First, there is the issue of impunity and effective amnesty for crimes of sexual violence. Colombia has recently begun peace dialogues with the FARC guerrilla group, but if these talks are to conform with UN Resolutions 1325 and 1820, this amnesty must be reversed, Colombian women themselves must be represented, and the issue of sexual violence must be on the negotiating table from day one. Colombia has not even drawn up an action plan on implementing Resolution 1325.

Secondly, there is the issue of the attacks on, threats to and killing of women human rights defenders and even their children. This has increased markedly in the past few years. Finally, there is a lack of effective security and psychosocial support for survivors, who are often the ones feeling shame and guilt. This is exacerbated by cultural issues in indigenous communities. We know that Afro-Colombian women are particularly exposed to constant physical assaults and violence. Will the Minister therefore undertake to review the status of Colombia within the PSVI, in particular the resources available to support women’s organisations, which are documenting and prosecuting cases of conflict-related sexual violence while supporting survivors?

9.05 pm

Baroness Tonge: My Lords, I congratulate the right reverend Prelate on securing this debate. I wish to raise three practical points. First, the Foreign Secretary has stated that rape and sexual violence are used as a deliberate weapon of war. That said, will he take the lead at the G8 in calling for rape and sexual violence in conflict to be classified as a war crime?

Secondly, we had reassurances during the debate tabled by the Lord, Lord Lester, two weeks ago that after rape during conflict, women are entitled to have a safe abortion, if they want it, under international humanitarian law. Can we therefore have this specifically included in DfID’s paper on safe and unsafe abortion, so that it is quite clear? It is unthinkable that women who have been raped should be forced to continue their pregnancy, should they not want to.

Finally, NGOs often pool funds for specific projects and I have been totally unable to establish whether the USA’s ban on funds for abortion is affecting our projects in this field. NGOs that I have approached—and there are many—are unable to give me any figures at all so how can we be sure that our money, channelled through DfID, is being used for safe abortion? Please can the Minister give us some more information?

9.07 pm

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts: My Lords, I offer my thanks, briefly but sincerely, to the right reverend Prelate for having given us the chance to debate this important matter. I need to draw the House’s attention to my involvement with the charity Freedom from Torture, which offers solace, comfort and rehabilitation to refugees in the UK who have been tortured overseas. All too often, I am afraid, that torture involves rape.

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In the rest of my remarks, I want to focus on an aspect of this terrible topic that has not been raised before: that is to say the rape of men, young boys and adults. It is an equally ugly but less reported crime and one where perpetrators are rarely, if ever, brought to justice. Male rape does not fit easily into the narrative. As my noble friend Lady Eaton said, men are supposed to be strong and dominant, not vulnerable and weak. Further, male rape, which will inevitably involve anal penetration, gives rise to particularly horrific injuries. In countries where homosexuality is culturally frowned upon or remains a criminal activity, such injuries are even more likely to remain unreported and untreated.

The right reverend Prelate referred to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The American Medical Association, which surveyed that country, said that 30% of the women had been raped but that 22% of the men had been raped as well. It is not just in Africa that these stories remain unheard. One of the few academics to have looked into the issue in any detail is Lara Stemple of the University of California’s Health and Human Rights Law Project. Her study, Male Rape and Human Rights, notes incidents of male sexual violence as a weapon of war or political aggression in countries as diverse as Chile, Greece, Croatia, Iran, Kuwait, the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia.

Finally, as we inch towards the exit door in Afghanistan we are in danger of leaving behind an endemic male-rape culture. As the BBC reported recently, every police base has at least one “chai boy”, who usually looks between 13 and 15 years old. Police commanders often see it as their right to abduct a local boy from his family and keep him as a servant and sex slave. Is this what we went to Afghanistan to preserve?

9.10 pm

Lord Judd: My Lords, I express my appreciation for this debate and for the right reverend Prelate for having introduced it. It goes way beyond this House. I am a trustee of Saferworld, I also work very closely with bodies such as Amnesty International and UNA and many others of course who have accumulated vast amounts of evidence about the sickening brutality of the way rape is now used, as has been argued in this debate, as a weapon of war. All the people working day after day on these issues are really grateful for the right reverend Prelate’s pressure on this matter.

Impunity has been mentioned and the United Nations Development Programme for Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office gives one example. It is just one of a great number. In the years between 2005 and 2007, 14,200 rape cases occurred in South Kivu in the Congo. What is really disturbing is that only 2% of the perpetrators were ever brought to justice. The Foreign Secretary has put on record his conviction that effective response to sexual violence needs to be built into every aspect of conflict prevention and peaceuilding. Could we perhaps be told what progress is being made on that?

Access to justice in tackling sexual and gender-based violence in conflict necessitates improving security and justice systems. What progress is being made on that? Physical protection, medical protection, including emergency reproductive health services, particularly taking HIV and AIDS into account, psychosexual

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support and legal assistance are all essential. Are we making progress on these? Also essential is building sustained capacity of women’s organisations coupled with support and protection for the women involved because the risk to them and the threats to them can be acute. What are we doing in a co-ordinated way to meet all these points? Are we really using our knowledge and concern to influence effectively the remaining stages of our engagement in Afghanistan?

