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Lord Filkin: I take the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Avebury. I am certain that such access will be in place. Indeed, in common sense and practicality, it needs to be in place to enable people to communicate with their advisers.
I should like to reflect upon the suggestion made by the noble Lord, Lord Lucas, although I wonder whether it actually takes us back to the point at which we started. However, the Government are not prepared to move from what I said in my initial response to the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay. There is always a duty on the Secretary of State to act reasonably. Therefore, as Members of the Committee know that it is already clearly implied, it is not essential to put such a provision in the Bill.
Baroness Anelay of St Johns: I cannot help but say that I am disappointed by the noble Lord's response. Although these centres are being set up as trials, what goes to the heart of the issue is the fact that such centres are the only place in which 3,000 people will live every six months. It is important for us to get this right from the first instance. My noble friend Lord Lucas was trying to provide some way out of the impasse and helpfully suggested the idea of some reasonableness as a test. Unfortunately, as the Minister observed, that brings us back to where we started. We return to the subjective test of the Secretary of State. From what the Government have said so far, I do not see enough evidence to suggest that I should trust that test.
The good will of the Minister is beyond reproach, but I must take into account what we have been told throughout the previous three days of debate. Despite the fact that the Bill has passed through the other place, we have not been promised any sight of the
Moreover, notwithstanding the Minister's assurancesand however well-meaning he may beI am reminded that behind any government Minister there looms the brooding presence of the Treasury. I should not rely on any civil servants in the Treasury, any more than I would on the Ministers in that department. But I wonder at the back of my mind what would happen if, during a future spending round, the Chancellor of the Exchequer decided that the money given to service supply at accommodation centres should not be increased, or even that it should be reduced. What would a future Home Secretary have to do to decide which of the services should be pruned? Might he decide that some services are not appropriate? Might he decide that it is all right if a church is available within one or 10 miles, whereas a disabled person might need on-site services?
I do not intend to draw out the argument, but I am deeply disappointed. There are times when it is important to provide a clear picture of what shall be provided for those whose lives will be in these centres. I feel that, on this occasion, I must test the opinion of the Committee.
Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (Baroness Scotland of Asthal) rose to move, That the draft rules laid before the House on 14th March be approved [24th Report from the Joint Committee].
The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I am grateful for this opportunity to debate as a package these three sets of rules as shown on the Order Paperthe Pathogens Access Appeal Commission (Procedure) Rules 2002, the Court of Appeal (Appeals from the Pathogens Access Appeal Commission) Rules 2002 and the Court of Appeal (Appeals from Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission) Rules 2002. These rules have each been debated and approved in the other place.
There is no statutory requirement to consult on any of these rules, but we did consult members of the judiciary on the two sets of Court of Appeal rules, and a copy of the Court of Appeal (Appeals from Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission) Rules was sent to members of the Civil Procedure Rules Committee. All three sets of rules derive from recent terrorism legislation.
The Terrorism Act 2000 was introduced following a review of terrorism legislation and put in place many of the powers needed to protect UK citizens. Following the events of September 11th, the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 expanded those powers to ensure that robust and rigorous systems are in place to take account of the changed threat. One of the new measures in the 2001 Act is to provide for better security in dealing with pathogens and toxins. The Secretary of State may issue directions to an occupier to require that any person be denied access to dangerous substances where this is in the interests of national security or public safety. This provides for the establishment of a Pathogens Access Appeal Commission to hear appeals by individualssuch as students, doctors or researchersagainst the Secretary of State's decision to deny them access to dangerous substances. The Act provides for the practice and procedures to be followed on appeals to the commission.
The commission will need to consider high classification intelligence material and ensure that information is not disclosed which is contrary to the interests of national security or the detection and prevention of crime, or in any other circumstances where disclosure is contrary to the public interest. Where the commission considers it necessary, appeals may be heard in the absence of the appellant. This will be mainly where the Secretary of State has objected to disclosure of certain material to the appellant. In these cases, the Attorney-General will appoint a special advocate to represent the interests of the appellant. I assure noble Lords that the rights of the appellant will
The 2001 Act provides for further appeal from a decision of the commission heard in England and Wales to the Court of Appeal on a question of law with the permission of the commission or the Court of Appeal.
Unless noble Lords wish me to expand further, I commend the draft procedure rules and both sets of Court of Appeal rules to the House. I confirm that it is our view that they are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.
Moved, That the draft rules laid before the House on 14th March be approved [24th Report from the Joint Committee].(Baroness Scotland of Asthal.)
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