Criminal Justice Bill
Baroness Carnegy of Lour (Conservative)
The Minister's amendment was predicted in the Government's memorandum to the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee of which I am a member. The committee states at paragraph 9 of its report that the matter,
"is explained in full in the memorandum where it is stated that amendments are to be tabled about the level of parliamentary scrutiny that will apply".
The committee said that it would consider those amendments when they were available to the House. I think I am right in saying that the committee has not as yet been able to do that because the relevant business was tabled before it met. But the committee further stated:
"Meanwhile, we wish to endorse the principle (proposed in the memorandum) that new codes and significant amendments to existing codes (however that is to be defined) should be subject to affirmative procedure".
I was going to wait until the next group of amendments to comment on that but as I believe the noble Baroness said that the Government were prepared to accept that new codes should be subject to affirmative resolution, she has made an exception to the process of amendments to codes and has offered a rather different way of dealing with them. Of course, I have no idea what the committee would have to say about that because it has not yet considered the matter. But in principle the committee does not agree with that as it considers that such codes matter so much to ordinary people that they should be properly discussed by both Houses of Parliament even when the issue is simply that of amendments to the codes. I expect the noble Baroness realises that the Select Committee may or may not be in agreement on the matter. We are about to discuss that matter but I thought that I had better remind the Committee what the Select Committee said on that point.