9.12 pm

Lord Hussain: My Lords, I too thank the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Wakefield for securing this debate. I would like to draw your Lordships’ attention to the sexual violence used by occupying Indian forces in Kashmir. Out of many cases, I would like to mention one incident of the night of 23-24 February 1991 when the Fourth Rajputana Rifles troopers entered the village of Kunan Poshpora in north Kashmir. This incident was reported widely by Indian media, by the UK newspaper the Independent on 19 March and the New York Timeson 7 April 1991. Amnesty International has also quoted this incident. In its judgment, the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission concluded:

“Analyzing the statements of all the witnesses/victims it transpires that at about 10 to 11 pm in the night, security personnel cordoned the village. The men folk of the village were ordered to come out and were confined in a Kothar”—

store houses. It continued:

“Then small groups of security forces made their forced entry into the houses. They had consumed liquor and then gagged the mouths of the victims and committed forced gang rape against their will and consent. The personnel from the security forces had actually turned into beasts and had lost their sense of reasoning as even minor girls of 8 years were also raped. The indecent incident continued approximately till 3/4 AM. Almost all the women folk of the village suffered some atrocities during the whole night”.

It is sad to see that no prosecution has taken place so far—not one. I ask the Minister whether the Foreign Secretary will raise this issue with his counterpart in his next meeting to bring those responsible to justice.

9.14 pm

Lord Collins of Highbury: My Lords, I, too, thank the right reverend Prelate for initiating this debate. I, too, welcome the Government’s preventing sexual violence initiative and the Foreign Secretary’s plans to use the UK’s leadership of the G8 to raise awareness and seek concrete commitments to help combat the widespread prevalence of sexual violence in conflict.

However, not only must we be tough on the crime we have to be tough on its causes. We must tackle the underlying problems of lack of empowerment, education and inclusion. I heard Justine Greening on “Woman’s Hour” this morning and could not have agreed more with her sentiments. Challenging attitudes and beliefs around gender-based violence is critical alongside the implementation of effective legislation. But I would have liked to have heard more about how we translate those positive sentiments into action. I therefore ask the Minister how much funding the UK Government are willing to commit to PSVI. How much are we asking the other G8 countries to commit? How can we ensure

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that this issue is prioritised among the G8 Foreign Ministers at the G8 meeting, and that the momentum continues after April to translate the commitments into co-ordinated and effective action?

Finally, I ask the Minister whether the PSVI and G8 messaging and funding include increasing support to survivors and broader protection systems, as well as efforts to tackle the root causes of sexual violence in conflict, including addressing gender and age discrimination and creating livelihood opportunities.

9.16 pm

Baroness Northover: My Lords, I, too, thank the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Wakefield for securing this extremely important and timely debate. In this week of International Women’s Day, I am glad that we have this focus tonight and that so many noble Lords chose to contribute, albeit briefly.

The statistics on violence against women and girls are shocking. Globally, one in three women is beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. In conflict and post-conflict situations, sexual violence can be even more widespread, as the noble Lord, Lord Parekh, pointed out. As the noble Baroness, Lady Eaton, the noble Lord, Lord Collins, and others have said, women and girls are the poorest and most marginal in society, with the least power. In conflicts, they are the most vulnerable. As the noble Lord, Lord McConnell, the noble Baroness, Lady Tonge, and others have pointed out, we also see rape being used as a weapon against the woman, her family, her community and her society. However, as the right reverend Prelate says, and my noble friend Lord Hodgson emphasised, we also see sexual violence against men and boys used to degrade and destroy. We see that now in Syria. The noble Lord, Lord Sheikh, rightly emphasised the stigma of rape.

How do we break the silence on this and change behaviours? Unless we do, we undermine the likelihood of peaceful resolutions. We know that sexual violence causes huge physical and psychological trauma. My noble friend Lady Hamwee referred to that. But it also exacerbates ethnic, sectarian and other divisions, further entrenches conflict and undermines efforts to restore peace and stability. It reduces progress towards the millennium development goals and represents one of the most serious forms of human rights violation or abuse. For all these reasons, tackling violence against women and girls is central to the Government’s work overseas. We agree with the noble Lord, Lord McConnell, that women and girls must continue to be at the heart of whatever replaces the MDGs.

This year, 2013, is a hugely important year for this agenda. We are working hard with other Governments to ensure that this year’s UN Commission on the Status of Women, whose focus is on violence against women and girls, is a success and agrees a set of robust global standards to protect women and girls from discrimination and violence. My honourable friend Lynne Featherstone is leading the UK delegation. We also want to see women and girls at the heart of the new millennium development goal framework to be published later this year. Their inclusion is critical to achieving our goal of ending extreme poverty.

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This year will also see greater government action to address the use of sexual violence in conflict as we further develop and implement the Foreign Secretary’s preventing sexual violence initiative, to which noble Lords have referred. In our own lifetimes, millions of women, men, and children have endured this horror, including in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to which noble Lords have referred, in South Sudan, in Colombia, as the noble Baroness, Lady Coussins, said, in Bosnia and in Syria. The truth today, as the right reverend Prelate pointed out, is that the perpetrators of these appalling, life-shattering crimes more often than not go unpunished.

