Part of Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Bill - Third Reading – in the House of Lords at 1:40 pm on 8th September 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Scott of Bybrook Baroness Scott of Bybrook Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 1:40 pm, 8th September 2020

My Lords, I take this opportunity to thank noble Lords for their interest and contributions thus far in the progress of the Bill. Noble Lords on all sides of the House have eloquently demonstrated the effects that these non-disclosure cases have on victims’ families, and have raised a number of important issues in the parliamentary stages prior to today’s Third Reading. I particularly want to thank the noble Baroness, Lady Bull, and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, for their positive engagement on mental capacity and how it is addressed in these proposals. The points they raised in Committee were of some significance, and I think I am confident in saying that their concerns have now been addressed after helpful engagement with the Parole Board.

Issues have also been raised regarding provisions for victims tracing and contact. In this regard, I am particularly grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Kennedy, for her contribution to the debate. Her amendment will be taken to the other place, and I look forward to our discussions on this matter when the Bill returns to this House. It is the intention of my noble and learned friend Lord Keen to meet the noble Baroness outside these proceedings to discuss her amendment and its effect on the Bill in more detail.

The importance of the Bill cannot be underestimated. Although narrow in scope, it has the potential to bring considerable comfort and reassurance to families who have endured unimaginable distress. I therefore hope that the Bill progresses quickly through the other place, and I look forward to discussing it further upon its return to this House.