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Lord Whitty: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness. I shall certainly respond.

She also raised a question of whether this should be regarded as a receipt rather than a payment. It states in Regulation 13 that, on payment:


That then provides evidence of payment. The two are inter-related. I think that the noble Baroness will find that it is normal to refer to "payment" rather than to "receipt" in regulations of this kind.

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My noble friend Lord Faulkner raised the issue of publicity. As the regulations come into effect we shall consider the need for publicity both for those seeking access and for the landowners involved.

I believe that I have now dealt with most of the questions that were put to me.

Lord Trefgarne: My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down, could he clarify the position with regard to what happens when a house owner has secured an easement, perhaps through the provision of these regulations, and then secures a dramatic change of use for those premises from simple residential purposes to light industrial use? The value of that property will then be hugely enhanced. Presumably, however, the owner would not have to pay anything more. Would that be the case?

Lord Whitty: My Lords, on any change of use the landowner would have the right to return to indicate that the valuation of the property in its legal change of use should be reflected in the easement. Therefore the difference should be paid by the new owner or the owner who had acquired planning permission for wider purposes. Indeed, even if the property had already been valued for commercial purposes, but those purposes were then significantly extended, the reflection would also apply.

The Earl of Onslow: My Lords, I am sorry to interrupt yet again but I have picked up a point from what the noble Lord said. If a man who has a large garden and a farm at the back through which people pass suddenly gets permission for change of use for housing or an industrial estate, the value of his land goes through the roof. Normally if you have a ransom strip you immediately go on holiday and open a Swiss bank account because it becomes very valuable indeed—I believe that the courts have found it to be up to a third of the value of the property.

If someone gets an enormous increase in value, it seems rather unfair on the local authority—let us say Guildford Borough Council—or the Malvern Hills Conservatives or even a private owner of common land that they should not get some of that enormously enhanced value. The 2 per cent on existing rights for houses seems absolutely reasonable and no one will argue about that, but to limit it to 2 per cent of the increased value of a whacking great commercial gain strikes me as a little unfair. It is of no benefit to the Government and it could be construed as a disadvantage to local authorities—some of which own large chunks of common land and look after it for the benefit of the community—that they should not be able to benefit from it. Perhaps the Minister will look at the issue again, think about it, and then come back to us.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, procedurally I cannot come back to the House. Clearly the noble Earl has raised an issue. Although of course we are talking about a situation where access has been established in the previous use and not about ransom strips in the

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normal sense, if there is a huge increase in the value of the land as a result of planning permission change and industrial development, 2 per cent of the increase seems a reasonable return. However, there may be situations where that is not apposite. We shall have to see how matters work out. I am certainly happy to learn from instances such as the one referred to by the noble Earl.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn during pleasure until 8.30 p.m.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

[The Sitting was suspended from 8.21 to 8.30 p.m.]

Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill

Consideration of amendments on Report resumed on Clause 7.

[Amendments Nos. 40 to 43 not moved.]

Clause 8 [Tribunals for considering removal]:

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass moved Amendment No. 44:


    Page 6, line 23, leave out "First Minister and deputy First Minister, acting jointly" and insert "Lord Chancellor"

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment and Amendments Nos. 45 and 46 are in many ways the reciprocal of Amendments Nos. 39 to 41. I beg to move.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, Amendment No. 44 removes the powers of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister to convene a tribunal to consider the removal of the Lord Chief Justice and places this power in the hands of the Lord Chancellor. Amendments Nos. 45 and 46 remove the First Minister's and Deputy First Minister's role in convening tribunals to consider the removal of any other judicial post holder. They instead provide for either the Lord Chief Justice or the Lord Chancellor to convene these tribunals.

The review recommends (at paragraph 6.136) that,


    "removal from office of a judge or lay magistrate should only be possible on the basis of the finding of a judicial tribunal constituted under statutory authority and convened by the First Minister and Deputy First Minister or the Lord Chief Justice, that a magistrate or judge was unfit for office by reason of incapacity or misbehaviour".

By removing the role envisaged for the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in this process, these amendments are directly contrary to the review. They also remove the local political accountability which the review was careful to inject into both the appointment and the removal processes.