We believe that more must be done to combat the use of sexual violence in conflict. We want the international community to address the culture of impunity that has been allowed to develop for these crimes and to increase the number of perpetrators brought to justice, both internationally and nationally. As other noble Lords have mentioned, the Foreign Secretary has placed this issue at the top of the G8 agenda for 2013. We want G8 Foreign Ministers at their April meeting to speak out against those who use sexual violence in conflict and to declare that rape and serious sexual violence amount to grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. This is a very significant step in the development of international humanitarian law. Declaring that serious sexual violence and rape amount to grave breaches sends the message that these crimes are to be treated in the same way as the most serious category of war crimes. I can therefore reassure my noble friends Lady Tonge and Lord Alderdice that these crimes will become the most serious category of war crime in international law. I can also assure my noble friend Lord Alderdice that they can be taken to the International Criminal Court. Consultation with prosecutors at the ICC has clearly identified that a lack of clarity over investigations and collection of evidence led to the low number of prosecutions in the ICC and other international tribunals. The protocol will directly address this.

We are also proposing a set of practical G8 commitments that, taken together, will promote justice and accountability and provide greater support to victims. I hope that my noble friend Lady Hamwee, the noble Lords, Lord Parekh and Lord Judd, and others will welcome them. These commitments are, first, to improve investigations and the documentation of sexual violence in conflict, including through endorsing a new international protocol; secondly, to provide greater support and assistance to survivors, including child survivors, of sexual violence, so that they can rebuild their lives and attain justice for what they have endured; thirdly, as the noble Baroness, Lady O’Loan, emphasised, to ensure that the response to sexual and gender-based violence is fully integrated into wider peace and security efforts; and fourthly, to improve international co-ordination, including through the UN, because a co-operative approach to addressing sexual violence will have a much greater long-term impact.

To underpin these international efforts, the Government have established a new specialist UK team of experts, to which the noble Lord, Lord Sheikh, referred, who can be deployed to conflict areas to help local authorities and organisations address sexual violence. This team has already been deployed to the Syrian border to help

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train local health professionals. In answer to the right reverend Prelate, we aim to work with, and support, those who can document these abuses in that area. We also plan to deploy the team to at least five other countries this year. It will go to Libya, to support survivors of sexual violence committed during the revolution; to South Sudan, to work alongside the UN and the Government to strengthen local justice; to eastern DRC, to help doctors and lawyers to investigate crimes against the hundreds of women and girls who are raped each month; to Bosnia-Herzegovina, to help courts and prosecutors address the backlog of war crimes cases; and to Mali, to provide human rights training to the Malian armed forces on preventing and responding to sexual violence. As the noble Baroness, Lady O’Loan, emphasised, in order to address these issues, we need first the law to protect and then we need to work with those who can help to ensure the implementation of those laws: the police, the judges, civil society and the media.

Our plans for the initiative have been developed in consultation with UN agencies, other international bodies, NGOs, and—I can also reassure the right reverend Prelate—representatives from faith groups. These groups have a particular role, not least because of their ability to reach out across communities. We want to continue to work closely with them as we challenge the myths and stigma associated with victims of sexual violence.

There were a number of questions. My noble friend Lady Tonge asked about the proposals we brought forward earlier this year in terms of international humanitarian law. In conflict situations, even if it is contrary to national law, abortion care can be offered where its denial would amount to torture or cruel treatment. We need now to focus very much on bringing our international partners with us on this. We are very forward-looking on this, as we have been in the area of safe abortion as well, and it is extremely important that we take others with us. However, if the noble Baroness has any evidence that UK aid is not being used appropriately and is not reaching women, will she please let us have those details?

The noble Baroness, Lady Coussins, asked about Columbia. PSVI is working in partnership with the UN special representative’s office and its team is leading on these issues in Columbia. We support that. I will be very happy to provide further details for the noble Baroness.

My noble friend Lord Hussain spoke about the abuse of human rights in Kashmir. I hear what he has to say in this regard, and we welcome the invitation by the Indian Government to the UN special rapporteur, who is to look in detail at those allegations. We are not willing to put up with abuse of human rights, wherever it happens in the world.

The noble Lord, Lord Collins, asked about funding. I will be very happy to spell this out further in writing. The G8 commitments are essentially very practical, but groundbreaking. By working with our international partners we have moved this forward in a very significant way, and we now need to take our international partners

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with us so that we can ensure that this is as effective as it needs to be. It needs to be done right across the international spectrum.

Tackling the impunity of those responsible for sexual violence is essential for any conflict or post-conflict society seeking to come to terms with past abuses. It is also essential to prevent their recurrence. This is an absolutely key year as we seek to take this forward. This is the year to ensure that we make the difference for those who are at risk of this horrific form of abuse.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, as several of the final speeches were shorter than time allowed for, and as one speaker withdrew at the last minute, we have now come rather short of our time limit. I thank everyone for their indulgence at the unpleasant roles that Whips have to play, and I suggest that the House should now adjourn until 9.36 pm.

