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The Duke of Montrose: I am rather fascinated by the reply given by the noble Baroness, in which she said that she was not able to agree to my amendments "at this time". I am rather wondering at which time she will be able to agree. In the mean time, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 31 not moved.]

Clause 35 agreed to.

Clauses 36 to 38 agreed to.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 32:


"PROSECUTION OF OFFENCES INVESTIGATED BY SOCA
(1) The Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions—
(a) may institute and conduct criminal proceedings in England and Wales that arise out of a criminal investigation by SOCA relating to a designated offence, and
(b) must take over the conduct of criminal proceedings instituted by SOCA in England and Wales in respect of a designated offence.
 
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(2) The Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions must provide such advice as he thinks appropriate, to such persons as he thinks appropriate, in relation to—
(a) a criminal investigation by SOCA relating to a designated offence, or
(b) criminal proceedings instituted in England and Wales that arise out of such an investigation.
(3) The Director of Public Prosecutions—
(a) may institute and conduct criminal proceedings in England and Wales that arise out of a criminal investigation by SOCA relating to a non-designated offence, and
(b) must take over the conduct of criminal proceedings instituted by SOCA in England and Wales in respect of such an offence.
But paragraph (b) does not apply where the Director of the Serious Fraud Office has the conduct of the proceedings.
(4) The Director of Public Prosecutions must provide such advice as he thinks appropriate, to such persons as he thinks appropriate, in relation to—
(a) a criminal investigation by SOCA relating to a non-designated offence, or
(b) criminal proceedings instituted in England and Wales that arise out of such an investigation.
(5) Sections 23 and 23A of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (c. 23) (power to discontinue proceedings) apply (with any necessary modifications) to proceedings conducted by the Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions in accordance with this section as they apply to proceedings conducted by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
(6) In the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005—
(a) section 37(1) (prosecutors), and
(b) section 38(1) (conduct of prosecutions by appointed persons),
have effect as if the reference to section 35 of that Act included a reference to this section.
(7) For the purposes of this section and section (Directions as to reference of cases and proceedings to appropriate prosecutor)—
(a) "criminal investigation" means any process—
(i) for considering whether an offence has been committed,
(ii) for discovering by whom an offence has been committed, or
(iii) as a result of which an offence is alleged to have been committed;
(b) an offence is a "designated offence" if criminal proceedings instituted by SOCA in respect of the offence fall (or, as the case may be, would fall) to be referred to the Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions by virtue of directions under section (Directions as to reference of cases and proceedings to appropriate prosecutor)(1);
(c) "non-designated offence" means an offence which is not a designated offence;
(d) a reference to the institution of criminal proceedings is to be construed in accordance with section 15(2) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (c. 23); and
(e) a reference to the institution of proceedings by SOCA includes a reference to their institution by the Director General of SOCA or a person authorised by him."

The noble Baroness said: The amendments deal with the prosecution of offences investigated by SOCA. We want to ensure that the skills and experience that have
 
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been built up within both the Crown Prosecution Service and the Customs and Excise Prosecutions Office in prosecuting serious organised crime are available to SOCA.

As noble Lords will be aware, the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Bill establishes the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office which will supersede CEPO. As that Bill stands, the functions of RCPO are confined to the conduct of criminal proceedings instituted by Revenue and Customs. The new clause inserted by Amendment No. 32 extends those functions so that RCPO may also institute and conduct criminal proceedings that arise out of a criminal investigation by SOCA.

The new clause to be inserted by Amendment No. 33 provides for the issue of joint directions by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions. The purpose of those directions is to lay down criteria for determining which prosecutor will take responsibility for any given case initiated by SOCA. Amendments Nos. 34 and 58 make technical, consequential amendments. As I have indicated, the amendments will ensure that SOCA has access to the best possible legal advice during the course of a criminal investigation and that the most appropriate prosecutor can be assigned to take a case to court.

I apologise for using more acronyms than I would normally be entitled to use, but for the purpose of speed, I thought that it would be faster than giving the full names on each occasion. I beg to move.

