This is a short amendment to question whether a phrase such as “but need not” in a subsection that gives a permissive power for a parenting order to include a particular requirement is proper legislative language. Clearly, if the provision gives rise to a permissive power rather than a requirement, it already is the case that the power need not be used. The phrase is tautologous and rather folksy in its drafting and, therefore, should be removed.
The phrase “but need not”, however folksy, is commonly used in legislation. It is used in the provisions in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 in respect of parenting orders for antisocial behaviour. In this Bill, it emphasises that the court has discretion in respect of the requirements imposed in the order.
It is important that orders are tailored to meet the individual needs of the parent so that he or she can most effectively deal with the behaviour that is of concern. That discretion, which is made exceptionally clear by the use of “may” and “but need not”, reflects that. I would argue that the phrase should be retained, and I hope that the hon. Gentleman will withdraw his interesting amendment.