Schedule 3

Serious Crime Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:30 pm on 3 July 2007.

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Listed Offences

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

I beg to move amendment No. 138, in schedule 3, page 58, line 6, at end insert

‘consisting in attempting an act calculated or likely to cause sedition or disaffection in contravention of that subsection.’.

Photo of Joe Benton Joe Benton Labour, Bootle

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: Government amendment No. 139.

Amendment No. 172, in schedule 3, page 58, line 35, at end insert—

‘14A An offence under section 1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (c.18) (unauthorised access to computer material).

14B An offence under section 2 of that Act (unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate the commission of further offences).

14C An offence under section 3 of that Act (unauthorised modification of computer material).’.

Government amendments Nos. 140 to 145.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

As a brief reminder for those who have not read it recently, the schedule contains a list of offences that can be considered encouraged or assisted offences only when D intends them to take place.

Government amendments Nos. 140 to 143 are additions that we should like to make to the schedule. The original list of offences was taken from the Law Commission’s draft Bill. It did a lot of work on identifying offences that ought to be excluded as belief offences, and we were grateful for that. During the Bill’s passage through Parliament my officials have been conducting a trawl of existing legislation, as officials do at such times, to see whether the Law Commission managed to identify all the offences that ought to be in the schedule. They have found a number of additional offences. We added some on Report in the other place and indicated that we thought there might be more to come, and the amendments contain the extra offences that we have discovered. They are all consistent with those included in the original Law Commission draft Bill.

I hope that these further additions will provide us with a final, complete list. It is a hostage to fortune for me to have said that, but I hope that these are the last amendments that we will need to make to the schedule. Amendment No. 140 will add the offence under section 2(2) of the Landmines Act 1998 of encouraging,  assisting or inducing an offence. Amendment No. 141 will add a list of offences from the Terrorism Act 2006.

Amendments Nos. 142 and 143 will add offences under section 13 of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973 and section 21(6) of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974 with regard to assaults on officers. Amendments Nos. 138 and 139 will restrict the offences in the Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act 1919, set out in paragraphs 5 and 6 of the schedule, to the attempt to perform an act. Amendments Nos. 144 and 145 are minor drafting amendments.

The amendments are simply tidying up, and I hope that they are not controversial and that the Committee will feel able to support them.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

I shall comment briefly on the amendments. I do not intend to pursue amendment No. 172, which my hon. Friend the Member for Arundel and South Downs (Nick Herbert) and I tabled, considering the Minister’s trawl through the relevant offences. She will be aware of the debate that took place in the other place on whether the offences in question should just be repealed. It would then be a question of ensuring that all the necessary repeals were picked up.

There is concern about the operation of the schedule and the approach that has been taken, as expressed in the other place. I do not intend to rehearse the points raised there, and I note the Minister’s additional provisions. The risk is that other offences are yet to be discovered, which highlights the issue of certainty and reaffirms the concerns and reservations expressed by their lordships.

Amendmentagreed to.

Amendments made: No. 139, in schedule 3, page 58, line 8, at end insert

‘consisting in attempting to promote industrial unrest in contravention of that subsection.’.

No. 140, in schedule 3, page 59, line 9, at end insert—

‘Landmines Act 1998 (c. 33)

An offence under section 2(2) of the Landmines Act 1998 (encouraging, assisting or inducing an offence under section 2(1) of that Act).’.

No. 141, in schedule 3, page 59, line 9, at end insert—

‘Terrorism Act 2006 (c. 11)

An offence under section 1(2) of the Terrorism Act 2006 (encouraging terrorism).

An offence under section 2(1) of that Act (disseminating terrorist publications).

An offence under section 5 of that Act (engaging in conduct in preparation for giving effect to intention to commit or assisting another to commit acts of terrorism).

An offence under section 6(1) of that Act (provision of instruction or training knowing that a person trained or instructed intends to use the skills obtained for or in connection with the commission of acts of terrorism or for assisting the commission or preparation of such acts by others).

An offence under section 6(2) of that Act as a result of paragraph (b)(ii) of that subsection (receipt of instruction or training intending to use the skills obtained for assisting the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism by others).’.

No. 142, in schedule 3, page 59, line 25, at end insert—

‘Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973 (c. xxx)

An offence under section 13 of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973 (assaults etc. on officers) consisting in the aiding or inciting of any person to assault, resist or obstruct an officer of the Thames Water Authority duly exercising or performing any power or duty under a section or byelaw mentioned in that section.’.

No. 143, in schedule 3, page 59, line 25, at end insert—

‘Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974 (c. xxiv)

An offence under section 21(6) of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974 (assaults etc. on officers of a borough council) consisting in the aiding or inciting of any person to assault, resist or obstruct an officer of a borough council duly exercising or performing any power or duty under section 21 of that Act.’.

No. 144, in schedule 3, page 60, line 1, for ‘13(8)’ substitute ‘13(9)’.

No. 145, in schedule 3, page 60, line 2, for ‘13(7)’ substitute ‘13(8)’.—[Maria Eagle.]

Schedule 3, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 47 to 49 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 4 agreed to.

Clauses 50 to 56 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 5 agreed to.

Clauses 57 and 58 ordered to stand part of the Bill.