Amendment 196A

Part of Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - Committee (7th Day) (Continued) – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 10th November 2021.

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Photo of Lord Falconer of Thoroton Lord Falconer of Thoroton Shadow Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow Spokesperson (Scotland), Shadow Attorney General, Shadow Advocate-General for Scotland 6:15 pm, 10th November 2021

I express my gratitude to the noble Baroness, Lady Brinton, and, through her, to the noble Baroness, Lady Newlove, for their support on these amendments. I also thank the Minister for his careful reply.

Again, very briefly, it is disappointing that, in relation to whether there should be a duty on the Secretary of State to get a government department to be under a duty to tell victims of the possibility of going to the law officers, the Minister’s answer was that the witness care units have a code of practice that tells them they should do that, and it is in a pamphlet produced by the CPS. With respect, I take the noble Lord to be accepting that somebody should tell them. If we really want that to happen, we should impose a duty on the Secretary of State to do that. So I am not sure that we are necessarily at odds on the outcome, but I think that, if one is serious about it, this is the way to do it.

In relation to the time-limit point, the defendant can have his time extended, which brings a degree of uncertainty to victims. In my respectful submission, there should be a similar parity of protection for the victims who wish to question the sentence. Again, there can be limits on that exception, and I am more than happy to entertain any limits that the Minister thinks should be put in—but there must be some means of extending it because of justice.

In relation to the other two, I do not think that I can achieve much by referring to them, except to confirm that my intention in relation to Amendment 196D was to deal only with offences that would otherwise be subject to it in the adult court.

I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 196A withdrawn.

Amendments 196B to 196D not moved.

Schedule 11 agreed.

Clause 102: Whole life order as starting point for premeditated child murder

Amendment 197 not moved.

Clause 102 agreed.

Clause 103 agreed.

Clause 104: Starting points for murder committed when under 18

Amendments 198 to 201 not moved.

Clause 104 agreed.

Clause 105: Sentences of detention during Her Majesty’s pleasure: review of minimum term

Amendments 202 and 203 not moved.

Clause 105 agreed.

Clause 106 agreed.

Clause 107: Increase in requisite custodial period for certain violent or sexual offenders

Amendment 204 not moved.