New Clause 69

Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:30 pm on 29 November 2007.

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Northern Ireland Commissioner for Prison Complaints: investigations requested by the Secretary of State

‘(1) The Secretary of State may request the Commissioner to investigate any matter mentioned in subsection (3) or (4) which is specified in the request.

(2) The Secretary of State shall consult the Commissioner before making a request under this section.

(3) A request may specify any matter relating to events which have (or may have) occurred—

(a) at applicable premises;

(b) while a person is in the custody of prison officers or prisoner custody officers, or under their control or escort, anywhere in the world;

(c) in the course of exercising any function of the Secretary of State relating to prisons or persons detained in prison;

(d) in the course of exercising any functions of a prison officer or prisoner custody officer.

(4) A request may also specify any matter the Secretary of State considers is (or may be) linked to events falling within subsection (3).

(5) It is the duty of the Commissioner to investigate any matter which is the subject of a request under this section.

(6) Subject to any directions given to the Commissioner by the Secretary of State, it is for the Commissioner to determine the scope of, and the procedure to be applied to, an investigation under this section.

(7) Subject to any such directions, the Commissioner may at any time reopen—

(a) an investigation previously carried out under this section; or

(b) an investigation carried out by the Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland of matters referred to the Ombudsman by the Secretary of State (so far as relating to matters that could be the subject of a request under this section);

and a re-opened investigation shall be treated for the purposes of this Part as a separate investigation under this section.

(8) In subsection (3)—

(a) the reference in paragraph (c) to the Secretary of State is to the Secretary of State having responsibility for prisons in Northern Ireland;

(b) the references to functions are to functions conferred by or under any Act or Northern Ireland legislation (including, in the case of prison officers, functions exercisable by virtue of section 8 of the Prison Act (Northern Ireland) 1953 (N.I. 18) (constabulary powers etc.).’.—[Maria Eagle.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.