9.29 pm

Sitting suspended.

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 14th Reports from the Delegated Powers Committee

Report (3rd Day) (Continued)

9.36 pm

Amendment 84

Moved by Viscount Younger of Leckie

84: After Schedule 19, insert the following new Schedule—

“Abolition of Agricultural Wages Board and related English bodies: consequential provision

1 In section 28 of the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976 (duty of housing authority upon receiving application that agricultural worker be re-housed etc), in subsection (3), for “The authority” substitute “If the dwelling-house is in Wales, the authority”.

2 The repeals and revocations in the following table have effect.

ReferenceExtent of repeal or revocation

Agricultural WagesAct 1948 (c. 47)

Section 1.

In section 2— (a) in subsection (1)— (a) the words “England and”, and (b) paragraph (a), and (b) subsection (4).

Sections 3 to 4.

Sections 6 to 16.

In section 17— (a) in subsection (1), the definition of “the national minimum wage”, and (b) subsection (1A).

Sections 17A to 19.

Schedules 1, 2 and 4.

The Agricultural Wages Committee Regulations 1949 (S.I. 1949/1885)

Regulation 3(2)(a) and the word “and” after it.

Regulation 16.

Public Records Act 1958 (c. 51)

In the table at the end of paragraph 3 of Schedule 1, the words “Agricultural Wages Board.”

Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 (c. 13)

In Schedule 2, the words “Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales.”

Agriculture Act 1967 (c. 22)

Section 67.

Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968 (c. 34)

Section 46.

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Agricultural Wages Committees (Wages Structure) Regulations 1971 (S.I. 1971/844)

The whole instrument.

Agricultural Wages Committees (Areas) Order 1974 (S.I. 1974/515)

In article 3(1), the words— (a) “Subject to the provisions of this order”, and (b) “an agricultural wages committee for each county in England and”.

Article 3(2).

Article 4.

The Schedule.

Social Security (Consequential Provisions) Act 1975 (c. 18)

In Schedule 2, paragraph 32.

House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975(c. 24)

In Part 3 of Schedule 1, the words “Member appointed by a Minister of the Crown of the Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales.”

Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975 (c. 25)

In Part 3 of Schedule 1, the words “of the Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales or”.

Social Security Pensions Act 1975 (c. 60)

In Schedule 4, paragraph 10.

Employment Protection Act 1975 (c. 71)

Section 97(1) and (2).

Schedule 9.

In Schedule 17, paragraph 12.

Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 (c. 55)

In section 4(1)(c), the words from “(including” to the end.

Agricultural Wages Committees (New Combinations of Counties) Order 1981 (S.I. 1981/179)

The whole order.

Agricultural Wages Committee (Cleveland, Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear) Order 1989 (S.I. 1989/1173)

The whole order.

Social Security (Consequential Provisions) Act 1992 (c. 6)

In Schedule 2, paragraph 4.

Agricultural Wages Committees (Areas) (England) Order 1995 (S.I. 1995/3186)

The whole order.

Employment Rights Act 1996 (c. 18)

In section 35— (a) in subsection (2), paragraph (a) and the word “or” at the end of that paragraph, and (b) in subsection (3), paragraph (b) and the “and” before that paragraph.

National Minimum Wage Act 1998 (c. 39)

In section 16(6)— (a) in the definition of “the agricultural wages legislation”, paragraph (a), and (b) in the definition of “relevant authority”, paragraphs (a), (b) and (c).

In section 16A(5)— (a) in the definition of “enforcement officer”, paragraph (b), and (b) in the definition of “the relevant legislation”, paragraph (b).

Section 46(4)(a).

In section 47— (a) subsection (1)(a), (b) subsection (2)(a) and (d), (c) subsection (4)(a), (d) in subsection (4)(b), the words “(similar provision for Scotland)”, and (e) subsection (6)(a).

In section 55(1), in the definition of “regulations”, the words “by the Secretary of State and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food acting jointly or”.

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Part 1 of Schedule 2.

National Minimum Wage Regulations 1998 (S.I. 1999/584)

Regulation 38(5)(a).

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (c. 36)

In Part 6 of Schedule 1, the words “An Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales”.

Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44)

In Schedule 25, paragraph 28.

Employment Relations Act 2004 (c. 24)

Section 47.

In Schedule 1, paragraph 1.

Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (S.I. 2006/5)

In Schedule 1, in the entry relating to the Agricultural Wages Board and agricultural wages committees, the words “Board and”.

Employment Act 2008 (c. 24)

Section 8(6).

Section 9(6).

Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (S.S.I. 2012/88)

In Schedule 1, in the entry relating to the Agricultural Wages Board and agricultural wages committees, the words “Board and”.”

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Viscount Younger of Leckie): I beg to move.

Amendment 84ZA (to Amendment 84) not moved.

Amendment 84 agreed.

Amendment 84ZB

Moved by Lord Clement-Jones

84ZB: Before Clause 66, insert the following new Clause—

“Annual report on copyright licensing

(1) The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 is amended as follows.

