Lords amendments Nos. 22 to 28 make a small but important change to the provisions on restraint and charging orders found in schedule 4 to the Bill. We now take the view that, in the very special circumstances that regrettably exist in Northern Ireland, the involvement of the Director of Public Prosecutions in the making of applications for such orders in terrorist cases, sometimes before anyone has even been charged with any offence, might be regarded as calling into question his independence at a later stage.
The effect of the amendments is therefore to provide that applications for such orders made before a person has been convicted are to be made by an officer of the Royal Ulster Constabulary of at least the rank of superintendent. Applications made after a person has been convicted will continue to be made by the DPP in Northern Ireland.
Lords amendments Nos. 21 and 23 to 27 are simply consequential on that decision not to involve the DPP in Northern Ireland in pre-conviction applications. I commend the amendments to the House.