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Clause 4

Part of Counter-Terrorism Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 29th April 2008.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Attorney General 12:00 pm, 29th April 2008

It may appear remarkably curmudgeonly on my part not to accept the Minister’s largesse. May I explain that the amendment had originally been tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Newark? I indicated when I opened the debate that I thought it had a potential flaw. On the whole, I would have preferred the wording to be “as soon as reasonably  practicable, and in any event within 24 hours”. As I indicated, I would normally have assumed that good police practice would be to write out a list and hand it to the person as they were leaving the premises. Anything that suggested otherwise might send out a rather odd message.

Therefore, although I wanted a finite period for the reasonable practicability, I do not think that simply putting down 24 hours and thus encouraging the police to say, “The rules say that you can have it in 23 hours’ time,” is very good. I apologise to the Minister and the Committee. Perhaps this is illustrative of the fact that I regret that my hon. Friend is not present. However, if the Minister were to say that he would table an amendment on the basis of “reasonable practicability, and in any event within 24 hours”, I would give him a hug at the end of the sitting.