Police (Northern Ireland) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:15 pm on 8th November 2000.

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Photo of Lord Falconer of Thoroton Lord Falconer of Thoroton Minister of State, Cabinet Office 9:15 pm, 8th November 2000

My Lords, in responding, perhaps I may speak also to government Amendment No. 59. Amendment No. 59 requires the board to review the steps taken by the Chief Constable to ensure that the code of ethics is brought to the attention of officers. This makes a link to the board's duty to assess the effectiveness of the code under Clause 3(3)(d)(iv), and thereby facilitates that role.

The amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Hylton, requires the Chief Constable to ensure that officers undertake to be guided by the code of ethics in carrying out their general duty. Police officers are already required to be guided by the code of ethics in carrying out their functions by virtue of Clause 32(4). So it makes little odds whether or not they undertake to be guided by the code; the fact of the matter is that they must be guided by it.

I believe that the Government and the noble Lord, Lord Hylton, are at one on the policy; therefore, I invite the noble and learned Lord, Lord Archer, on behalf of the noble Lord, to withdraw the amendment.