New Clause 32 — Independent legal advice

Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 11th June 2008.

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'(1) Before making an order under section [Power to declare reserve power exercisable] the Secretary of State must obtain for the purposes of sections [Notification of chairmen of certain committees] and [Statement to be laid before Parliament] independent legal advice as to whether the Secretary of State can properly be satisfied of the matters mentioned in section [Statement to be laid before Parliament](2).

(2) "Independent legal advice" means advice from a lawyer other than a government lawyer.

(3) A "lawyer" means—

(a) as respects England and Wales, a person who, for the purposes of the Legal Services Act 2007, is an authorised person in relation to an activity which constitutes the exercise of a right of audience or the conduct of litigation (within the meaning of that Act);

(b) as respects Scotland, an advocate (whether in practice as such or employed to give legal advice), or a solicitor who holds a practising certificate;

(c) as respects Northern Ireland—

(i) a barrister (whether in practice as such or employed to give legal advice); or

(ii) a solicitor who holds a practising certificate.

(4) Until the commencement of the relevant provisions of the Legal Services Act 2007, the following is substituted for subsection (3)(a)—

"(a) as respects England and Wales—

(i) a barrister (whether in practice as such or employed to give legal advice);

(ii) a solicitor who holds a practising certificate; or

(iii) a person other than a barrister or solicitor who is an authorised advocate or authorised litigator (within the meaning of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990);".

(5) A "government lawyer" means a lawyer who holds, or has held, an office (other than judicial office) or employment under the Crown.

(6) If an order under section [Power to declare reserve power exercisable] is made the Secretary of State must lay before Parliament at the same time as the statement required by section [Statement to be laid before Parliament] a copy of the advice obtained under this section.

(7) If it appears to the Secretary of State that the advice contains material whose disclosure—

(a) would be damaging to the public interest, or

(b) might prejudice the prosecution of any person,

the duty of Secretary of State under subsection (6) is to lay before Parliament a copy of a version of the advice, provided by or agreed with the independent legal adviser, that does not contain such material.'.— [Mr. McNulty.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Question put, That the clauses be added to the Bill:—

The House divided: Ayes 315, Noes 306.

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Just in case it's not clear from the text, the approval of this measure gives the police the power to detain people without charge for 42 days.

Submitted by Stefan Magdalinski Read 1 more annotation

Division number 219 Orders of the Day — New Clause 32 — Independent legal advice

Aye: 314 MPs

No: 305 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Abstained: 1 MP

Abstaineds: A-Z by last name

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Photo of Claire Ward Claire Ward Government Whip

The Ayes to the right, 315. The Noes to the left, 306. [Interruption.]

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Photo of Michael Martin Michael Martin Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons

Order. [Interruption.] Order. Mr. Gale, I warn you. You are a member of the Chairmen's Panel, and you know full well that every hon. Member in the House has their own vote and their own conscience— [Interruption.] Order. And no one will ever censure a Member of Parliament on how they vote, especially one of their own. [Interruption.] Order. Let me do my job.

The Ayes to the right, 315. The Noes to the left, 306. The Ayes have it.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Clauses added to the Bill.

After Clause 21

Amendment made: No. 4, in page 16, line 17, leave out clause 22.— [Mr. McNulty.]

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