HL Deb 08 November 1989 vol 512 cc836-46

238 Clause 67, leave out Clause 67 and insert —

'Jurisdiction of courts.

. —(1) The name "domestic proceedings", given to certain proceedings in magistrates' courts, is hereby changed to "family proceedings" and the names "domestic court" and "domestic court panel" are hereby changed to "family proceedings court" and "family panel", respectively.

(2) Proceedings under this Act shall be treated as family proceedings in relation to magistrates' courts.

(3) Subsection (2) is subject to the provisions of section 65(1) and (2) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (proceedings which may be treated as not being family proceedings), as amended by this Act.

(4) A magistrates' court shall not be competent to entertain any application, or make any order, involving the administration or application of —

  1. (a) any property belonging to or held in trust for a child; or
  2. (b) the income of any such property.

(5) The powers of a magistrates' court under section 63(2) of the Act of 1980 to suspend or rescind orders shall not apply in relation to any order made under this Act.

(6) Part I of Schedule 7C makes provision, including provision for the Lord Chancellor to make orders, with respect to the jurisdiction of courts and justices of the peace in relation to —

  1. (a) proceedings under this Act; and
  2. (b) proceedings under certain other enactments.

(7) For the purposes of this Act "the court" means the High Court, a county court or a magistrates' court.

(8) Subsection (7) is subject to the provision made by or under Part I of Schedule 7C and to any express provision as to the jurisdiction of any court made by any other provision of this Act.

(9) The Lord Chancellor may by order make provision for the principal registry of the Family Division of the High Court to be treated as if it were a county court for such purposes of this Act, or of any provision made under this Act, as may be specified in the order.

(10) Any order under subsection (9) may make such provision as the Lord Chancellor thinks expedient for the purpose of applying (with or without modifications) provisions which apply in relation to the procedure in county courts to the principal registry when it acts as if it were a county court.

(11) Part II of Schedule 7C makes amendments consequential on this section.'.

Rules of Court.

. — (1) An authority having power to make rules of court may make such provision for giving effect to

  1. (a) this Act;
  2. (b) the provisions of any statutory instrument made under this Act; or
  3. 837
  4. (c) any amendment made by this Act in any other enactment,
as appears to that authority to be necessary or expedient.

(2) The rules may, in particular, make provision —

  1. (a) with respect to the procedure to be followed in any relevant proceedings (including the manner in which any application is to be made or other proceedings commenced);
  2. (b) as to the persons entitled to participate in any relevant proceedings, whether as parties to the proceedings or by being given the opportunity to make representations to the court;
  3. (c) with respect to the documents and information to be furnished, and notices to be given, in connection with any relevant proceedings;
  4. (d) applying (with or without modification) enactments which govern the procedure to be followed with respect to proceedings brought on a complaint made to a magistrates' court to relevant proceedings in such a court brought otherwise than on a complaint;
  5. (e) with respect to preliminary hearings;
  6. (f) for the service outside the United Kingdom, in such circumstances and in such manner as may be prescribed, of any notice of proceedings in a magistrates' court;
  7. (g) for the exercise by magistrates' courts, in such circumstances as may be prescribed, of such powers as may be prescribed (even though a party to the proceedings in question is outside England and Wales);
  8. (h) enabling the court, in such circumstances as may be prescribed, to proceed on any application even though the respondent has not been given notice of the proceedings;
  9. (i) authorising a single justice to discharge the functions of a magistrates' court with respect to such relevant proceedings as may be prescribed;
  10. (j) authorising a magistrates' court to order any of the parties to such relevant proceedings as may be prescribed, in such circumstances as may be prescribed, to pay the whole or part of the costs of all or any of the other parties.

(3) In subsection (2)— notice of proceedings" means a summons or such other notice of proceedings as is required; and "given", in relation to a summons, means "served"; prescribed" means prescribed by the rules; and relevant proceedings" means any application made, or proceedings brought, under any of the provisions mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (1) and any part of such proceedings.

(4) This section and any other power in this Act to make rules of court are not be taken as in any way limiting any other power of the authority in question to make rules of court.

(5) When making any rules under this section an authority shall be subject to the same requirements as to consultation (if any) as apply when the authority makes rules under its general rule making power.


. —(1) An appeal shall lie to the High Court against—

  1. (a) the making by a magistrates' court of any order under this Act; or
  2. (b) any refusal by a magistrates' court to make such an order.

(2) Where a magistrates' court has power, in relation to any proceedings under this Act, to decline jurisdiction because it considers that the case can more conveniently be dealt with by another court, no appeal shall lie against any exercise by that magistrates' court of that power.

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to an interim order for periodical payments made under Schedule 1.

(4) On an appeal under this section, the High Court may make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to its determination of the appeal.

