Clause 32 — Interpretation

Bill Presented — Sustainability of Livestock Farming and Food Production (Strategy) – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 23rd March 2010.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Conservative, Stone

The clause specifically states:

"This Act binds the Crown."

It goes on to say:

"No contravention by the Crown of a provision of this Act makes the Crown criminally liable."

The various other subsections include the provision:

"Nothing in this section affects Her Majesty in her private capacity."

The clause then deals with matters relating to the Crown Proceedings Act 1947.

This is rather like having one's cake and eating it, when dealing with cases involving military personnel. We have had a great deal of debate on these matters, and on whether soldiers, commanders or those involved in prosecutions should have certain defences available to them. We have explored the loophole argument, and discussed international operations. Here we are, however, discussing the application of the legislation to the Crown. The clause states, quite rightly, that the Crown is bound by the legislation, and that Her Majesty should not be affected by it in her private capacity, but it also states:

"No contravention by the Crown of a provision of this Act makes the Crown criminally liable."

I should like some elucidation from the Minister as to what he has in mind here; I have a suspicion that he does not know the answer.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Europe)

The hon. Gentleman is very perspicacious. I might have to write to him about this. I do not think that he wants the clause not to stand part of the Bill, however, so I shall not be interfering with the proper scrutiny of the Bill by doing that. I will write to him to provide further elucidation.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 32 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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