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Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 6th April 2005.

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Photo of Baroness Scotland of Asthal Baroness Scotland of Asthal Minister of State (Criminal Justice System and Law Reform), Home Office, Minister of State (Home Office) (Criminal Justice and Offender Management) 4:45 pm, 6th April 2005

My Lords, the noble Lord will know that defences are set out in the jurisprudence that we have and in the statutes and that anyone can take advantage of those defences and no other. As I made plain, the measure was not originally in the Bill; it was brought in because there was a strong feeling among noble Lords opposite, Members in the other place and people elsewhere that there had to be some sort of benchmark to differentiate between minor offences and more serious ones. But it is also plain, if one looks at the type of situations when an individual may feel it appropriate to arrest—I have already identified those—that they fall into the more serious category as opposed to the minor. I invite my noble friend therefore not to press his amendment.