Schedule 6

Counter-Terrorism Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:15 pm on 15th May 2008.

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Repeals

Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Minister of State (Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and Policing), Home Office

I beg to move amendment No. 77, in schedule 6, page 82, line 26, at end insert—

Terrorism Act 2000 (c. 11)

In Schedule 8, in paragraph 29(4)(a) and (c), the words “after consulting the Lord Chancellor”.’.

Photo of Edward O'Hara Edward O'Hara Labour, Knowsley South

With this it will be convenient to discuss Government new clause 4—Pre-charge detention: minor amendments.

Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Minister of State (Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and Policing), Home Office

Although amendment No. 77 is the lead amendment, it is simply a consequential amendment, giving effect to new clause 4, which rectifies an error in schedule 8 to the Terrorism Act 2000. Paragraph 9 of that schedule refers to

“the consequence specified in paragraph 8(5)(c).”

However—I am surprised that the Liberal Democrats have not noticed this, as they are usually good at such things—there is no paragraph 8(5)(c). It is a little over the top, since that paragraph was substituted by section 456 and paragraph 39(1) of schedule 11 to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The purpose of the amendment is to rectify that appalling error, which was caused by the 2002 Act failing to make the necessary consequential amendment. That horrified me, as I am sure that it horrifies everybody else.

Proposed subsection (2) of new clause 4 is more substantive. Schedule 1 to the Bill amends the 2000 Act to provide for the new reserve power in relation to pre-charge detention in terrorism cases. The new provisions will require any application further to extend the period of pre-charge detention to be made to a senior judge. For England and Wales, that is defined as a High Court judge or a circuit judge designated by the Lord Chief Justice. For Northern Ireland, it is a High Court or county court judge designated by the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland. That designation is because when we have discussed terrorism legislation and considered judicial oversight in the past, we have got rather hung up on judges’ status rather than their experience.

The Lord Chief Justice has written to us and said that it is not very useful to go for a circuit judge or High Court judge if their experience, such as it is, is in civil or matrimonial law, for instance. It is not their status that matters, but their experience. That, principally, is what we refer to in proposed subsection (2), which is why we think it more than appropriate that, yes, it should be a High Court or circuit judge, but it should be one designated by the Lord Chief Justice, who knows far better than the House about the experience of individuals. That is what new clause 4(2) does, and I hope that both measures are greeted with the equanimity that they deserve.

Photo of David Heath David Heath Liberal Democrat, Somerton and Frome

Mr. O’Hara, I felt I was chided by the Minister for not having spotted this, and I can only offer my most sincere apologies to the entire  Committee for not having done so. Imagine my glee—imagine my smugness—had I spotted it. All that is now lost.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Minister of State (Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and Policing), Home Office

I beg to move amendment No. 78, in page 83, column 2, leave out lines 6 and 7 and insert—

‘Regulation 45E(3) and (4).

In Regulation 109— (a) paragraph (1)(g) to (i); (b) in paragraph (4)(a), the words preceding paragraph (i); (c) paragraph (4)(b) and the word “and” immediately preceding it.

In Regulation 115(2), “45E(3),”.’.

Photo of Edward O'Hara Edward O'Hara Labour, Knowsley South

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: Government amendment No. 79.

Government new schedule 2—Disclosure and the intelligence services: consequential amendments.

Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Minister of State (Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and Policing), Home Office

These amendments reconcile the “disclosure and the intelligence services” provisions of clauses 19 to 21 with existing legislation through consequential amendments. Had this been done in the 2002 Bill, I would not have had to move the last amendment. That is by the bye.

The amendments alter the representation of the people regulationsfor England, Wales and Scotland, removing restrictions on the intelligence and security agencies for normal disclosure, as these will now be covered by clause 19. They also preserve all rights conferred on the intelligence and security agencies to obtain information from the electoral register under the regulations.

Section 9(2)(a) of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 is removed, because there will be no need for a special information gateway for regular departments to pass information to the intelligence and security agencies once the new provisions are enacted.

Section 38 is removed from the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, which I took through and lovingly know as “IAN”, as there will be no need for a special information gateway to the intelligence and security agencies for immigration and nationality purposes.

Subsection 67 and subsection 39(4)(g) of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, both of which I have been assured exist, are removed, as there is no need for a special information gateway there, either.

In essence, these are technical amendments to ensure that the provisions in clauses 19 to 21 have their intended effect, and I commend them to the Committee.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment made: No. 79, in page 83, column 2, leave out lines 10 and 11 and insert—

‘Regulation 45D(3) and (4).

In Regulation 108— (a) paragraph (1)(g) to (i); (b) in paragraph (4)(a), the words preceding paragraph (i); (c) paragraph (4)(b) and the word “and” immediately preceding it.

In Regulation 115(2), “45D(3),”.’.—[Mr. McNulty.]

Photo of David Heath David Heath Liberal Democrat, Somerton and Frome

I will not move amendment No. 49, because it and the amendments with which it is grouped deal with the reform of the control order regime. I have given careful thought to this, and I think that we could usefully devote an hour and a half to two hours to that subject. Given that it is something that needs debating and that, in this last sitting, we still have to deal with very important issues under the new clauses, it is not appropriate for me to move the amendment, and therefore I do not intend to do so.

Schedule 6, as amended, agreed to.