Access to Justice Bill [Lords] — Title — 22 Jun 1999

Patrick McLoughlin MP, West Derbyshire voted in the minority (No).

Amendments made: No. 45, in page 69, line 39, leave out first 'of' and insert 'to'.

No. 46, in page 69, line 42, leave out first 'of' and insert 'to'.

No. 47, in page 70, line 3, leave out first 'of' and insert 'to'.

No. 48, in page 70, line 5, leave out first 'of' and insert 'to'.

No. 49, in page 70, line 6, leave out 'before a court'.

No. 50, in page 70, line 10, leave out first 'of' and insert 'to'.

No. 51, in page 70, line 13, leave out third 'of' and insert 'to'.

No. 52, in page 70, line 16, leave out 'the' and insert 'any'.

No. 53, in page 70, line 18, at end insert--

'(6) The powers of a magistrates' court for any area under this paragraph may be exercised by a single justice of the peace for the area.

(7) Any rules under section 144 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 which provide for the functions of a single justice under sub-paragraph (6) to be exercised by a justices' clerk may make different provision for different areas.'.

No. 54, in page 70, line 21, leave out first 'of' and insert 'to'.

No. 55, in page 70, line 22, leave out 'of' and insert 'to'.

No. 56, in page 70, line 24, leave out third 'of' and insert 'to'.

No. 57, in page 70, line 31, leave out 'of' and insert 'to'.

No. 58, in page 70, line 32, leave out 'of' and insert 'to'.

No. 59, in page 70, line 34, leave out 'of' and insert 'to'.

No. 60, in page 71, line 3, leave out 'of' and insert 'to'.-- [Mr. Hill.]

No. 66, in page 73, line 40, at end insert--

'. The Supreme Court Act 1981 has effect subject to the following amendments.

. In section 28 (appeal by way of case stated from decisions of Crown Court, other than those relating to trial on indictment), at the end insert--

"(4) In subsection (2)(a), the reference to a decision of the Crown Court relating to trial on indictment does not include a decision relating to an order under section 17 of the Access to Justice Act 1999."

. In section 29 (judicial review of decisions of Crown Court, other than matters relating to trial on indictment), at the end insert--

"(6) In subsection (3), the reference to the Crown Court's jurisdiction in matters relating to trial on indictment does not include its jurisdiction relating to orders under section 17 of the Access to Justice Act 1999.".'.

No. 67, in page 73, line 41, leave out

'of the Supreme Court Act 1981'.

No. 68, in page 74, line 5, leave out 'of' and insert 'to'.

No. 69, in page 77, line 22, at end insert--

'The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (c.37)

. The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 has effect subject to the following amendments.

. In section 50(2) (procedure at early administrative hearing), for paragraphs (a) to (c) substitute "the accused shall be asked whether he wishes to be granted a right to representation funded by the Legal Services Commission as part of the Criminal Defence Service and, if he does, the justice shall decide whether or not to grant him such a right."

. In paragraph 3(8) of Schedule 3 (matters which may be contained in a report of an application for dismissal of charges), for paragraph (g) substitute--

"(g) whether a right to representation funded by the Legal Services Commission as part of the Criminal Defence Service was granted to the accused or any of the accused."

The Disability Rights Commission Act 1999

. In section 8(4)(a) of the Disability Rights Commission Act 1999 (charges to recover costs of assistance in legal proceedings subject to any charge for benefit of Legal Aid Board), for the words from "under" to "Board" substitute "imposed by section 10(7) of the Access to Justice Act 1999 and any provision in, or made under, Part I of that Act for the payment of any sum to the Legal Services Commission".'.-- [Mr. Hill.]

order requiring the taking of that action by the person or body--

(a) he shall afford the person or body, and the person who made the allegation, a reasonable opportunity of appearing before him to make representations; and

(b) having considered any representations from them, he may, in reporting his conclusions, make the order."

(5) In subsections (3) and (4) (reports), after "recommendation" (in each place) insert "or order".

