Energy Bill [HL]

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 23rd March 2004.

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Photo of Lord Whitty Lord Whitty Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Food, Farming and Sustainable Energy) 5:30 pm, 23rd March 2004

My Lords, I am not entirely sure that I am in order in responding at this point but I shall do so as long as we do not make a habit of it.

Presumably the same logic applies with petroleum platforms. Offshore it is extremely unlikely that individuals will commit offences unless they are under the broad jurisdiction of a company which either owns, is operating or is a subcontractor on that site. Onshore there is clearly a high probability that someone is acting entirely on his own whether or not he is a company employee. Therefore, one is dealing with a situation of corporate responsibility for the site, part of the site or part of the operation on the site in a way that does not apply on land. It is not unreasonable, therefore, that there is some additional responsibility—not additional extension of the criminal law—on the people who are in charge of the operations on that site.