HC Deb 26 November 2001 vol 375 cc732-3

Amendment made: No. 33, in page 34, line 42, leave out subsection (5) and insert— '(5) Subsections (1) to (3) apply to Scotland with the substitution for references to the magistrates' court of references to the sheriff. (5A) The appeal to the sheriff is by way of summary application. (5B) A further appeal shall lie—

  1. (a) to the sheriff principal from the decision of the sheriff; and
  2. (b) with the leave of the sheriff principal, to the Court of Session from the decision of the sheriff principal.'—[Beverley Hughes.]

Question proposed, That the clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill.

Mr. Malins

I shall be brief, because I know that time is against us.

I am a little concerned about the length of time for appeals. Appeals made under this clause will take place under the directions in clauses 62 and 63. Some of those directions could be very serious and might need to be acted upon very quickly. It baffles me why an appeal to a magistrates court can be delayed for as long as 28 days after the directions are given and then appeal can be made to the Crown court. With my judicial hat on, I am aware that a clever defendant can get his first appeal adjourned and—to cut a long story short—by going to the Crown court, can ensure that it is as long as four months before an appeal is concluded. Is that satisfactory?

Beverley Hughes

The hon. Gentleman makes a valid point. I agree to look at the matter to see whether we need to strengthen the provision. If we give notices in such circumstances, we want them to be acted on.

Clause 71, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 72 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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