|Back to Table of Contents
|Lords Hansard Home Page
Lord Hunt of Wirral: I caution the Minister not to discard those very detailed notes because they will be necessary. Tomorrow I shall table for consideration on Report the kind of amendment that she seeks in order to be able to utilise those extensive notes and the speech that she has in preparation.
I warn the noble Baroness that extensive feelings are held on this issue by many people across the Duchy of Lancaster and elsewhere. There is a feeling that they have not been specifically consulted about this proposal, save by Mo Mowlam, albeit a short time ago. The virtually unanimous view was that this provision should be retained. Someone decided to alter that view without any further consultation on the specific proposal. That is why such strong feelings are held. We shall return to the matter on Report. Meanwhile, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
"Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 (c. 26) In section 18(9), the words "and in the entry relating to the Official Solicitor"."
The noble Lord said: My Lords, this order has been seen by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments. In my opinion, its provisions are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. The order makes minor changes to the extensive list of powers of seizure in Schedule 1 to the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001.
Part 2 of the Act, which comes into force on 1st April 2003, gives police officers and other investigators powers to seize property from premises and persons for examination elsewhere. Those may be necessary because there is insufficient time to conduct an effective examination on the premises or there is a need to use special technical equipment.
As noble Lords will recall, the provisions in Part 2 were introduced to deal with the problem identified in the case of R v Chesterfield Justices and the Chief Constable of Derbyshire ex parte Bramley, which highlighted the difficulties faced by the police where material that they are entitled to seize is contained with a large collection of material, some of which they might not be entitled to seize.
Provision has also been made in Part 2 for the seizure and retention of inextricably linked material, such as the contents of an entire computer hard-disk drive, where it is necessary to prove when specific items of information were created or amended. The legislation recognises that, with the huge increase in the use of computers, investigators need to be able to seize and forensically examine an entire disk or hard-drive to determine when individual documents have been created, amended or even deleted.
The new powers in Part 2 are not free-standing and can be exercised only in support of an existing power of seizure. Those powers are listed in Schedule 1 to the Act. The draft order will be made under Section 69 of the 2001 Act but cannot be made until it is approved by resolution of each House. Under Section 69(1) of the 2001 Act, my right honourable friend the Home Secretary has the power to add, modify and amend the powers of seizure listed in Schedule 1. The section thus provides a mechanism to allow for changes to other legislation containing powers of seizure that might need to be added to Schedule 1 or to amend it. Since the 2001 Act received Royal Assent in May 2001, new powers of seizure have been created and existing ones amended by the legislation. This order, therefore, merely tidies up the schedule to incorporate the changes. I beg to move.
Lord Dholakia: My Lords, I support the order. The Minister has given his explanation, and we are delighted that the provisions are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. I am happy with the assurance that the new powers in the order can be exercised only in reliance on an existing power of seizure and the powers listed in Schedule 1 to the Act. I support the order.
The noble and learned Lord said: I beg to move that the draft Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (Consequential and Incidental Provisions) Order 2003, laid before the House on 28th February, be approved.
Ideally, every last consequential and incidental provision would normally be settled before Royal Assent to an Act. It became clear, when we put additional provisions into the Act, including the safe country list and non-suspensive appeals, that it would be impossible to ensure that all consequential amendments had been identified prior to Royal Assent. We tabled an amendment to Section 157(4), with Parliament's agreement, giving us the power to do so later by affirmative order. This order allows for the amendment of previous statutes affected by the coming into force of the various provisions of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. They relate mainly to appeals and nationality.
The consequential amendments that relate to appeals amend Section 12 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Without them, the new appeals framework at Part 5 of the 2002 Act, which also contains new provisions on the certification of clearly unfounded claims by the Secretary of State, could not operate. The Part 5 provisions of the Act are due to commence on 1st April.
Several nationality provisions at Part 1 of the 2002 Act are also due to commence in April, including deprivation of citizenship and several categories relating to registration of citizenship. The consequential amendments that are required relate to deprivation and the ceremonies associated with citizenship.
The consequential and incidental amendments in the order are necessary to ensure that previous pieces of legislation affected by the coming into force of various provisions of the 2002 Act sit with the new legislation. The order forms a small but vital part in the restructuring of the appeals and nationality systems. I commend the order to the House.
Lord Dholakia: My Lords, many of the provisions relating to new registrations and naturalisation procedures and matters relating to appeals, such as detention, are consequential and incidental provisions. We have no difficulty in approving the order.
The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move. In my view, the measures contained in this statutory instrument are compatible with the rights protected by the European Convention on Human Rights.
It is important for those who offend to be able to reform, pick up their life again after paying the penalty and have a fresh start. As long as the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 has been in place, there has been a list of positions for which the offender, even if his or her conviction under the Act is spent, cannot escape his or her past. If asked an excepted question in respect of all past convictions by a person entitled to ask such a question, he or she must answer in respect of all past convictions, not merely those that are unspent.
The order contains several additional exceptions. The first relates to applicants for private hire vehicle drivers' licences in London. The amendment adds London's private hire driversminicabs and so onwho will become subject to licensing on 1st April 2003. The order will also cover those applying to be licensed by the new Security Industry Authority. The SIA will be responsible for licensing those employed in a number of private security industry sectors. Licensing will be introduced by sector beginning with door supervisors and wheel clampers at some time in 2004. Social workers and social care workers, including those in training, are to be registered by the General Social Care Council in England and the Care Council for Wales. This order will permit criminal records checks as part of the registration process which is due to commence on 1st April 2003.
The order also covers any employment or other work within a high security hospital; that is, Ashworth, Broadmoor and Rampton hospitals. The existing health service execption covers many, but not all, of those who work in the hospitals. This amendment is necessary to ensure that all staff can be made subject to the appropriate criminal records checks.
The final amendment concerns staff working in probation and bail hostels. All posts in those hostels involve contact with residents and thus it is proposed that the amendment should cover all staff. I commend the order to the House.
Moved, That the draft order laid before the House on 25th February be approved [12th Report from the Joint Committee].(Lord Falconer of Thoroton.)
Back to Table of Contents
Lords Hansard Home Page