(6) In subsection (6) (duty to have regard to Ombudsman's report), for "subsection (1)(b) or (c)" substitute "subsection (1)(b), (c) or (d)".

(7) For the sidenote substitute "Recommendations and orders.".'.-- [Mr. Vaz.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

With this, it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments:

Government new clause 9-- Funding of Ombudsman by professional bodies

Government new clause 10-- The Commissioner

Government new clause 11-- Commissioner's functions .

Government new schedule 1-- Legal services complaints commissioner

Government amendment No. 86.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

(1A) To the extent that that expenditure is not met by payments under sub-paragraph (1), it shall be met by the Lord Chancellor out of money provided by Parliament.".'.-- [Mr. Vaz.]

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

(2) Any appointment of a person as Commissioner shall be for a period of not more than three years; and a person appointed as Commissioner shall hold and vacate office in accordance with the terms of his appointment.

(3) At the end of his term of appointment the Commissioner shall be eligible for re-appointment.

(4) The Commissioner shall not be an authorised advocate, authorised litigator, licensed conveyancer or authorised practitioner (within the meaning of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990) or a notary.

(5) Schedule ( Legal Services Complaints Commissioner ) (which makes further provision about the Commissioner) has effect.'.-- [Mr. Vaz.]

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

(2) Those powers are--

(a) to require a professional body to provide information, or make reports, to the Commissioner about the handling of complaints about its members,

(b) to investigate the handling of complaints about the members of a professional body,

(c) to make recommendations in relation to the handling of complaints about the members of a professional body,

(d) to set targets in relation to the handling of complaints about the members of a professional body, and

(e) to require a professional body to submit to the Commissioner a plan for the handling of complaints about its members.

(3) Where the Commissioner requires a professional body to submit to him a plan for the handling of complaints about its members but the body--

(a) fails to submit to him a plan which he considers adequate for securing that such complaints are handled effectively and efficiently, or

(b) submits to him such a plan but fails to handle complaints in accordance with it,

he may require the body to pay a penalty.

(4) Before requiring a professional body to pay a penalty under subsection (3) the Commissioner shall afford it a reasonable opportunity of appearing before him to make representations.

(5) The Lord Chancellor shall by order made by statutory instrument specify the maximum amount of any penalty under subsection (3).

(6) In determining the amount of any penalty which a professional body is to be required to pay under subsection (3) the Commissioner shall have regard to all the circumstances of the case, including in particular--

(a) the total number of complaints about members of the body and, where the penalty is imposed in respect of a failure to handle complaints in accordance with a plan, the number of complaints not so handled, and

(b) the assets of the body and the number of its members.

(7) A penalty under subsection (3) shall be paid to the Commissioner who shall pay it to the Lord Chancellor.

(8) Where a direction under subsection (1) in relation to a professional body has been given (and not revoked), section 24(1) of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (power of Legal Services Ombudsman to make recommendations about arrangements for investigation of complaints) shall not have effect in relation to the body.

(9) No order shall be made under subsection (5) unless a draft of the order has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(10) In this section "professional body" has the same meaning as in section 22 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990.'.-- [Mr. Vaz.]

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

(2) Rules made by virtue of subsection (1)--

(a) may provide for the payment of different fees by different descriptions of applicants, but

(b) may not set fees with a view to raising a total amount in excess of that applied by the Council for the purposes of the regulation, education and training of barristers and those wishing to become barristers.

(3) The Lord Chancellor may by order made by statutory instrument--

(a) amend subsection (2)(b) by adding to the purposes referred to in it such other purposes as the Lord Chancellor considers appropriate, or

(b) vary or revoke an order under paragraph (a).

(4) No order shall be made under subsection (3) unless--

(a) the Lord Chancellor has consulted the Council, and

(b) a draft of the order has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(5) No provision included in rules by virtue of subsection (1), and no other provision of rules made by the Council about practising certificates, shall have effect unless approved by the Lord Chancellor.