(2) In Part VII (miscellaneous and general), after section 301 insert—

“301A Annual report on copyright licensing

The Secretary of State shall present to Parliament an annual report from the Intellectual Property Office which shall include a review of the state of copyright licensing in the United Kingdom, of cross border co-ordination with other jurisdictions and of progress on protecting metadata.”.”

Lord Clement-Jones: My Lords, since we are starting Part 6, which I suppose is a form of light relief from earlier parts of the Bill, I want to thank the Minister. All those participating in Part 6 will have noticed that the Minister has been a prolific correspondent. In case full details are not provided on all the amendments we have put forward, those outside the House should know that letters were passed on 25 February to the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson of Balmacara, on the orphan works aspects of Clause 69 and on Clause 67; to myself on 11 February, and on 4 March on Clause 68; and, most recently, on 5 March there was a letter on extended collective licensing. I thank the Minister for the clarification that a lot of that has produced.

Lord Howarth of Newport: Like other noble Lords, I much appreciate what the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, has just said. However, should we not also

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thank the Minister for his willingness to meet with noble Lords on a number of occasions? It has been extremely helpful to enable us to understand the Government’s thinking and for him to be able to understand some of ours.

Lord Clement-Jones: I very much welcome what the noble Lord, Lord Howarth, said. I quite agree. It is refreshing to be able to have that communication. It is not always a game of ping-pong or tennis. One can resolve some of these issues as we go along. In particular, this probing amendment is designed to elicit further information from the Minister. I thought we had a very good assurance from him that the IPO would publish an annual report which would be laid before Parliament, and that this could include a progress report on work towards a digital hub for licensing purposes.

When the Government’s response to the informal consultation on the role of the Intellectual Property Office came out very recently, it was very good to see that precisely that is enshrined in the document. Essentially, the Government are confirming that they will do that and that it will take place, particularly in terms of progress on licensing.

I would like to push the boat out a little further. In Committee we had a very useful discussion about metadata, its treatment and its protection. It is, of course, an issue of great importance to many creators, and we discussed that informally as well when we met the Minister. Work is ongoing in a working group, but as yet there is no indication of what its work might produce, technologically or legally. This new amendment is really designed to get a further assurance from the Minister that there will be regular progress reports on this aspect and that the proposals for action by the working group will be acted on. I beg to move.

Lord Jenkin of Roding: My Lords, I added my name to this amendment. Of course I support entirely what the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, said, but it gives me an opportunity to intervene and to say how much I appreciate what my noble friend on the Front Bench has been able to do in the light of the Committee debates and of the several meetings that he has been kind enough to hold. Indeed, there are now amendments on the Order Paper in his name, which I think will be extremely welcome.

Noble Lords will remember that, when we started debating the copyright clauses in Grand Committee, I moved a new clause to set up what was in effect intended to be a champion for IP. I was gratified by the support I had from all parts of the Committee for that new clause. I have not retabled it for the very good reason that I think my noble friend Lord Younger has gone a long way to prove that he will be an effective champion of IP. He made it clear in his reply to the debate that he was, in fact, in charge of IP at his department, and he has been as good as his word in the amendments that he has tabled.

I can assure him that the correspondence that I have had since the end of Committee, and in particular since the government amendments were tabled, has entirely changed in tone. Those who were very deeply

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concerned beforehand at what the Bill appeared to portend for the future of copyright property rights seem to have been greatly reassured. For that reason I have not retabled the amendment asking for a champion because I think my noble friend has gone a long way to satisfying me that he will do his best to perform that function.

Moreover, my noble friend’s speeches and letters, to which my noble friend Lord Clement-Jones referred, have made it very much clearer than it was before what the Bill is intended to do and what the Government’s policy on this issue is. I like to think that there has been not only a change in tone but a change in substance, and recognition that IP is indeed a hugely important economic factor in this country’s economy, involving many billions of pounds and many hundreds of thousands —indeed, millions—of people whose livelihoods depend on it. If the Government have really hoisted that one on board, that can only be a credit to the debates that we had in this House and, above all, to my noble friend.

9.45 pm

Baroness Buscombe: My Lords, I add my support to my noble friends who have already spoken and congratulate the Minister on all that he has done to engage with us and our concerns in relation to this part of the Bill.

When I have spoken on this Bill previously, I have said that it has much to commend it, and I am still of that view—very much so. Close scrutiny through Grand Committee has given the Government the opportunity to improve the Bill further and indeed in many cases they have. I am particularly interested in Clauses 67 to 69, which have a direct impact on the cultural fabric of and economic opportunity for the UK. In particular, the creative industries have shown incredible concern about the manner in which these proposals were formed and the perception that there is a will within Government and the Intellectual Property Office to unpick the intellectual property framework that underpins many creators and rights holders, in favour of US technology companies and others who want to use more copyright content for free. Of course, the Minister has gone a long way to seek to allay those fears.

However, commercial companies and organisations in our creative industries quite rightly expect a financial return from investing in creating original content and then archiving and preserving it for others to pay a licence. They lead the way in it and in many sectors such as audiovisual there is healthy competition, sensible pricing and industry-driven innovation to adapt to the digital age. Therefore, it is wholly wrong, in our view, for legislation to reduce these commercial incentives in favour of the radical and in many cases I believe ill-advised recommendations from Professor Hargreaves that inform the copyright measures in this Bill.

