§ 48 Insert the following new clause:
§ Execution throughout United Kingdom of warrants of arrest
§ ".—(1) A warrant issued in Scotland or Northern Ireland for the arrest of a person charged with an offence may be executed in England or Wales by any constable acting within his police area; and subsection (4) of section 102 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1952 (execution without possession of the warrant) shall apply to the execution in England or Wales of any such warrant.
§ (2) A warrant issued in England, Wales or Northern Ireland for the arrest of a person charged with an offence may be executed in Scotland by any constable appointed for a police area in like manner as any such warrant issued in Scotland.
§ (3) A warrant issued in England, Wales or Scotland for the arrest of a person charged with an offence may be executed in Northern Ireland by any member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary or the Royal Ulster Constabulary Reserve; and sub-sections (4) and (5) of section 159 of the Magistrates' Courts Act (Northern Ireland) 1964 (execution without possession of the warrant and execution on Sunday) shall apply to the execution in Northern Ireland of any such warrant.
§ (4) A warrant may be executed by virtue of this section whether or not it has been endorsed under section 12, 14 or 15 of the Indictable Offences Act 1848 or under section 27, 28 or 29 of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act 1851.
§ 49 Insert the following new clause:
§ Service of summonses and citation throughout United Kingdom
§ ".—(1) A summons requiring a person charged with an offence to appear before a court in England or Wales, may, in such manner as may be prescribed by rules of court, be served on him in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
§ (2) A summons requiring a person charged with an offence to appear before a court in Northern Ireland may, in such 455 manner as may be prescribed by rules of court, be served on him in England, Wales or Scotland.
§ (3) Citation of a person charged with a crime or offence to appear before a court in Scotland may be effected in any other part of the United Kingdom in like manner as it may be done in Scotland, and for this purpose the persons authorised to effect such citation shall include, in England and Wales and Northern Ireland, constables and prison officers serving in those parts of the United Kingdom."
§ 50 Insert the following new clause:
§ Transfer of fine orders
§ " . Schedule (Transfer of fine orders) to this Act (which confers powers on courts in Northern Ireland, and extends the existing powers of courts in England, Wales and Scotland, to make transfer of fine orders) shall have effect".
§ Lord HARRIS of GREENWICH
My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 48, 49 and 50 which, with the consent of the House, I shall move en bloc. I should like at the same time to speak to Amendments Nos. 77, 89, 90, 92 to 94, 99, 120, 130, 165, 170, 175, 179, 183, 185 to 187 and 189 to 193. This formidable looking set of Amendments is concerned with the service and execution of process throughout the United Kingdom. As your Lordships will recall, we had a debate on this subject during the Report stage of the Bill, I think on 10th March, when the noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Croy, moved on behalf of the noble Lord, Lord Inglewood, Amendments with much the same objectives as these Amendments.
On that occasion I indicated that the Government shared the concern which was felt about the inability of the police to prosecute people who commit minor offences, especially road traffic offences, in England, Wales or Scotland and who then return to Northern Ireland, where they are immune from prosecution because the law does not allow summonses to be served there. I said that consultations were already in progress about the formulation of proposals for legislation, and that while we could not guarantee that these would have been concluded in time to introduce the appropriate Amendments, we would certainly do our best. These Amendments are the result and your Lordships can judge of the complexity involved by the number and, indeed, the length of the Amendments.
456 The important Amendments are Nos. 48, 49, 50 and 120. Amendment No. 48 enables a warrant of arrest issued in one part of the United Kingdom to be executed in another part of the United Kingdom without the need to have the warrant backed, that is to say, signed by a magistrate in the other jurisdiction—an unnecessary formality which at present has to be gone through. Amendment No. 49 enables a summons which requires a person charged with an offence to appear before a court in one part of the United Kingdom, to be served on him in any other part of the United Kingdom. Amendment No. 50 confers powers on courts in Northern Ireland to make transfer of fine orders, and extends the existing English and Scottish powers to make such orders so as to enable them to make transfers to, and receive transfers from, Northern Ireland. The Schedule—Amendment No. 120—sets out in detail the procedure for doing this.
I think that these formidable Amendments demonstrate the problem which the noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Croy, identified at the Report stage. It would be only right to pay a considerable tribute to the officials not only in my own Department but in others, who have wrestled with this problem and come up with this solution which I think will meet with the satisfaction of the House.
§ Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendments. —(Lord Harris of Greenwich.)
Lord CAMPBELL of CROY
I should like to express the appreciation both of myself and my noble friend Lord Inglewood for the fact that the Government have been able to put down this large number of Amendments clearly dealing with a complicated situation. I assume from what the noble Lord, Lord Harris of Greenwich, has said, that they will remove the anomaly which existed and will enable summonses to be served on operators of vehicles in Northern Ireland whose vehicles commit offences in Scotland, England or Wales. There are many more vehicles now coming over from Northern Ireland, and this has been an increasing source of grievance especially in South-West Scotland and North-West England.
I, too, should like to pay a tribute to the work which the officials must have 457 carried out in the time between the Report stage and when these Amendments were considered in another place. I am sure that they will be welcomed, not only in the areas that I have mentioned but in other parts of the country where there has been this grievance about the apparent immunity of certain drivers of vehicles.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.