(6) The Council shall provide the Lord Chancellor with such information as he may reasonably require for deciding whether to approve any provision of rules made by the Council about practising certificates.'.-- [Mr. Vaz.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael J. Martin):

With this, it will be convenient to discuss Government new clause 7-- Fees for solicitor's practising certificates .

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

(a) the purposes of the regulation, education and training of solicitors and those wishing to become solicitors, or

(b) both those purposes and such other purposes as the Lord Chancellor considers appropriate.

(2) No order shall be made under this section unless--

(a) the Lord Chancellor has consulted the Master of the Rolls and the Law Society, and

(b) a draft of the order has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.'.-- [Mr. Vaz.]

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

concerned or to cease to be such a member for a specified period; or

(b) that, for a specified period, the person may not be appointed (or co-opted) as a member of any magistrates' courts committee or any selection panel for choosing members of such a committee.

(3) The Lord Chancellor may by regulations made by statutory instrument make provision for the purpose of establishing whether persons have failed to observe the code.

(4) A statutory instrument containing regulations made by virtue of subsection (3) above shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.".'.-- [Mr. Vaz.]

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

(5) Regulations under subsection (1) may, in particular, prescribe as a description of body one which is for the time being approved by the Lord Chancellor or by a prescribed person.'.-- [Mr. Vaz.]

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

(3) In the sidenote to section 16 of that Act (adjournment of inquest in certain cases), for "certain cases" substitute "event of criminal proceedings".'.-- [Mr. Vaz.]

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

(2) In this section--

"United Kingdom judicial office" means the office of--

(a) Lord Justice of Appeal, Justice of the High Court or Circuit judge, in England and Wales,

(b) judge of the Court of Session or sheriff, in Scotland, or

(c) Lord Justice of Appeal, judge of the High Court or county court judge, in Northern Ireland, and

"relevant international court" means--

(a) any court established for any purposes of the European Communities, or

(b) any international court (apart from the European Court of Human Rights) which is designated for the purposes of this section by the Lord Chancellor or the Secretary of State.

(3) A holder of a United Kingdom judicial office who also holds office in a relevant international court is not required to perform any duties as the holder of the United Kingdom judicial office but does not count as holding the United Kingdom judicial office--

(a) for the purposes of section 12(1) to (6) of the Supreme Court Act 1981, section 9(1)(c) or (d) of the Administration of Justice Act 1973, section 18 of the Courts Act 1971, section 14 of the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1907 or section 106 of the County Courts Act (Northern Ireland) 1959 (judicial salaries),

(b) for the purposes of, or of any scheme established by and in accordance with, the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993, the Judicial Pensions Act 1981, the Sheriffs' Pensions (Scotland) Act 1961 or the County Courts Act (Northern Ireland) 1959 (judicial pensions), or

(c) for the purposes of section 2(1) or 4(1) of the Supreme Court Act 1981, section 1(1) of the Court of Session Act 1988 or section 2(1) or 3(1) of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978 (judicial numbers).

(4) If the sheriff principal of any sheriffdom also holds office in a relevant international court, section 11(1) of the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971 (temporary appointment of sheriff principal) applies as if the office of sheriff principal of that sheriffdom were vacant.

(5) The appropriate Minister may by order made by statutory instrument make in relation to a holder of a United Kingdom judicial office who has ceased to hold office in a relevant international court such transitional provision (including, in particular, provision for a temporary increase in the maximum number of judges) as he considers appropriate.

(6) In subsection (5) "appropriate Minister" means--

(a) in relation to any United Kingdom judicial office specified in paragraph (a) or (c) of the definition in subsection (2), the Lord Chancellor, and

(b) in relation to any United Kingdom judicial office specified in paragraph (b) of that definition, the Secretary of State.

(7) A statutory instrument containing an order made under subsection (5) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.'.-- [Mr. Vaz.]

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

Schedule

Legal Services Complaints Commissioner

Provision for discharge of functions

1.--(1) The Lord Chancellor may give general directions concerning the discharge of the functions of the Legal Services Complaints Commissioner

(2) Any such directions shall be published by the Lord Chancellor in such manner as appears to him to be appropriate.

