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Members of the House of Lords discussed the second reading - general principles - of the Bribery Bill on 9 December.
The Government's Bribery Bill aims to reform the criminal law to provide a new scheme of bribery offences which will enable courts and prosecutors to respond more effectively to bribery at home or abroad.
Second reading is the first opportunity for Members of the Lords to debate the main principles and purpose of the Bill and to flag up concerns and areas where they think changes (amendments) are needed.
The Government minister, spokesperson or Member of the Lords responsible for the Bill opens the debate.
Any Member can speak in the debate so this stage can indicate those Members particularly interested in the Bill - or a particular aspect of it - and those who are most likely to be involved in amending the Bill at later stages.
After second reading the Bill goes to committee stage - where detailed line by line examination of the Bill and discussion of amendments takes place.
The first day of committee stage on this Bill is scheduled for 7 January 2010.
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