One of the reasons for putting my name to this particular amendment is that we have to think about competition not just in terms of cross-border and close to home but further afield. For example—I may refer to this later when we are looking in more detail at extended collective licensing—China has just announced that it would implement ECL in its copyright law. It is

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said that the details will be in regulations yet to be published. The UK Government will not be in a position to demand appropriate safeguards for licensing of UK copyrights by ECL in China if we ourselves do not have them in our own legislation as the Nordic countries do. Nor will UK rights holders or their representative bodies be in a strong position to safeguard UK rights abused by ECLs in foreign countries if the UK’s own statute lacks the necessary safeguards.

I support this amendment. A regular update so that we know about progress in terms of the Intellectual Property Office is really important. I feel that the Minister is on our wavelength and understands our issues, and we would be grateful for some positive comments from him with regard to this amendment.

Lord Howarth of Newport: My Lords, I, too, welcome the Minister’s commitment that an annual report should be published by the Intellectual Property Office. It may not reach the top of the bestseller lists, but it is right in principle that the public should have the opportunity to be informed about what the current issues are and what developments in policy are or may be. That is very proper. Of course, Parliament in particular should have that information. I hope that we would find the opportunity to debate the annual report each year that it comes out.

I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Clement Jones, and his co-signatories on the terms in which they have expressed this amendment and the particular examples that they have given of the kind of material that should be covered in the annual report. The report would need to review the state of copyright licensing in the United Kingdom. I hope that in fulfilling that requirement it would provide a discussion about how the Intellectual Property Office seeks to balance its absolutely right and necessary defence of the interests of intellectual property holders with wider interests that the public may have in the early and extensive benefit that can be received from the dissemination of this new information, knowledge and material. That is important.

I am also pleased that the expectation would be that the annual report should review cross-border co-ordination between our own jurisdiction and jurisdictions in other countries. For example, we would certainly want to know how the Intellectual Property Office and BIS are looking to mesh the complementary policies that we develop in this country with the policies that are being developed in the European Union and other countries that may be ahead of us in some respects.

For example, we know that the European Union orphan works directive is very limited and strictly curtailed in what it would allow. Only cultural sector bodies and educational establishments, not companies, could benefit from its provisions. Public/private partnerships, for example, would be prevented. That represents what is at the moment too limited and cautious an approach on the part of the European Union.

Mass digitisation projects are only going to be able to be carried out by our great cultural institutions in partnership with the private sector, and that ought to

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be contemplated as policy-making develops both in this country and in Brussels. The attempt to continue to draw absolute distinctions between commercial and non-commercial purposes will prove to be too restrictive of the ability of great institutions that are publicly funded in this country, such as libraries, universities and museums, which ought to be able to work freely in partnership with the private sector but which may be constrained by legislation as it has so far appeared to develop.

The noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, also mentioned the question of metadata. That is highlighted in the amendment. It is excellent that, at last, we have a working group looking at the problems that arise with metadata and digital photography. The working group is trying to find out why this stripping happens, why creators do not get paid and, above all, what solutions might be found, presumably by way of new technology but perhaps in other ways, to ensure that intellectual property is not stolen from photographers. The fact that it is already illegal to strip metadata under Section 107 sadly does not prevent it happening. There is a legitimate and very important issue there and I hope that progress on that will be covered in the report, as the noble Lord said.

I also hope that the report will inform us as to how the Intellectual Property Office seeks to gather views and reconcile different interests and points of view. I have very much sympathy with it in the very difficult and sensitive task that it has to carry out.

Let me give an instance. I saw in the British Journal of Photography recently a story headed:

“News agencies go on the offensive, call for judicial review of copyright changes”.

I was surprised to learn that:

“The world’s largest news agencies have delivered a Letter Before Claim to the UK’s business secretary Vince Cable in what is described as the first step in the process of initiating a Judicial Review - a formal legal challenge to governmental planned legislation”.

The article goes on to suggest that the Government are proceeding quite improperly. It challenges the Government’s plans to introduce their proposed changes through what they were pleased to call “Henry VIII clauses”—secondary legislation which is not subject to the full scrutiny of Parliament.

That is not very complimentary to your Lordships. We are engaged in quite serious and intensive scrutiny of this legislation. We certainly will be when we have the regulations in due course. What was completely bizarre was then to read a quotation in the name of Mr Paul Ellis of the Stop43 organisation:

“The technology, academic and cultural heritage sectors want to be able to use other people’s copyright property without having to ask or pay for it, and view copyright law as an obstacle. Under their intense propaganda and lobbying onslaught several governments have fallen for this line and are trying to introduce laws that weaken copyright, such as the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill now going through Parliament”.

He then goes on to denounce,

“these lobbying-driven legislative attempts to confiscate our property”.

It seems a bit of a case of the pot calling the kettle black. The serious point is that the IPO is very vigorously lobbied from a multiplicity of sources and by a multiplicity of powerful commercial interests; the noble Baroness,

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Lady Buscombe, referred to some of them. It has always to be the duty of the IPO, the Government and us in Parliament to ensure that workable policies are arrived at that represent an appropriate balance between the range of competing, relevant and, indeed, legitimate interests that are all intensely concerned about what we do.