(3) Subject to any such direction and to the provisions of this Act, the Commissioner may make such provision as he considers appropriate for the discharge of his functions.

Delegation of functions

2.--(1) The Commissioner may delegate any of his functions to such members of his staff as he thinks fit.

(2) All reports prepared by or on behalf of the Commissioner must be signed by him.

Remuneration

3.--(1) The Lord Chancellor shall pay to, or in respect of, the Commissioner such amounts--

(a) by way of remuneration, pensions, allowances or gratuities, or

(b) by way of provision for any such benefits,

as he may determine.

(2) If--

(a) the Commissioner ceases to hold office, and

(b) it appears to the Lord Chancellor that there are special circumstances which make it right that he should receive compensation,

the Lord Chancellor may pay to him such sum as the Lord Chancellor may determine.

Staff

4.--(1) The Commissioner may appoint such staff as he thinks necessary for the discharge of his functions.

(2) Appointments shall be made by the Commissioner on such terms and conditions (including terms as to pensions, allowances and gratuities) as he may, with the approval of the Lord Chancellor, determine.

(3) The reference in sub-paragraph (2) to pensions, allowances or gratuities includes a reference to pensions, allowances or gratuities by way of compensation to or in respect of any of the Commissioner's staff who suffer loss of employment or loss or diminution of emoluments.

Annual and other reports

5.--(1) The Commissioner shall make an annual report to the Lord Chancellor on the discharge of his functions during the year to which the report relates.

(2) The Commissioner may, in addition, report to the Lord Chancellor at any time on any matter relating to the discharge of the Commissioner's functions.

(3) The Commissioner shall provide the Lord Chancellor with such information relating to the discharge of his functions as the Lord Chancellor may see fit to require.

(4) The Lord Chancellor shall lay before each House of Parliament a copy of any annual report made to him undersub-paragraph (1).

Accounts and audit

6.--(1) The Commissioner shall keep accounts with respect to his receipts and expenditure and shall prepare a statement of accounts with respect to each financial year.

(2) The accounts shall be kept, and the statement of accounts prepared, in such form as the Lord Chancellor may, with the approval of the Treasury, direct.

(3) The accounts shall be audited by persons appointed by the Lord Chancellor in respect of each financial year.

(4) The auditors shall send to the Lord Chancellor a copy of the statement of accounts and of their report.

(5) The Lord Chancellor shall lay before each House of Parliament a copy of every statement of accounts and auditors' report sent to him under this paragraph.

Financial provisions

7.--(1) The Lord Chancellor may require any professional body in relation to which a direction under section ( Commissioner's functions ) of this Act has been given (and not revoked) to make payments of such amounts as the Lord Chancellor considers appropriate to the Commissioner towards meeting the expenditure incurred (or to be incurred) by him in the discharge of his functions.

(2) To the extent that that expenditure is not met by payments under sub-paragraph (1), it shall be met by the Lord Chancellor out of money provided by Parliament.

(3) The Commissioner may, with the approval of the Lord Chancellor, pay fees or allowances to any person who, in the Commissioner's opinion, is qualified to assist him in the discharge of his functions and who so assists him.

Acting Commissioner

10.--(1) The Lord Chancellor may appoint a person to exercise the functions of the Commissioner where--

(a) the Commissioner's office becomes vacant, or

(b) the Commissioner is incapable of exercising his functions or considers that it would be inappropriate for him to exercise any of his functions in connection with a particular matter (because of a possible conflict of interests or for any other reason).

(2) A person so appointed shall have the powers of the Commissioner but shall act only in accordance with the terms on which he is appointed.

(3) The Lord Chancellor may pay to any person so appointed such remuneration as he may determine.'.-- [Mr. Vaz.]

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

I beg to move amendment No. 23, in page 18, line 14, after

'but', insert (subject to subsection (5))'.

Amendment agreed to .

I beg to move amendment No. 98, in page 19, line 3, after 'proceedings', insert

'save those brought under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990'.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment made: No. 32, in page 21, line 19, leave out 'taxing' and insert 'assessment'.-- [Mr. Vaz.]

