The debate started with changes to Clause 24 which addresses appeals against the removal of rights of entry clearance for families to visit the UK (Amendments 148A and 148AA). The clause was 'agreed' and Lord Avebury (Liberal Democrat), who moved the initial amendments, said the issue should be revisited during report stage (next stage).
He then tackled immigration appeals on racial discrimination and asylum grounds (Amendments 148B, C and D). On withdrawing Amendment C he said: 'I look forward to hearing... about the results of the policy review on the length of permission granted for a child and the effects of an appeal being heard after the child has reached the age of adulthood. I hope... that we will be able to have a more concrete idea of what the government propose to do to remedy the situation before report.'
Lords then moved on to discuss Clause 26 which tackles powers for immigration officers. Baroness Smith of Basildon (Labour/Co-operative)outlined UK Border Agency responsibilities in Amendment 149CA (later withdrawn). She said: 'The nature of international and global threats is constantly changing and we have to pay tribute to the immigration officers. They have a difficult job, they work in a challenging environment, and they have suffered cuts to their numbers in the last couple of years.'
Members started their examination of new drug driving laws in Clause 27 of the bill. Baroness Hamwee (Liberal Democrat) questioned the reliability of drug driving tests, while Baroness Meacher (Crossbench) spoke of the need to account for the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. She said: 'I am concerned that the legislation could cause the inappropriate arrest and charging of patients prescribed medications for chronic pain and other long-term conditions.'
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 suggests 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.
What is committee stage?
Detailed line by line examination of the separate parts (clauses and schedules) of the bill takes place during committee stage. Any member of the Lords can take part.
It usually starts no fewer than two weeks after the second reading and can last for one to eight days or more.
The day before committee stage starts, amendments (changes) are published in a marshalled list – in which all the amendments are placed in order. Amendments on related subjects are grouped together and a list (groupings of amendments) is published on the day.
During committee stage every clause of the bill has to be agreed to and votes on the amendments can take place. All proposed amendments can be discussed and there is no time limit, or guillotine, on discussion of amendments.
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