I hope that the annual report will include some account of how the IPO weathers these storms and what its philosophy is in terms of receiving and listening to representations and establishing working groups which allow people to have the opportunity to contribute their thinking and remind policy-makers of their legitimate interests but, at the same time, do not cause the policy to be unduly tipped and biased in favour of those who shout loudest. That would always be wrong. I have every confidence that that will not be allowed to happen. However, it may be helpful to those who have this arduous and difficult responsibility of developing the technical details of policy in the copyright field that we have a better understanding of what it is that they have to cope with. I support this amendment.

Lord Stevenson of Balmacara: My Lords, I will make a few brief remarks in closing this short debate. First, I associate myself with the warm expressions of thanks and support to the Minister not only for his very assiduous work in responding to the questions and queries that were raised at earlier stages of the Bill but for the meetings that he has had. I am not quite sure how he has managed to keep going—he is looking a bit shell-shocked, although that may not just have been today. We are all very grateful to him for what he has done. Indeed, it has brought a different sensibility to the whole way in which we have been able to engage with this and I am very grateful for that. I am sorry that the choir has lost his very nice tuneful voice as a result, but I hope he will get back into it after this intensive work is over.

Having said that, has the mood really changed? We have just heard that there are still quite big guns out there, and the reference from my noble friend Lord Howarth to the judicial review—I have benefited from the courtesy of being shown a copy of the 36-page document that went in—certainly suggests that there are still some people with axes to grind out there and serious points, too, which need to be considered and reflected. Although we are making progress and, I think, beginning to arrive at a common position on a number of issues raised in this part of the Bill, there are still some hurdles ahead which we have got to think about. For instance, I got two letters and several e-mails today from people again expressing concern about what is happening here. They are not sighted and perhaps not up to speed with what is going on but they certainly feel very strongly about it.

As other noble Lords have said, there are other things going on here. We are doing a lot of the work in this Bill but, in parallel, the outcome of the Hargreaves report and the various pieces of secondary legislation that will be going through, which radically change the way in which we deal with copyright and performance rights, need to be accommodated and brought alongside some of the movements that are here. A lot of what we have been saying in the discussions and debates on this

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Bill has been contingent on a satisfactory outcome for those things, and I do not want to prejudge where we are going to get to on parody, exceptions for educational use and desirable things like copying for archives. These are all important parts of the ecology that this Bill touches on but does not completely encapsulate. We must therefore be careful not to overcall what we are achieving here.

A third example on that list would perhaps be the one raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Buscombe, which is that we are not alone here; lots of other people are working on their copyright registrations and legislation and moving forward. That will always affect how we do things. We will not make the progress that we want to make in terms of this industry, and the work that goes into this type of activity in the UK will be for nothing, if we are outsmarted and outgunned by those who either have a much more advanced concept of copyright and licensing or none at all. These are important points.

10 pm

However, I do not want to be the odd one out in this party. In general I want to support what we are doing in moving forward. In relation to the narrow point about what we are doing to welcome the report, may I just make three or four points? First, while I have the greatest respect for the IPO and for the work of the department to which it is attached, it is not the only part of government that deals with copyright issues. We were graced with a fleeting visit from the former Secretary of State at the DCMS, the noble Baroness, Lady Bottomley. I am sure that had she been able to stay she would have said that her department—indeed, the Minister was briefly in that department—has a lot to offer in terms of copyright and intellectual property, and that not all of it is entirely on a par with what is emanating from BIS. I am sure these issues can be resolved, but I am not sure that the Whitehall structure has got that to the best possible pitch. Can the Minister say whether the point of view that is quite often expressed—with slight variance—by DCMS will be included in the reports that he will bring forward to Parliament? It is important that we should hear what is being said in the round.

That leads me to another point, which slightly follows up on what the noble Lord, Lord Jenkin, said. His suggestion that there should be an identifiable post within the structure was an interesting one, which provoked a very good debate. I was startled by discussions in Committee, and I am still thinking about some of the issues raised. For instance, there was a vogue a few years ago when there was a cross-cutting issue to try to identify who would champion that activity within each and every department in Whitehall. So there was an architecture champion in every department, because in some senses every department of state is involved with ensuring that the public realm is better and more appropriately designed and built than it is. It makes no sense to lock that away in one department. I wonder whether in today’s debate there might not be a case for having not one champion, but lots of champions, because this is really important stuff. There is intellectual property in every aspect of the work that the Government

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do, in every sector of the economy. We should think hard about how we can best advocate that across the whole area. Again, perhaps the Minister might do that.

In Committee we discussed the general feeling out there that somehow copyright—the licensing and use of rights created by those with the gifts and skills to work in the creative industries—has not until now been given quite enough attention by Parliament. We ought to try to reflect that in what we are doing. A lot of the angry letters I have received reflect the fact that this is a once-in-half-a-generation opportunity for a debate about what they do and why it is important. It would be really nice to find a way to leave the door a little bit more open, so that their views can be taken into account. I think that will pay off in the long run. Everybody would welcome the chance to have their views expressed, to hear people talking about them and to have their views tested and put to rest in terms of the overall debate.

