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Clause 11 — Certified investigations: investigation by a judge, inquest without jury

Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 9:00 pm on 23rd March 2009.

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Amendment proposed: 2, page 6, line 2, leave out Clause 11.— (David Howarth.)

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The House divided: Ayes 229, Noes 263.

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Division number 83 Bill Presented — Clause 11 — Certified investigations: investigation by a judge, inquest without jury

Aye: 229 MPs

No: 263 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

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Question accordingly negatived.

Amendments made: 94, page 6, leave out lines 3 to 16 and insert—

'( ) The Secretary of State may certify an investigation under this Part into a person's death if—

(a) an inquest will be held as part of the investigation,

(b) the inquest will (if the investigation is not certified) be held by a senior coroner with a jury,

(c) the Secretary of State is satisfied that the investigation will concern or involve matters (referred to below as "protected matters") that should not be made public in order to protect the interests of—

(i) national security,

(ii) the relationship between the United Kingdom and another country, or

(iii) preventing or detecting crime,

or in order to protect the safety of a witness or other person, and

(d) the Secretary of State is of the opinion that it is necessary for the inquest to be held without a jury in order to avoid protected matters being made public or unlawfully disclosed.'.

Amendment 95, page 6, leave out lines 28 and 29 and insert—

'(4) Where the Secretary of State has certified an investigation under this section—

(a) the Secretary of State must as soon as possible inform the senior coroner of the certification;

(b) the senior coroner must as soon as possible inform all interested persons whose name and contact details are known to the coroner that the investigation has been certified.

A reference in this subsection to the senior coroner is to the senior coroner who is responsible for conducting the investigation, or would be but for subsection (3).'.

Amendment 96, page 6, line 34, at end insert—

'(5A) Where a certification under this section has effect, the Secretary of State must inform the judge responsible for conducting the investigation what are the protected matters.'.

Amendment 97, page 6, leave out lines 35 to 38 and insert—

'(6) The judge holding an inquest as part of a certified investigation must hold it without a jury if—

(a) there is a protected matter that would need to be revealed to the jury (if there was one)—

(i) in order for the jury to be able properly to discharge its duty under section 10(1), and

(ii) in order to avoid a breach of any relevant Convention rights (within the meaning of the Human Rights Act 1998 (c. 42)),

and

(b) the judge is satisfied that it is necessary to hold the inquest without a jury in order to avoid the matter being made public or unlawfully disclosed.

If the judge decides to hold the inquest with a jury, the judge must not allow any protected matter to be revealed to the jury unless it is a matter within paragraph (a).'.

Amendment 98, page 6, line 40, leave out from 'effect' to end of line 42 and insert '—

(a) as if references in it to the Chief Coroner were references to the Court of Appeal;

(b) with the omission of subsections (8) and (9).'.

Amendment 99, page 6, line 43, leave out lines 43 to 45 and insert—

'( ) In this section—

(a) a reference to conducting an investigation, in the case of an investigation that has already begun, is to be read as a reference to continuing to conduct it;

(b) a reference to holding an inquest without a jury, in the case of an inquest that has already begun, is to be read as a reference to continuing the inquest without a jury.

Where by virtue of subsection (6) an inquest begun with a jury has to be continued without one, the judge holding the inquest must discharge the jury.'.— (Bridget Prentice.)

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