HL Deb 01 July 1981 vol 422 c282

9.4 p.m.

Report received.

Clause 6 [Effect of Part 1 on common law]:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Belstead) moved the following amendment: Page 5, line 15, leave out ("and unless the context otherwise requires").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, the need for this purely drafting amendment was suggested in Committee by my noble friend Lord Renton, who wondered whether the words "and unless the context otherwise requires" in subsection (2) might give rise to difficulties of interpretation in the courts. My noble friend was absolutely right and I am grateful to him for drawing our attention to this point. The original purpose of the words in question was to account for references not to attempt at common law but to offences of attempt created by statute. Clause 3 now provides specifically for references of the latter kind, so the words "and unless the context otherwise requires" are redundant; this amendment will remove them.

Lord Mishcon

My Lords, not for the first time, and many of us hope not for the last, we are grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Renton, for the way in which he from time to time helps us to keep our legislation clear of unnecessary verbiage and clear from the point of view of interpretation. Therefore, I join with the noble Lord, Lord Belstead, in thanking him for raising this matter in Committee, and obviously we have nothing but admiration for the amendment.

On Question, amendment agreed to.