Report (3rd Day)

Part of Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill – in the House of Lords at 11:00 pm on 12th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord McNally Lord McNally Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords 11:00 pm, 12th March 2012

My Lords, I will try to help the noble Lord. I do not think there is anything sinister in this, and I hope that once I have finished speaking he will be happy to withdraw his amendment and leave my two amendments to go through. Perhaps I should start by saying that the scope of provision under Clause 12 is intended to reflect the existing provision in the Access to Justice Act 1999. The Government have no plans-I repeat, no plans-to change the existing provision of advice and assistance to those held in police custody. I indicated in Committee, after an extremely persuasive speech by my noble friend Lord Macdonald, that the Government intended to table an amendment to Clause 12 to remove the power to introduce means-testing for initial advice and assistance-