds of passports from known hooligans, including many without convictions for violence ... In Germany ... politicians last month passed a law that effectively suspends the civil liberties of known soccer thugs. Armed with the new powers, police have begun confiscating their passports, which will be held for the duration of the tournament. German interior minister Otto Schilly said concerns about civil liberties took second place to ensuring that there was little or no chance of a repeat of violent scenes involving German supporters in France for the World Cup two years ago".

That report is a little colourful. I have established that the withdrawal of passport sanction exists but is not used for soccer hooligans. However, they have

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adopted a measure which is similar to measures which are contained in the Bill; namely, they have established a reporting condition which requires people to be put under a regular reporting duty to their local police stations for particular periods of time during which they are unable to leave Germany. A stamp was put in the passports of others who were prohibited from travelling to Belgium and/or the Netherlands for a limited period of time. That restriction is applied on the basis of some kind of police proceedings to do with hooliganism, although no prior conviction is necessary.

The third area was the establishment of two databases and a special list set up for the tournament with details of thousands of people. Those people were not under a formal travel restriction but were subject to informal spot checks by German border authorities when travelling to Euro 2000 matches. People who appeared on either of those databases were then subject to a further check at the border and if there were additional reasons for suspecting they may be dangerous they were prevented from leaving the country. I do not believe that what we propose in the Bill is very different from that. I hope that noble Lords will not persist with amendments to remove Part IV.

Lord Monson: Is it not the case that within the Schengen area--Germany is within that area--you do not necessarily need passports to cross borders; you can travel with an identity card, which I believe were not taken away from the German fans in question? Will the noble Lord clarify that point?

Lord Faulkner of Worcester: My understanding is that those were suspended for the duration of Euro 2000, so that the Germans could tackle the problem in the way that I have described.

Lord Lyell: The noble Lord has waxed eloquent about the article in the Daily Mail. Who passed the legislation he mentioned? Was it federal or state legislation? I am not a lawyer. I am sure that with his background the noble Lord can enlighten me on this point. However, I remember that there was a serious prospect of disorder in a match between Eindhoven of Holland and, I believe, Leverkusen of Germany. The clubs and the relevant state authorities of North Rhine Westphalia took certain action. However, the noble Lord said that the German Parliament did or did not take certain measures. Does he believe that passing a law will mean that just because people say that they are going nowhere near a match they will not cause a disturbance in a city which could be as far away as we are from Reading?

Lord Faulkner of Worcester: I am most grateful for those comments which allow me to correct an impression that I may have given inadvertently. The Daily Mail article of 1st June gave a certain impression of what had taken place in Germany. The Germans did not need to change the law. They introduced a new regulation covering a passport restriction. Those caught breaking the passport restrictions were then

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held to have committed a criminal rather than an administrative offence. It was very much a tightening up of the regulations that were in place beforehand but which were applied specifically to deal with Euro 2000. That is what I understand my noble friend is attempting to do with future designated matches involving England.

10 p.m.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: Before the noble Lord sits down, perhaps I may ask him whether he has seen a copy of the Home Office note in relation to the German legal position vis-a-vis these issues. It was issued after assiduous attempts by members of the Home Office team to find out exactly what is the situation in Germany. Has the noble Lord seen that note?

Lord Faulkner of Worcester: I am certain that we share the note the noble Lord is referring to.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: Perhaps it would help the Committee if I read from it. It is headed "Withdrawal of passport" and it states:

    "The right to withdraw a person's passport exists, but is only used for those who have committed very serious offences, and is not used for those such as football hooligans".

Lord Faulkner of Worcester: That is exactly the extract that I read out at the beginning of my speech. It may be that the noble Lord, Lord Phillips, was not in his place when I said that.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: I was; but the impression I gained when the noble Lord was quoting from the Daily Mail was that some vast change had overtaken German law and that large numbers of people were affected. Perhaps I may read further in order to help the Committee as to reporting conditions. It states:

    "A small number of people have been put under a regular reporting duty".

As to restrictions on passports in terms of stamping them, it states:

    "A further small number of people have had a stamp put in their passports".

The net result is that,

    "There has been a suggestion that these laws are new. This is not the case".

Lord Faulkner of Worcester: The noble Lord has quoted from the same piece of paper as the one I am quoting from. If he were to go on, it is the section about databases and the stopping at frontiers which is analogous to what is being proposed in Part IV of the Bill. That is why there is a useful comparison to be drawn between the two.

Lord Alexander of Weedon: This has clarified what, for me, is an important issue in the Bill--that is, where the centre of gravity of action has been. In his speech at Second Reading, with which a number of us had great sympathy, the noble Lord, Lord Woolmer of Leeds, differentiated between the measured targeting--I hope

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that I paraphrase him fairly--of those who, on concrete information, have been properly focused on as potential subjects of a banning order and an indiscriminate attempt at ports to restrain people and to bring them before magistrates. That is a very helpful distinction. Like him at Second Reading, I found the second approach concerning and unattractive.

I have also heard suggestions that the real burden on magistrates will take place at ports. If that is right, it suggests that the centre of gravity of this operation will be substantial arrests at the port rather than earlier applications for banning orders. I understand a provision for an arrest at a port on certain, closely circumscribed conditions, but not a general provision which allows an arrest on the wide grounds stated in the proposed new Section 21A.

As I have referred to the proposed new Sections 21A to 21C, when the Minister comes to deal with the principle of those amendments, will he comment on the very clear and strong opinion raised by Justice that proposed new Sections 21A and 21C would contravene not only the European Convention on Human Rights--soon to be implemented in our own Human Rights Act--but also the provisions of European Union law? In view of the importance of this issue to civil liberties, would he be good enough by that stage of the debate to have available for us the view of the noble and learned Lord the Attorney-General on this issue? I shall be interested to hear what he will say about the validity of the issue of the opinion provided by Justice and on what authority he will say it.

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