HL Deb 19 July 1988 vol 499 cc1207-8

11 Clause 23, page 19, line 5, leave out subsection (8).

12 Clause 23, page 19, line 14, at end insert 'where sums due under the order for costs are paid to the Board or the Lord Chancellor under section 20(2) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (recovery regulations)—'.

13 Clause 23, page 19, line 15, leave out from 'sums' to 'subsection' in line 16 and insert 'so paid'.

14 Clause 23, page 19 line 18, leave out from 'sums' to 'subsection' in line 19 and insert 'so paid'.

15 Clause 23, page 19, line 21, leave out subsection (10) and insert— '(10) References in subsection (9) above to the costs of representation include any charge or fee treated as part of those costs by section 26(2).'.

The Lord Chancellor

My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment Nos. 11 to 15. I speak also to Amendments Nos. 21 and 49. These are largely technical and drafting amendments designed to clarify the relationship between the costs provisions of this part of the Bill and those of Part II of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 with particular reference to the treatment of contributions. The amendments remove what on further examination has been seen to be unnecessary duplication of the 1985 Act. In relation to contributions, they clarify both the proper field of operation of Clause 23(9), which deals with the repayment of contributions in particular circumstances, and also the application of that subsection to the situation governed by Clause 26 where green form costs are to be treated as part of the cost of representation under this Part of the Bill.

The amendments also ensure that while the inter partes costs of an assisted person will not be reduced on account of any contribution, his contribution will not be included in his costs for the purposes of any central funds order. This is clearly right because where the court has power to order the remission or repayment of contributions to a successful assisted person, but the court chooses not to exercise that discretion in the assisted person's favour—where, for example, he is acquitted on a technicality or has failed to give notice of an alibi defence—it would be wrong for there to be a back-door alternative method of recovery by means of any order from central funds. The availability of central funds to cover an assisted person's own out-of-pocket expenses is unaffected by these amendments.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 11 to 15 en bloc.—(The Lord Chancellor.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.