The Duke of Montrose: I was slightly fascinated by the fact that following up the prosecution of offences investigated by SOCA we seem to be dealing exclusively with England and Wales. I want to check that the Government are happy that the situation is adequately taken care of for Scotland by the powers vested in the Lord Advocate as the one alone who can raise public prosecutions in Scotland. Perhaps his powers already cover everything included in this rather lengthy paragraph.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The noble Duke can be assured that in dealing with the provisions we did take into account the difference between the two systems. We understand that everyone is content, particularly the Lord Advocate.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendments Nos. 33 and 34:


"DIRECTIONS AS TO REFERENCE OF CASES AND PROCEEDINGS TO APPROPRIATE PROSECUTOR
(1) The Directors may give directions to SOCA—
(a) for enabling SOCA to determine whether cases arising out of criminal investigations by SOCA are to be referred to the Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions, or to the Director of Public Prosecutions, in order for him to consider whether to institute proceedings in accordance with section (Prosecution of offences investigated by SOCA)(1)(a) or (3)(a);
 
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(b) for enabling SOCA to determine whether criminal proceedings instituted by SOCA are to be referred to the Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions, or to the Director of Public Prosecutions, in order for him to take over their conduct in accordance with section (Prosecution of offences investigated by SOCA)(1)(b) or (3)(b);
(c) specifying, in relation to any cases or proceedings that are to be so referred to the Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions or the Director of Public Prosecutions, the steps to be taken by SOCA in connection with referring them to him.
(2) Directions under subsection (1) may provide for cases or proceedings to be referred to one or other of the Directors by reference to—
(a) whether the cases or proceedings relate to an offence falling within a category of offences specified in the directions; or
(b) whether any criteria so specified are satisfied with respect to the cases or proceedings; or
(c) such other matters as the Directors think fit.
(3) The Directors may from time to time revise any directions given under this section.
(4) The Directors must publish in such manner as they think fit—
(a) any directions given under this section, and
(b) any revisions made to such directions;
and they must give a copy of any such directions or revisions to SOCA.
(5) A report to which this subsection applies must set out —
(a) any directions given under this section, and
(b) any revisions made to such directions,
in the year to which the report relates.
(6) Subsection (5) applies to—
(a) a report under section 9 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (report to Attorney General by Director of Public Prosecutions), and
(b) a report under paragraph 6 of Schedule 3 to the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 (report to Attorney General by Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions).
(7) Directions under this section may make different provision for different cases, circumstances or areas.
(8) If there is a failure to comply with directions under this section in relation to the reference of any matter to one of the Directors, neither—
(a) the reference, nor
(b) anything subsequently done in connection with the matter,
is invalid by reason of anything in the directions or in section (Prosecution of offences investigated by SOCA).
(9) In this section "the Directors" means the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions, acting jointly.
After Clause 38, insert the following new clause—
"FUNCTIONS OF DIRECTOR OF REVENUE AND CUSTOMS PROSECUTIONS AS TO PERSONS ARRESTED FOR DESIGNATED OFFENCE
(1) Sections 37 to 37B of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (c. 60) (duties of custody officers; guidance etc.) have effect, in relation to a person arrested following a criminal investigation by SOCA relating to a designated offence, as if references to the Director of Public Prosecutions were references to the Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions.
(2) In subsection (1) the reference to a designated offence is to be read in accordance with section (Prosecution of offences investigated by SOCA) (7)(b) of this Act."
 
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On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 39 agreed to.

Clause 40 [Interpretation of Chapter 1]:

[Amendment No. 35 not moved.]

Clause 40 agreed to.

[Amendment No. 36 not moved.]

Clause 41 [Designation of SOCA staff as persons having powers of constable etc.]:

[Amendments Nos. 37 to 45 not moved.]

Clause 41 agreed to.

Clauses 42 and 43 agreed to.

Clause 44 [Person having powers of a constable]:

[Amendments Nos. 46 to 50 not moved.]

Clause 44 agreed to.

Clause 45 agreed to.

Clause 46 [Person having customs powers]:


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