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Higher Education and Research Bill - Committee (6th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:30 pm on 25th January 2017.

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Photo of Lord Mackay of Clashfern Lord Mackay of Clashfern Conservative 4:30 pm, 25th January 2017

My Lords, I am grateful for that, but of course it does not deal with the question that I am asking. It is very useful information—or rather, I think I am right in saying that, at least so far as I followed it, it is a repetition of what is already in the Bill. The question, however, is whether the magistrate needs to be aware that these are the conditions. When applications for warrants are dealt with, the degree of speed required sometimes slightly derogates from the detail in which they are considered. This is an important matter: if a higher education institution has a search warrant on its premises that is a pretty damaging thing, especially if it happens to come out in the press that a highly regarded senior institution is being subjected to a search of its premises, which may be quite large, when it comes to it.

It would be useful to have a requirement that the magistrate should certify that he or she is satisfied on these matters and grants the warrant accordingly, or something like that.