Schedule 2

Part of Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:00 pm on 25th October 2007.

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Photo of Edward Garnier Edward Garnier Shadow Minister (Justice) 1:00 pm, 25th October 2007

I am trying to speed up the process. I am hurling at the Minister a number of small and medium-sized points along with some fundamental points.

This is not an attack on the Government. The Minister need not worry; the Government will not fall this afternoon as a result of these points. I am simply asking us to be careful as we rush together to create legislation. The Committee is under time pressure, as you reminded us, Sir Nicholas. I could have tabled any number of amendments, but sometimes one loses the will to live. [Laughter.] However, I think that it is important that I chuck the occasional pebble into the Government pond. I just ask the Minister to take these ideas away. I do not expect a detailed response. I realise that if I had tabled an amendment, he would have a ministerial brief and so could comfortably respond, but I am not after that this afternoon. I am instead quietly tugging at the prefect’s spats. We will see how we get on.

There are a number of areas in this schedule which are susceptible to the greater or lesser criticisms that I have addressed so far, but bearing in mind your strictures, Sir Nicholas, and bearing in mind my need to remain on very friendly terms with the Minister of State, I shall finish on this one point. It relates to page 115 and part 4 of the schedule. It says something that we have not just a schedule, but a schedule that is divided into many parts. It has more parts than Caesarean Gaul, one might add. But there we are.

Paragraph 13 is headed “Amendment by appropriate court”. This is a perfectly sensible suggestion. If an offender moves from one local court jurisdiction to another, it is important that the order should follow him and can be applied in the new area. However, we must ensure that the communication and co-operation systems are available to ensure that this happens. Far too often—I say this from my experience in sitting in courts in London—even within a petty sessional division, things do not get done because nobody bothers to tell the person who needs to implement the thing that has been decided. Will the Minister please ensure that an adequate communication system is in place before the Bill becomes law, so that the force of order can follow the offender geographically as he moves about?

I am beginning to feel inhibited from making further remarks, for no better reason than that the clock is ticking. If I do not continue to talk about schedule 2, I do not want anyone—particularly the Government—to think that I have no further things to say in relation to it. I do.