Duty to make support available for digitally excluded people

Part of Courts and Tribunals (Online Procedure) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 23rd July 2019.

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Photo of Yasmin Qureshi Yasmin Qureshi Shadow Minister (Justice) 9:45 am, 23rd July 2019

I am not trying to be difficult, but we will push the amendment to the vote for two reasons. First, clause 4 states:

“The Lord Chancellor must arrange for the provision of such support as the Lord Chancellor considers to be appropriate and proportionate, for the purpose of assisting persons to initiate…”

Do we know what “appropriate and proportionate” mean? Although the rule committee presumably will decide what is appropriate and proportionate, it is important for it to know that our amendment adds the consideration of a free helpline. The support is not limited to that—other things could be included. It is important to include free phone lines so that the rule committee is assured that it can look at all possible options, including free telephonic support at the point of use.