(5) Where an order is made under subsection (4) the High Court may also make such incidental or consequential orders as appear to it to be just.

(6) Where an appeal from a magistrates' court relates to an order for the making of periodical payments, the High Court may order that its determination of the appeal shall have effect from such date as it thinks fit to specify in the order.

(7) The date so specified must not be earlier than the earliest date allowed in accordance with rules of court made for the purposes of this section.

(8) Where, on an appeal under this section in respect of an order requiring a person to make periodical payments, the High Court reduces the amount of those payments or discharges the order —

  1. (a) it may order the person entitled to the payments to pay to the person making them such sum in respect of payments already made as the High Court thinks fit; and
  2. (b) if any arrears are due under the order for periodical payments, it may remit payment of the whole, or part, of those arrears.

(9) Any order of the High Court made on an appeal under this section (other than one directing that an application be re-heard by a magistrates' court) shall, for the purposes —

  1. (a) of the enforcement of the order; and
  2. (b) of any power to vary, revive or discharge orders,
be treated as if it were an order of the magistrates' court from which the appeal was brought and not an order of the High Court.

(10) The Lord Chancellor may by order make provision as to the circumstances in which appeals may be made against decisions taken by courts on questions arising in connection with the transfer, or proposed transfer, of proceedings by virtue of any order under paragraph 2 of Schedule 7C.

(11) Except to the extent provided for in any order made under subsection (10), no appeal may be made against any decision of a kind mentioned in that subsection.

Attendance of child at hearing under Part IV or V.

. —(1) In any proceedings in which a court is hearing an application for an order under Part IV or V, or is considering whether to make any such order, the court may order the child concerned to attend such stage or stages of the proceedings as may be specified in the order.

(2) The power conferred by subsection (1) shall be exercised in accordance with rules of court.

(3) Subsections (4) to (6) apply where —

  1. (a) an order under subsection (1) has not been complied with; or
  2. (b) the court has reasonable cause to believe that it will not be complied with.

(4) The court may make an order authorising a constable, or such person as may be specified in the order —

  1. (a) to take charge of the child and to bring him to the court; and
  2. (b) to enter and search any premises specified in the order if he has reasonable cause to believe that the child may be found on the premises.

(5) The court may order any person who is in a position to do so to bring the child to the court.

(6) Where the court has reason to believe that a person has information about the whereabouts of the child it may order him to disclose it to the court.

Evidence given by, or with respect to, children.

. —(1) Subsection (2) applies where a child who is called as a witness in any civil proceedings does not, in the opinion of the court, understand the nature of an oath.

(2) The child's evidence may be heard by the court if, in its opinion—

  1. (a) he understands that it his duty to speak the truth; and
  2. 839
  3. (b) he has sufficient understanding to justify his evidence being heard.

(3) The Lord Chancellor may by order make provision for the admissibility of evidence which would otherwise be inadmissible under any rule of law relating to hearsay.

(4) An order under subsection (3) may only be made with respect to —

  1. (a) civil proceedings in general or such civil proceedings, or class of civil proceedings, as may be prescribed; and
  2. (b) evidence in connection with the upbringing, maintenance or welfare of a child.

(5) An order under subsection (3)—

  1. (a) may, in particular, provide for the admissibility of statements which are made orally or in a prescribed form or which are recorded by any prescribed method of recording;
  2. (b) may make different provision for different purposes and in relation to different descriptions of court; and
  3. (c) may make such amendments and repeals in any enactment relating to evidence (other than in this Act) as the Lord Chancellor considers necessary or expedient in consequence of the provision made by the order.

(6) Subsection (5)(b) is without prejudice to section 74(4):

(7) In this section — civil proceedings" and "court" have the same meaning as they have in the Civil Evidence Act 1968 by virtue of section 18 of that Act; and prescribed" means prescribed by an order under subsection (3).

Privacy for children involved in certain proceedings.

. —(1) Rules made under section 144 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 may make provision for a magistrates' court to sit in private in proceedings in which any powers under this Act may be exercised by the court with respect to any child.

(2) No person shall publish any material which is intended, or likely, to identify —

  1. (a) any child as being involved in any proceedings before a magistrates' court in which any power under this Act may be exercised by the court with respect to that or any other child; or
  2. (b) an address or school as being that of a child involved in any such proceedings.

(3) In any proceedings for an offence under this section it shall be a defence for the accused to prove that he did not know, and had no reason to suspect, that the published material was intended, or likely, to identify the child.

(4) The court or the Secretary of State may, if satisfied that the welfare of the child requires it, by order dispense with the requirements of subsection (2) to such extent as may be specified in the order.

(5) For the purposes of this section — publish" includes —

  1. (a) broadcast by radio, television or cable television; or
  2. (b) cause to be published; and
"material" includes any picture or representation.

