Report (5th Day)

Part of Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:18 pm on 20th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Clement-Jones Lord Clement-Jones Liberal Democrat 4:18 pm, 20th March 2012

My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply. It very much falls into two parts, as far as I can see, in terms of action by and with the Information Commissioner and action by the Secretary of State and Ministers relating to unauthorised and authorised marketing in NHS hospitals. The bit I find difficult is not that relating to the Information Commissioner; indeed, it is very welcome that those powers are being mobilised and that the Minister, Mr Djanogly, is having the necessary meetings with the Information Commissioner. The surprising part concerns the National Health Service. I think that the view around this House is that there should be no authorised marketing of this kind within NHS hospitals. What baffles me is why that kind of marketing is allowed to persist within NHS hospitals. I am not going to press the amendment today but I very much hope that we can progress further, certainly in pressing the Department of Health to be much more robust than appears to be the case about this kind of marketing.

Whatever the form of marketing which is an arrangement between a hospital and a firm of solicitors -perhaps advertising law firms within hospitals or allowing texting-it certainly falls morally within the terms of the kind of action that we are trying to prevent within this clause. It therefore really should be covered, and if there is that power within the department -or indeed by any future regulator under the health Bill that has now passed-I very much hope that it will be exercised and that my noble friend the Minister's department will keep pressing the Department of Health. Perhaps we might even bring this back for an assurance on Third Reading, to understand exactly what is being authorised if there is such a thing as authorised marketing of this kind. In the mean time, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 145A withdrawn.

Amendments 146 to 148A not moved.

Clause 55 : Effect of the rules against referral fees

Amendment 149 not moved.

Amendments 149A to 151ZA not moved.

Amendment 151

Moved by Lord Pannick

151: After Clause 58, insert the following new Clause-

"Pro bono representation

Payments in respect of pro bono representation before the Supreme Court

(1) In section 194 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (power for certain courts to order losing party to make payment to charity where other party is represented pro bono) in subsection (10) for the definition of "civil court" substitute-

""civil court" means-

(a) the Supreme Court when it is dealing with a relevant civil appeal,

(b) the civil division of the Court of Appeal,

(c) the High Court, or

(d) any county court;

"relevant civil appeal" means an appeal to the Supreme Court-

(a) from the High Court in England and Wales under Part 2 of the Administration of Justice Act 1969,

(b) from the Court of Appeal under section 40(2) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, or

(c) under section 13 of the Administration of Justice Act 1960 (appeal in cases of contempt of court) other than an appeal from an order or decision made in the exercise of jurisdiction to punish for criminal contempt of court;".

(2) This section applies in relation to appeals to the Supreme Court only where the decision, order or judgment that is the subject of the appeal is made or given on or after the day on which this section comes into force."