§ 21 Clause 7, page 6, line 44, leave out from 'with' to end of line and insert 'the date of the conviction.'.
§ Lord Hesketh
My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 21. In speaking to this Amendment, I shall also speak to government Amendments Nos. 22, 23, 25, 26, 28, 51, 91 and 92.
This group of amendments is concerned mainly with the procedures which will be followed when someone is convicted of a relevant offence and is thereby disqualified from the national membership scheme. We have I hope both clarified the procedures and improved the position of those affected. There are also two amendments concerned with the procedures for the making of a declaration of relevance under the Bill.
The amendments in this group to Clause 7 have two main purposes. First, they provide that the period of mandatory disqualification which is to follow conviction for a relevant offence should begin on the date of conviction rather than on a date to be set under the scheme. I hope that noble Lords will agree that that is a simpler approach.
Secondly, they provide for the court to explain to an offender, in "ordinary language" the effect of his or her conviction on his or her membership of the scheme. There will therefore be no reason for the person concerned to be in any doubt that the conviction means that he or she is barred from designated football matches for two or five years, as the case may be. There is also within this group a similar amendment to Part II of the Bill providing for a court to explain to an official in ordinary language the effect of a restriction order imposed on him or her.
There are also two amendments to the procedure governing an application for a declaration of relevance. Their effect is to waive the requirement that the prosecution must give the defendant five days' notice of its intention to seek a declaration of relevance in cases where the court believes that the interests of justice do not require such notice to be given. It may be that the circumstances are so clear that there is no need for notice to be given. If so, in the interests of swift justice, we should allow the court the discretion which the amendments provide.
None of these amendments will have a major effect on the Bill. They serve to clarify and simplify the procedures to be followed under the Bill. I hope that noble Lords will agree that they improve the Bill in the process.
§ Moved, That this House do agree with the Commons in the said amendment. —(Lord Hesketh.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.