HL Deb 01 July 1981 vol 422 cc259-60

15 Clause 20, page 9, line 26 at end insert—("Different Days may be appointed under this subsection in relation to different courts").

Lord Mackay of Clashfern

My Lords, I beg to move that this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 15. This was a Government amendment in another place. It simply alters the commencement provisions of the Bill so as to enable criminal legal aid for contempt in the face of the court to be extended to different courts at different times. In the Bill as printed the clause allows only for an extension to all courts on a common date. I beg to move.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said amendment.—(Lord Mackay of Clashfern.)

Lord Morris

My Lords, I rise in some trepidation, just to point out a fact that I feel sure would have been picked up by the clerks at a later date; namely, the capitalisation of the words "Different Days". I felt that it might be useful just to point this out to your Lordships, as I feel sure it was not intended.

Lord Renton

My Lords, I must confess that I have doubts about this. We have enough trouble caused to the profession by having a great many different appointed day orders under various statues. If we are going to have this added complication—and I am not aware of a precedent for it—and if we are going to have different days for different courts, then I can see that what is often now confusion will be confusion worse confounded. If the circumstances were slightly different from what they are at this moment, and if this were an even more important matter, I would be urging that we do not agree with the Commons in this amendment but, as things as are, I suppose we must accept what we are asked to agree to.

The Lord Chancellor

My Lords, I think there is perhaps a good reason for accepting this amendment, which is really technical and drafting. I could explain it probably less well and at greater length than my noble and learned friend, but I do not think we need take much time about it. As for my noble friend Lord Morris, I think the point he has mentioned is one of those things in the grey area which the printer can deal with.

On Question, Motion agreed to.