§ The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Alexander Fletcher)
I beg to move amendment No. 48, in page 40, line 9, after `subsections', insert '(1A),'.
§ Mr. Fletcher
Part IV of the Bill includes provisions in clauses 39 to 41 that are applicable only to Scotland. It has been necessary to draft separate provisions for Scotland because of differences in how the changes in fines are affected by the Criminal Law Act 1977 and are applied to the different jurisdictions and, in particular, because the Scottish provisions in the Bill are, like those in the 1977 Act, to be inserted into the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975. The amendments are, therefore, of a drafting or technical nature.
§ Mr. George Foulkes (South Ayrshire)
It has been a long night and we have at last reached something that is relevant to Scotland. However, I am not too happy about that, because I cannot understand why the Government did not introduce the amendments into the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill in 1980. I hope that the Under-Secretary will tell us why they appear in this dog's breakfast of a Bill.
Clause 54, which outlines the extent to which the measure applies to various parts of the United Kingdom, is one of the most complicated such clauses that I have ever seen. Those of us who know and respect the difference in Scots law and in the administration of justice in Scotland do not like legislation for Scotland being packed into what are principally English Bills. If we have legislation which applies only to Scotland and if we have 899 Scottish Standing Committees to deal with it, it is wrong that it should be squeezed in as a codicil to a basically English Bill.
Many of my colleagues who are unable to be here this morning agree with me. [Interruption.] One is enough to put the case on behalf of many, as the hon. Member for Grantham (Mr. Hogg) knows only too well. My hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. McKelvey) may wish to add something or express his support from a sedentary position.
Scottish legislation, as much in the criminal field as any other, should be dealt with separately by separate Scottish Standing Committees so that it can be discussed by Scottish Members who know what they are talking about. I say that with no disrespect to my hon. Friends on the Front Bench who discussed these matters efficiently and elegantly. However, it is more appropriate for these matters to be dealt with in a Scottish Standing Committee.
What makes the position even more ludicrous is that on the Standing Committee which considered the Bill—I am open to correction—there was not one hon. Member representing a Scottish constituency. Part IV of the Bill, with a substantial number of clauses concerning Scotland, was passed in Committee without any Scottish Member having an opportunity to discuss it and to put the points of view that should be put in the consideration of such matters.
I would also like to talk about the amazing provisions on page 48 of the Bill which affect certain enactments concerning the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, but I would be out of order. However, that demonstrates what a real dog's breakfast of a Bill this is.
I would like to put on record a strong protest on behalf of many Scots Members of the fact that Scottish legislation is being dealt with in so perfunctory and cavalier a manner by the House.
§ Mr. Alexander Fletcher
There is no excuse for the indignation of the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Foulkes). He knows as well as most hon. Members in the House this evening that Scottish legislation, particularly of this kind, is dealt with separately. A United Kingdom Bill is being made use of—as is occasionally done by both parties—to update legislation. He will know that the purpose of the Bill is to provide, among other measures, for a broad uprating of the maximum fines for summary offences, together with powers to provide for subsequent increases in line with inflation. No fundamental change is being made to Scottish legislation, but we are taking the opportunity presented by the Bill to bring the fines in Scottish legislation into line with inflation.
The hon. Gentleman is being unnecessarily critical of what is a convenient legislative opportunity that has been taken in respect of a very small part of the Bill which applies to Scotland. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will be delighted to know that the then Solicitor-General for Scotland attended the Committee on these and other matters.
§ Amendment agreed to:
§ Amendments made: No. 49, in page 40, line 22, at end insert—
- '(1A) Where any Act—
- (a) provides or confers a power to provide for a penalty or a maximum penalty which would, but for the operation of section 289C(5) of this Act, be different in the case of a second or subsequent conviction from the penalty
900 or maximum penalty provided for or for which provision may be made in the case of a first conviction; and
- (b) otherwise fulfils the conditions of subsection (1) above; this section applies to that penalty or maximum penalty as if the amount referred to in subsection (3)(a) below were the greatest amount to which a person would have been liable or could have been made liable on any conviction immediately before the commencement of the said section 289C.'.
No. 50, in page 41, line 15, leave out
'of, or not exceeding, a specified amount'
`or a maximum fine of a specified amount, or a fine Or a maximum fine which shall not exceed a specified amount,'.
§ No. 51, in page 41, leave out line 21 and insert—
- `(i) section 289A of this Act;
- (ia) section 289C of this Act (except where section 239E (1A) of this Act applies);'.
No. 52, in page 41, line 39 leave out from 'for' to in' in line 41 and insert
, on conviction of an offence triable only summarily, a fin; or a maximum fine of a specified amount, or a fine or a maximum fine which shall not exceed a specified amount,'.
No. 53, in page 42, line 17, leave out
`of, or not exceeding, a specified amount'
`or a maximum fine of a specified amount, or a fine or a maximum fine which shall not exceed a specified amount,'.
§ No. 54, in page 42, line 21, at end insert—
|`1972 c.20.||(bb) sections 40(5) and 44(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1972;'.|
§ No. 55, in page 43, line 14, at end insert—
- '(2A) Any reference in the Criminal Justice Act 1982, or in any enactment passed or made after the passing of that Act, to a specified level on the standard scale (including such a reference inserted by that Act or any such enactment in an earlier enactment) shall be construed as referring to the amount which corresponds to that level on the standard scale referred to in subsection (2) above.'.
No. 56, in page 43, line 21, after 'amount', insert
, or a fine or a maximum fine which shall not exceed a specified amount, corresponding to an amount'.
No. 57, in page 43, line 30, leave out from 'or' to end of line 32 and insert
`confers a power to provide for, on conviction of an offence triable only summarily, a fine or a maximum fine of a specified amount, or a fine or a maximum fine which shall not exceed a specified amount,'.
§ No. 58, in page 43, line 39, leave out 'or'.
No. 59, in page 43, line 40, at end insert