I beg to move amendment No. 33, in page 22, line 4, leave out 'disability working allowance' and insert 'disabled person's tax credit'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael Lord):

With this, it will be convenient to discuss Government amendment No. 82.

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move amendment No. 34, in page 24, line 31, leave out 'an advocate,' and insert

'a Crown Prosecutor or in any other description of employment,'.

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move amendment No. 94, in page 27, line 36, at end insert--

'( ) No person shall take or use any name, title or description implying that he is certificated as a notary by the Incorporated Company of Scriveners of London unless he is qualified to practise as a Scrivener notary in accordance with the rules and ordinances of that Company.

( ) A person who contravenes the preceding subsection shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale'.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Ordered,

Ordered,

Ordered,

Amendment made: No. 1, in page 39, line 14, leave out from '(which' to 'has' in line 16 and insert

'makes provision about the enforcement of community orders by the Crown Court)'.-- [Mr. Cranston.]

Ordered,

That clause 70, as amended, be transferred to end of line 32 on page 33.--[ Mr. Vaz. ]

Amendment proposed: No. 100, in page 44, line 34, leave out from beginning to end of line 10 on page 46 and insert--

'Funding

59B.--(1) The Lord Chancellor may pay grants to the Greater London Magistrates' Courts Authority in respect of the Authority's expenditure.

(2) Grants under this section shall be paid at such times, in such manner and subject to such conditions as the Lord Chancellor may with the concurrence of the Treasury determine.

(3) Each London local authority shall pay to the Authority such amount in respect of--

(a) any kind of the Authority's expenditure in any year; or

(b) if less, such amount as may, in relation to that kind of expenditure and that year, be for the time being determined by the Lord Chancellor,

as may be determined in accordance with regulations made by the Lord Chancellor by statutory instrument.

(4) The Lord Chancellor may by regulations made by statutory instrument make provision as to the making of payments under subsection (3) above, including provision--

(a) as to whether payments are to be made by instalments or otherwise;

(b) as to the time when payments are to be made;

(c) conferring a right to interest on anything unpaid; and

(d) permitting a London local authority to anticipate a payment under this section when making calculations in accordance with section 32 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (originally or by way of substitute).

(5) The Lord Chancellor may with the consent of the Treasury make provision by regulations made by statutory instrument as to how any kind of the Authority's expenditure is to be determined.

(6) Subject to any such regulations, the Lord Chancellor may direct that in determining any kind of the Authority's expenditure there shall be taken into account or disregarded, to such extent as may be specified in the direction, such items as may be so specified.

(7) A statutory instrument containing regulations made by virtue of this section shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.'.--[ Mr. Vaz. ]

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 91, in page 62, line 16, leave out '61,' and insert

'61(2), section 70 and Schedule 10 and section ( Adjournment of inquest in event of judicial inquiry ),'.

No. 3, in page 62, line 17, after & 75' insert

', ( Code of conduct )'.-- [Mr. Vaz.]

Amendment made: No. 104, in page 62, line 28, after 'Sections' insert

'( Judges holding office in European or international courts ),'.-- [Mr. Vaz.]

No. 75, in page 89, line 4, leave out '(incorporated practices)'.

No. 76, in page 89, line 10, leave out

'to the Director of Public Prosecutions'.

No. 77, in page 89, line 11, leave out

', if the Director thinks fit,'.

No. 78, in page 89, line 13, at end insert--

'Intervention for breach of rules on practice, conduct and discipline

. In Schedule 1 to the Solicitors Act 1974 (intervention in solicitor's practice), in paragraph 1(1) (circumstances in which Law Society may intervene), in paragraph (c) (failure to comply with rules made by virtue of section 32 or 37(2)(c)), after "section" insert "31,".'.

No. 79, in page 89, line 15, leave out 'the Solicitors Act 1974' and insert 'that Act'.

No. 80, in page 89, line 45, at end insert

'and

(b) whichever of the Society and the Tribunal made it may at any time revoke it.'.

