My Lords, from these Benches we had an amendment in Committee requiring the court to be,
“satisfied that … data … is not confidential journalistic data”.
We were concerned that the Government had not consulted the NUJ or other organisations; I wonder whether they have had an opportunity for a discussion since then. The News Media Association certainly made its views clear with its concern about what it described as an artificial distinction between “journalistic material” and “confidential journalistic material” and what might flow from that distinction.
New subsection (8C)(b) proposed in Amendment 6 seems to make all data held by a person acting as a journalist “confidential journalistic data”. I see the attraction in that but I wonder whether this is the place to treat material differently from how it is treated elsewhere in UK law—in other words, I wonder about making that provision apply for the purposes of this piece of legislation only, which is a fairly small piece of the jigsaw of legislation that applies to journalism. Can the noble Lord, Lord Rosser, confirm when he winds up whether I have read this correctly: is he eliminating a distinction in this piece of legislation only, and only in the circumstances to which it will apply?
With regard to Amendment 11, we support a requirement to give notice of an application. We had an amendment to that effect in Committee, and we have amendments in the next grouping that are an attempt to respond to the Minister’s comments on the issue then.