Amendment 321

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - Committee (11th Day) – in the House of Lords at 1:00 am on 24th November 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Lord Stewart of Dirleton:

Moved by Lord Stewart of Dirleton

321: Schedule 20, page 297, line 6, at end insert—“2A_ In the table in section 122(1) (standard scale of fines for summary offences)—(a) in the heading of the second column, for “1 October 1992” substitute “1 May 1984”;(b) between the second and third columns, insert—“Offence committed on or after 1 May 1984 and before 1 October 1992£50£100£400£1,000£2,000””Member’s explanatory statementThis amendment makes a minor amendment to the Sentencing Act 2020 to correct an omission from that Act in relation to the standard scale of fines for historical summary offences.

Photo of Lord Stewart of Dirleton Lord Stewart of Dirleton The Advocate-General for Scotland

My Lords, as an unacceptable substitute for my noble friend Lord Wolfson of Tredegar and in the light of the hour, I will simply move the amendment formally.

Photo of Lord Coaker Lord Coaker Shadow Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Opposition Whip (Lords) 1:15 am, 24th November 2021

Sorry, can I just ask a question? Does this change make any difference? The only reason I ask is because my noble friend Lord Kennedy and I—we are very good friends—looked at this and did not understand it properly, in particular, where it said

“in the heading of the second column, for ‘1 October 1992’ substitute ‘1 May 1984’”.

Given that that is eight years earlier, does that make any difference if you were fined during that period? Will you now get a fine in the post, or will something happen to you? Is it retrospective or does it not make a difference? I just worry that, because of the lateness of the hour, we pass something and then in a month or two—or even three or four months—we find that lots of people start moaning and complaining, quite rightly, that they have suddenly had a letter in the post. Can the noble and learned Lord just explain that to us?

Photo of Lord Stewart of Dirleton Lord Stewart of Dirleton The Advocate-General for Scotland

I think that I can assist: the provision is not truly retrospective. The Sentencing Act 2020 makes it clear that the repeal of relevant provisions by the Act for the purpose of consolidating sentencing law into the Sentencing Code should not change how the law operates. I hear the noble Lord’s concerns, including that this matter is coming out so late. I will raise it with my noble friend in the Ministry of Justice and he will communicate with the noble Lord in order that these matters can hopefully be clarified to the noble Lord’s satisfaction.