From other amendments tabled to Clauses 4 and 5 both in Grand Committee and by colleagues in another place, it is clear that the noble Lords are again wary of the role to be played by the First Minister and

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Deputy First Minister in the appointment and removal process. It is clear that many noble Lords would prefer these powers to remain in the hands of the Lord Chancellor at Westminster with an equal role for the Lord Chief Justice as a nod to devolution.

The Government have faithfully reflected the review in this area. There are also safeguards in that the Prime Minister must be consulted before a tribunal to consider the removal of the Lord Chief Justice and other Lords Justices can be convened, and that the Lord Chief Justice must be consulted in regard to other removals.

We must have faith in the new institutions and give every opportunity for devolution to work. I urge noble Lords to examine these issues in the round and to see that they contribute something of significance, and therefore to withdraw the amendments.

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass: My Lords, I have listened to what the Minister has said. I shall not repeat the caveat that I have applied. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 45 and 46 not moved.]

Clause 9 [Lay magistrates]:

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass moved Amendment No. 47:


    Page 8, line 8, leave out paragraph (d).

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I may have been wrong in the drafting of this amendment, which seeks to remove paragraph (d) in subsection 5. I made some assumption that the following two lines applied to subsection 5(d). Perhaps I may leave matters to those who have tabled Amendment No. 48, which is grouped with this one. I am generous enough to admit that it is a better amendment than mine.

I turn to Amendments Nos. 49 and 50, grouped with this one. I do not need to argue for Amendment No. 49. It is the repeat of a previous amendment in terms of the wording. Amendment No. 50 seeks to add a new subsection:


    "The Lord Chancellor must remove a lay magistrate from office if he has been convicted of a criminal offence".

I have little to add, other than to say that the amendment makes patently good sense. Again, I believe that if the Government are not determined to sever—or at least to weaken—the link between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, they will accept the amendment.

I noted the alacrity with which the Lord Privy Seal sought to avoid my question about whether there is some external arrangement relating to the appointment of High Court judges and other senior personnel. He dodged it like a centre three-quarter by applying the question simply to an amendment that was under discussion at that time. It is a serious question; it is a general question; and one that I might appropriately put again in terms of Amendment No. 50, I beg to move.

Lord Glentoran: My Lords, I am slightly surprised at the weight that is given to the Lord Chancellor in

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dealing with lay magistrates. In relation to Amendment No. 50 dealing with the removal of lay magistrates by the Lord Chancellor, I should like to think that there would be no difference in criteria as between Northern Ireland and England and Wales. I do not know the answer, but the noble and learned Lord the Attorney-General has now joined us and I am sure that he will be able to enlighten us if the noble Baroness does know, as I am sure she does. I do not know what the Scots do up in the wild Celtic regions, but I should like to think that in this respect the Northern Ireland judiciary will operate through the Lord Chancellor, if that is the way in which the system is to be set up, and that there will be no difference in the way in which lay magistrates are removed from office for similar or identical reasons.

My amendment relates to the Lord Chancellor having a free hand. The noble Baroness said in Committee that if somebody lived 100 yards over the defined border, a decision would be needed on whether they can act. I am not sure whether that is relevant. On the issue of people convicted of a prescribed offence, once again we are trying, in a very difficult climate, to put together a criminal justice system that the whole population can believe in and trust. I warned the Grand Committee that I would go on about this. Whatever happens, we have to attempt not to play politics or to get involved in quid pro quos somewhere way down in the seamy underlying issues of the Bill. We have to be up front and make it clear that there are no overrides such as,


    "unless the Lord Chancellor otherwise determines in the case of a particular person".

That is not necessary. It is untidy. In my life as a soldier or in industry, if I produced a document detailing a well thought-out and logically argued case I would not then say at the bottom, "But if I think something different then we'll do something different". I am sure that the same applies to the noble Baroness and to the noble and learned Lord the Attorney-General, yet that happens throughout the Bill. This is another case in which a set of conditions has been seriously prescribed—referring to lay magistrates in this case—right down to subsection (5)(a), (b), (c) and (d), followed by,


    "unless the Lord Chancellor otherwise determines".


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