Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill [HL] - Report

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:50 pm on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Hamwee Baroness Hamwee Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Immigration) 4:50 pm, 22nd October 2018

My Lords, Amendment 9 is grouped with Amendment 10. I thought that the point about court rules might get a bit lost in the debate on journalistic data, which is why I separated them when we were asked to approve the groupings.

In the context of journalistic data, in Committee the Minister relied heavily on how rules of court would operate. Clause 11 provides that the rules “may” make provision. I appreciate that rules will be made, because that is the way things are, but drafting styles change. I find this quite difficult; I get left behind with what is the up-to-date style. In ordinary speak—and I understand that attempts are being made to make parliamentary drafting as close to that as it can be—“may” is not the same as “must” or “shall”. I appreciate that there are differences between “may” and “must” elsewhere in the Bill, for instance in Clauses 8(1) and 8(3).

The issue of notice, which has prompted this, is very significant. In Committee, the Minister said that my amendment about requiring notice was unnecessary because court rules give the judge power to consider notice being given. She said:

“Court rules will provide the judge with the ability to require that notice be served on anyone affected by the order”—

I assume she meant the application for the order at that point—

“which is the case at the moment under court rules dealing with domestic production orders”.—[GC 134]">Official Report, 5/9/18; col. GC 134]

She said something similar today in the discussion on the journalism group. However, given that the Bill starts with a provision for an order to be made on application of which notice need not be given, which will affect third parties, the data subject and journalists in particular, it would be more comfortable and appropriate to have an explicit provision on the face of the Bill. That is what Amendments 9 and 10 would provide. I beg to move.