Photographers certainly feel left out in the cold at the moment, and I know a lot of work is taking place on that. Again, I appeal for us to think hard. It is not just metadata; there is a wider concern there, which comes from photographers’ sense that their work is ephemeral and not of value. Yet we all know that is not true. The image still speaks more powerfully than a thousand words, as they say. Their work is influential in so many different aspects of our commercial and cultural life that we would be wrong to ignore what they say to us, and they are certainly saying it. I look forward to the Minister’s response.

Viscount Younger of Leckie: My Lords, first, I appreciate the warm comments that have been made by my noble friends Lord Clement-Jones, Lord Jenkin, and Lady Buscombe, and also by the noble Lord, Lord Howarth. I agree that it is highly desirable from the Government’s perspective to understand and resolve issues outside the Chamber. I very much hope that will continue; I am sure it will. I thank the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, for the collegiate approach that he takes to these issues. It is much appreciated on this side.

I want to focus, as other noble Lords have done, on the report—or perhaps I should say the response to the informal consultation, a copy of which I have here —which I have read with interest. It is refreshing to read that views were in general very positive on having a report. I noted that the Motion Picture Association thought that the report should be developed in full and open dialogue with the copyright sector. That is all in the right spirit. Certainly, the Government believe that the proposed annual report will increase the transparency of IPO activities and they welcome the support from the respondents. Again, that should be a very good thing to highlight given some of the comments that have been made today.

The noble Lord, Lord Howarth, asked about issues that might be covered within the report. I confirm that I will want to look very carefully at all his points to see what we can say about them in the report, so I thank him for his input on that.

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The noble Lord spoke also about the judicial review. I am afraid that all I can say at the moment from the Government perspective is that we have received a pre-action letter concerning copyright measures in the Bill to which we have responded. Therefore, it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.

The noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, stated that he did not want to prejudge the debate on copyright exceptions. As I hope he will be aware, I am keen that Parliament should have the necessary time for debate on the statutory instruments—I think that I made that clear in Grand Committee.

Lord Howarth of Newport: The Minister very kindly answered a Written Question on whether an individual impact assessment would accompany each of the regulations introducing new exceptions. While I normally follow the noble Viscount with ease and find his presentations pellucid, I did not find the answer to his question without ambiguity. While I recognise that the impacts of some of the regulations may overlap, I think that it is extremely important that, when Parliament is considering this very important secondary legislation, we should have in each and every case the best impact assessment that the Government are able to provide. Will he assure us that that will be the case?

Viscount Younger of Leckie: I thank the noble Lord for that point. I shall look again at what I said and what we produced. If we can improve on it, we most certainly will. I shall get back to the noble Lord on that point.

The Government are keenly aware of and sensitive to the concerns of creators in relation to metadata. They believe that an industry-led approach is most likely to identify the key issues and the most effective solutions. They warmly welcome the establishment of a metadata working group which brings together key players from across the industry, including the Association of Photographers, Stop43, the BBC, the British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies, Getty Images and News Corporation. We will consider carefully any recommendations aimed at government and, if they are proportionate and effective, will certainly support them. I also commit to keeping Parliament informed on progress.

The Intellectual Property Office will also be working with the Technology Strategy Board to consider other options to tackle the issues around the misuse of digital images as well as search and stripping of metadata. I hope that in the light of what I have said in my brief comments my noble friend can withdraw his amendment.

Lord Clement-Jones: My Lords, I thank the Minister for the very useful assurances coming at the end of his speech that he will consider all the metadata working group recommendations and keep Parliament informed, and that the Technology Strategy Group will be involved in this as well.

Generally, we are breaking into fresh territory with the concept of an annual report. We seem gradually to be moving language forward more positively about the creative industries and the value of intellectual property. The language of the exceptions document before

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Christmas moved it on a notch; this response document moves it on a notch, in particular to meet what I thought were extremely useful comments on the part of the noble Lord, Lord Howarth, not only on what an annual report should contain but on impact assessments.

This report is quite positive about the improved evidence base that the IPO is going to adopt. A lot of people, particularly some of those mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, would say amen to that. Some of the impact assessments have not been up to scratch and this has created quite a lot of concern and, indeed, anger from some sectors when they see that the benefits are not clearly there but the costs to them are. It is an extremely positive move.

I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, that there are a number of further issues we really must get to grips with as we move along on Report. Of course, any Minister is as good as his last set of assurances. I am sure we will put that to the test as we go along.

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I am grateful to the Minister for his responses. I am very grateful to noble Lords, in particular to the noble Lord, Lord Jenkin, for his comments. I entirely agree with him about the Minister in the assumption of his role. It has been a very positive step. We have some way to go still, particularly in terms of the photographers mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, and also the news agency industry mentioned by my noble friend Lady Buscombe.

I hope that by the time we come to the end of Part 6 on Report, sweetness and light will reign and we will all feel that assurances of the right kind have been given. In the mean time, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 84ZB withdrawn.

Consideration on Report adjourned.

House adjourned at 10.12 pm.