No. 81, in page 90, line 9, at end insert--

'. In section 44(2) of that Act (breach of order by solicitor), for the words from "an order" to the end of paragraph (b) substitute "an order under section 43(2) is in force in respect of a person".'.-- [Mr. Cranston.]

Amendment made: No. 4, in page 106, leave out lines 11 to 13.-- [Mr. Cranston.]

Ordered,

That Schedule 10, as amended, be transferred to end of line 36 on page 91. --[Mr. Cranston.]

Amendments made: No. 105, in page 106, line 20, leave out from beginning to '(definition' in line 19 on page 107 and insert--

'The Public Works Loans Act 1965 (c.63)

. In section 2(1)(a) of the Public Works Loans Act 1965 (authorities to which Public Works Loans Commissioners may make unsecured loans), after sub-paragraph (iv) insert "and

(v) the Greater London Magistrates' Courts Authority;".

The National Loans Act 1968 (c.13)

. In paragraph 1(a) of Schedule 4 to the National Loans Act 1968 (authorities to which local loans may be made), after sub-paragraph (iv) insert "and

(v) the Greater London Magistrates' Courts Authority,".

The Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (c.53).

. In section 82(2A) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988'.--

No. 106, in page 107, line 22, at end insert--

'The Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (c.42)

. The Local Government and Housing Act 1989 has effect subject to the following amendments.

. In section 39(1) (authorities to which provisions about revenue accounts and capital apply), after paragraph (e) insert--

No. 112, in page 108, line 15, leave out

'of the Justices of the Peace Act 1997'.-- [Mr. Cranston.]

(3) After that subsection insert--

"(4A) In subsection (1) above "proper officer" means--

(a) in relation to a magistrates' court in England and Wales, the justices' chief executive for the court, and

(b) in relation to a magistrates' court in Northern Ireland, the clerk of the court.".'.-- [Mr. Cranston.]

Amendments made: No. 82, in page 137, line 45, at end insert--

'Legal aid in Scotland

. If section 32 of this Act comes into force before section 1 of the Tax Credits Act 1999, the reference in section 32 to disabled person's tax credit shall, until section 1 of the Tax Credits Act 1999 comes into force, have effect as a reference to disability working allowance.'.

No. 8, in page 141, line 6, leave out

'coming into force of section 74 of this Act,'

and insert

'Greater London Magistrates' Courts Authority becomes the magistrates' courts committee for Greater London,'.

No. 9, in page 142, line 10, leave out

'begins to act as a magistrates' courts committee,'

and insert

'becomes the magistrates' courts committee for Greater London,'.

No. 10, in page 142, line 12, at end insert--

'(2) For the purposes of sections 39A and 39B of the Justices of the Peace Act 1997 (inserted by section ( Code of conduct ) of this Act) the Authority shall be treated as a magistrates' courts committee until it actually becomes the magistrates' courts committee for Greater London.'.

No. 113, in page 143, line 4, at end insert--

'Stamp duty on transfer schemes

.--(1) Stamp duty shall not be chargeable--

(a) on any scheme under paragraph 32, or

(b) on any instrument or agreement which is certified to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue by the Lord Chancellor as made in pursuance of such a scheme.

(2) No such scheme, and no instrument or agreement which is certified as mentioned in sub-paragraph (1)(b), shall be taken to be duly stamped unless--

(a) it has, in accordance with section 12 of the Stamp Act 1891, been stamped with a particular stamp denoting that it is not chargeable with that duty or that it is duly stamped, or

(b) it is stamped with the duty to which it would be liable, apart from this paragraph.

(3) Section 12 of the Finance Act 1895 shall not operate to require--

(a) the delivery to the Inland Revenue of a copy of this Act, or

(b) the payment of stamp duty under that section on any copy of this Act,

and shall not apply in relation to any instrument on which, by virtue of sub-paragraph (1), stamp duty is not chargeable.'.

