Crime and Courts Bill report stage day three

11 December 2012

The Crime and Courts Bill continued report stage, a further chance for scrutiny, yesterday (Monday 10 December).

Members of the House of Lords began by discussing televising court proceedings. Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws (Labour) warned the House: 'It is easy for people who do not practise in a criminal court to underestimate the power and the effect of this on our justice system. I regret that there is not enough support in this House for my amendment and I therefore feel obliged to withdraw it, but I do so giving a warning about the serious implications of taking cameras into criminal courts and what it will do to our justice system.'

During scrutiny of Part 2 of the bill, which addresses modernising courts and tribunals, government minister Lord McNally (Liberal Democrat) proposed a new clause to protect householders: 'If householders end up being arrested, prosecuted or convicted after injuring a burglar, this can give rise to a public perception that the criminal justice system does not support the real victims in all of this.' The amendment went to a vote resulting with 206 for and 55 against.

With Amendment 113G Lord Ramsbotham (Crossbench) sought to have part of the bill removed: 'We understand that there are going to be commissioners all over the country commissioning community sentences, although we do not know whether they are going to come from the probation service, the voluntary sector, the private sector or whatever. We are in the dark and, frankly, I think it is a great pity that something like this should be left in such an imprecise state. That is why I wish to see the thing removed.'

Lord McNally (Liberal Democrat) responded on behalf of the government by saying: 'Nothing in this provision prevents a court imposing a requirement that delivers both punishment and rehabilitation.'

The amendment went to a vote resulting with 32 for and 156 against.  

The fourth day of report stage is scheduled for Wednesday 12 December.

About the Crime and Courts Bill

The bill was introduced in the House of Lords at its first reading stage (formal introduction) on 10 May. It aims to establish the National Crime Agency and proposes abolishing the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the National Policing Improvement Agency.

It also examines the structure, administration, proceedings and powers of courts and tribunals and addresses issues like border control and drugs and driving.

More about the Crime and Courts Bill

What is report stage?

Report stage gives all members of the Lords further opportunity to examine and make changes, known as amendments, to a bill.

Report stage usually starts 14 days after committee stage. It can be spread over several days (but usually fewer days than at committee stage).

Before report stage starts, all member's amendments are recorded and published. The day before a report stage debate the amendments are placed in order - a marshalled list.

During report stage detailed line by line examination of the bill continues. Any member of the Lords can take part and votes can take place.

After report stage the bill is reprinted to include all the agreed amendments. The bill then moves to third reading for the final chance for the Lords to debate and amend the bill.

Further information

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