§ FINES FOR CERTAIN OFFENCES UNDER MERCHANT SHIPPING ACTS AND PREVENTION OF OIL POLLUTION ACT 1971
§ Lords amendment: No. 114, in page 40, line 33, after "1971" insert—
§ 8 pm
§ Mr. Mayhew
The amendments are concerned with penalties under the Merchant Shipping Acts. Amendments Nos. 114 and 115 are drafting amendments. Amendment No. 116, although it looks daunting, is simple in its effect. Two of the powers to prescribe penalties in subordinate legislation under the Merchant Shipping Acts do not clearly permit different maxima to be applied to offences according to their relative gravity.
A recent interpretation of the provisions of sections 20 and 21, which respectively are concerned with the control of oil pollution and regulations on health and safety on ships, is that all offences must be triable either way with two years' imprisonment on indictment. Many of the offences will not be of the more serious kind. For example, they may consist simply of failing to maintain correct records. We therefore need to ensure that the flexibility conveyed in powers to prescribe maxima in subordinate instruments is available.
Amendment No. 116 makes it clear that summary trial only may be provided for where appropriate and that the maxima for the summary offences may be fixed according to their relative gravity within the overall limit of level 5 on the standard scale.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Lords amendments Nos. 115 and 116 agreed to.