No. 114, in page 143, line 29, at end insert--

'Pensions of inner London court staff

.--(1) The Lord Chancellor may by order made by statutory instrument make provision about the provision of pensions for or in respect of persons who are or have been members of the inner London court staff.

(2) An order under this paragraph may include provision for, or in connection with--

(a) enabling persons to participate, or continue to participate, in any pension scheme and requiring their employers to make contributions under that scheme, and

(b) the administration or management of pension schemes or pension funds.

(3) Provision of the kind specified in sub-paragraph (2)(a) may--

(a) with the consent of the Minister for the Civil Service, include provision for section 1 of the Superannuation Act 1972 (pensions of civil servants etc) to apply to persons who are or have been members of the inner London court staff, or

(b) include provision for persons who have been members of the inner London court staff but who are employees of the Greater London Magistrates' Courts Authority by virtue of a scheme under paragraph 32 to be regarded as continuing to be members of the metropolitan civil staffs for the purposes of section 15 of the Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1967 (pensions of metropolitan civil staffs).

(4) An order under this paragraph containing provision of the kind specified in sub-paragraph (3)(a) may also contain provision for such body or person as may be specified in the order to pay to the Minister for the Civil Service, at such times as he may direct, such sums as he may determine in respect of the increase attributable to such provision (so far as referable to that body or person) in the sums payable under the Superannuation Act 1972 out of money provided by Parliament.

(5) Where an order is made under this paragraph containing provision of the kind specified in sub-paragraph (3)(a), the Minister for the Civil Service may, to such extent and subject to such conditions as he thinks fit--

(a) delegate to any person the function of administering a scheme made under section 1 of the Superannuation Act 1972, so far as relating to persons who are or have been members of the inner London court staff, or

(b) authorise the exercise of that function (so far as so relating) by, or by employees of, any person.

(6) A person to whom the function of administering a scheme made under section 1 of the Superannuation Act 1972 is delegated under sub-paragraph (5)(a) may, to such extent and subject to such conditions as he may determine, authorise the exercise of that function by, or by employees of, any person.

(7) Where a person is authorised under sub-paragraph (5)(b) or (6) to exercise the function of administering a scheme made under section 1 of the Superannuation Act 1972, anything done or omitted to be done by or in relation to him (or an employee of his) in, or in connection with, the exercise or purported exercise of the function shall be treated for all purposes as done or omitted to be done by the person who authorised him.

(8) Sub-paragraph (7) does not apply for the purposes of--

(a) any criminal proceedings against the authorised person (or any employee of his), or

(b) any contract between him and the person who authorised him, so far as relating to the function.

(9) An order under this paragraph may provide that any enactment repealed by this Act shall continue to have effect for any purpose specified in the order with such modifications as may be so specified.

(10) A statutory instrument containing an order under this paragraph shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(11) In this paragraph the "inner London court staff" means--

(a) the justices' chief executive employed by the magistrates' courts committee for the area consisting of the inner London boroughs,

(b) any justices' clerk for that area, and

(c) staff of the magistrates' courts committee for that area.'.-- [Mr. Cranston.]

Amendments made: No. 83, in page 145, line 54, at end insert--

'1998 c. 37. The Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Section 49(1)(j).

Section 50(5).

In Schedule 8, paragraph 67.'.

No. 84, in page 146, line 12, column 3, leave out from 'section' to end of line 14 and insert

'32(4), the words "to the Director of Public Prosecutions" and the words ", if the Director thinks fit,".'.

No. 93, in page 146, line 36, column 3, at beginning insert 'Section 9(2)(g).'.

No. 85, in page 146, line 37, column 3, after '2,' insert

'in paragraph 3, the words "to the Director of Public Prosecutions" and the words ", if the Director thinks fit," and,'.

No. 86, in page 147, line 24, column 3, at end insert--

'In Schedule 3--

in paragraph 3, in sub-paragraph (1) the words "with the approval of the Treasury" and, in sub-paragraph (2), the words ", with the consent of the Treasury,",

in paragraph 4(2) the words "given with the consent of the Treasury", and

in paragraph 9(3), the words "with the approval of the Treasury".'.

No. 115, in page 155, line 21, at end insert--

'1965 c. 63. The Public Works Loans Act 1965. In section 2(1)(a), the word "and" at the end of sub-paragraph (iii).

No. 116, in page 155, line 24, at end insert--

'1968 c. 13. The National Loans Act 1968. In Schedule 4, in paragraph 1(a), the word "and" at the end of sub-paragraph (iii).

1971 c. 56. The Pensions (Increase) Act 1971. In Schedule 6, paragraph (d).'

No. 117, in page 155, leave out lines 27 to 35.

No. 118, in page 155, leave out line 44.-- [Mr. Cranston.]

Ordered,

That Part IV(5) (Enforcement of community orders) of Schedule 14 be transferred to end of line 27 on page 148.--[ Mr. Vaz. ]

Amendment made: No. 119, line 4, leave out from 'appeals' to 'court' in line 8 and insert ', courts, judges and'.-- [Mr. Cranston.]

Order for Third Reading read.--[Queen's consent, on behalf of the Crown, signified.]

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

The Bill has been before Parliament since December and has made good progress. We have already paid tribute during its course to the various people who have contributed to it both here and in another place, but I add my personal thanks to the excellent officials of my Department.

As the Lord Chancellor has said, the Bill aims to improve access to justice. We are determined to build structures and to provide services that go further towards meeting people's needs than legal services do at present. That is the purpose of the community legal service. That is why we are introducing contracting for legal services with quality assured suppliers, extending the use of conditional fees and rights of audience, and reforming the magistrates courts system.

Many clever, dedicated, hard working people do their best to meet the needs of legal services. However, the existing system does not meet the needs of ordinary people, those with little money or run-of-the-mill cases. We want to re-orient legal services to make them more customer focused and to base them on a real assessment of need. To that end, the Bill sets up the community legal service, which will have the dual tasks of considering the need for civil and family legal services and putting in place the services required to meet those needs, as far as available resources will allow.

We are creating a criminal defence service to replace criminal legal aid. Publicly funded criminal defence services will continue to be available in all cases where the interests of justice require it. We are making success fees, conditional fee arrangements and insurance premiums recoverable in costs. We intend to extend the use of no win, no fee agreements. No hon. Member has successfully demonstrated that they are not the best possible way to extend access to justice in many cases. They will open up the law to many people to whom legal aid is currently not available.

We are reforming rights of audience by giving full rights to all lawyers who are suitably qualified and we are setting up a system to encourage the regulation of the legal professions to change with the times. We have put in place this very evening a means to encourage professional legal bodies, and in particular the Law Society, to handle complaints from customers much better. We hope never to use them but we would have failed in our duty if we had not acted. We are ensuring that civil appeals will be held at the right level and dealt with in a way proportionate to their weight and complexity.

Lastly, we are changing the organisation and management of magistrates courts, the better to serve the public and help our plans for better co-ordination in the civil justice system. I think that hon. Members will see that this is an impressive agenda for change. The creation of a community legal service is the most innovative part of the Bill and I believe that it will prove to be the most far-reaching proposal. The legal aid system was set up in a different world where recourse to law was far less frequent. The system has since grown substantially in real terms.

A Government bent on modernising and improving the whole range of public services must also look to see whether legal aid is being used in the right way. The

22 Jun 1999 : Column 1069

striking feature of our legal aid system is that it is not based on an objective assessment of what is needed. Nor do we know whether the outcome of the expenditure is the best that could be achieved. Of course, many worthwhile cases are supported and will continue to be supported, but other cases are supported in which there must be doubt as to whether pursuing them represents good use of public money. I, for one, would not wish to see taxpayers' money spent on funding legal services where alternatives are available.

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:--

The House divided: Ayes 301, Noes 151.

Historical Hansard | Online Hansard |

Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Con0 128 (+2 tell)080.2%
Lab301 (+2 tell) 0072.8%
LDem0 21045.7%
UUP0 2020.0%
Total:301 151071.9%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

NameConstituencyPartyVote
no rebellions

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