(6) Any person who contravenes this section shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.

(7) Subsection (1) is without prejudice to —

  1. (a) the generality of the rule making power in section 144 of the Act of 1980; or
  2. (b) any other power of a magistrates' court to sit in private.

(8) Section 71 of the Act of 1980 (newspaper reports of certain proceedings) shall apply in relation to any proceedings to which this section applies subject to the provisions of this section.


. —(1) In any proceedings in which a court is hearing an application for an order under Part IV or V, no person shall be excused from—

  1. (a) giving evidence on any matter; or
  2. (b) answering any question put to him in the course of his giving evidence,
on the ground that doing so might incriminate him or his spouse of an offence.

(2) A statement or admission made in such proceedings shall not be admissible in evidence against the person making it or his spouse in proceedings for an offence other than perjury.

Legal aid.

. —(1) The Legal Aid Act 1988 is amended as mentioned in subsections (2) to (4).

(2) In section 15 (availability of, and payment for, representation under provisions relating to civil legal aid), for the words "and (3)" in subsection (1) there shall be substituted "to (3B)"; and the following subsections shall be inserted after subsection (3)— (3A) Representation under this Part shall not be available —

  1. (a) to any local authority; or
  2. (b) to any other body which falls within a prescribed description,
for the purposes of any proceedings under the Children Act 1989.

(3) Regardless of subsection (2) or{ 3), representation under this Part must be granted where a child who is brought before a court under section 21 of the 1989 Act (use of accommodation for restricting liberty) is not, but wishes to be, legally represented before the court."

(3) In section 19(5) (scope of provisions about criminal legal aid), at the end of the definition of "criminal proceedings" there shall be added "and also includes proceedings under section 15 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 (variation and discharge of supervision orders) and section 16(8) of that Act (appeals in such proceedings)".

(4) Sections 27, 28 and 30(1) and (2) (provisions about legal aid in care, and other, proceedings in relation to children) shall cease to have effect.

(5) The Lord Chancellor may by order make such further amendments in the Legal Aid Act 1988 as he considers necessary or expedient in consequence of any provision made by or under this Act.'.

The Lord Chancellor

In speaking to Amendment No. 238, I should like to speak to Amendments Nos. 238A, 373, 384, 416 and 446. Amendments Nos. 238 and 373 create the single concurrent jurisdiction in children's matters across the magistrates' county courts and the High Court and create a specialised magistrates' court and family proceedings court which will absorb juvenile courts' care jurisdiction as well as having jurisdiction in other family matters. They replace and elaborate on the powers already in the Bill to enable the Lord Chancellor by order to provide for where in the concurrent jurisdiction any type of children's case should start and for its transfer. The powers will be used to allow the more complex care-related cases to be transferred to the superior courts for hearing. They will also be used to expedite the hearing of care cases and to allow proceedings relating to the same child and his family to be heard together.

Amendment No. 238 also allows rules of court to be made for children's cases and, in particular, will allow procedures in magistrates' and superior courts in children's cases to be aligned so far as that is practicable and desirable.

The amendment provides for appeals to lie from magistrates to the High Court in all children's cases, including care cases, and will allow all parties to appeal, including local authorities, which will in future be able to appeal refusal of care and related orders. The amendment also confers powers on the court in care and related proceedings to require the child's attendance.

On children's evidence, the amendment makes children's unsworn evidence admissible in all civil proceedings. The amendment enables the Lord Chancellor to abrogate the hearsay rule in such children's proceedings and in respect of such evidence as he thinks fit. The power is likely to be used to re-establish the status quo ante, the decision of the Court of Appeal in Re H, Re K, so far as concerns children's cases in the superior courts.

The amendment allows rules to be made securing privacy of hearings in magistrates' courts of proceedings under the Bill. The amendment removes the privilege against self-incrimination in public law proceedings under the Bill but prevents such evidence being used in a subsequent prosecution of the witness or his spouse except for perjury.

So far as concerns legal aid, the amendment extends civil legal aid to all proceedings under the Bill and will enable legal aid to be granted without delay to those immediately involved in care-related cases, including the child.

Amendment No. 238A leaves out the existing Clause 68, which is superseded by the new clause, "Rules of Court", contained in Amendment No. 238.

Amendment No. 384 extends civil legal aid to proceedings under the Bill in magistrates' courts. Amendment No. 416 repeals a definition of domestic court in the Administration of Justice Act 1964 that has long been redundant. Amendment No. 446 repeals provisions in the Legal Aid Act 1988 which are no longer required as a consequence of this Bill.

Amendment No. 238 provides for the new clauses to which I have referred. I have summarised the provisions in question.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in the said amendment. —(The Lord Chancellor.)

Lord Meston

My Lords, Amendment No. 238 runs to five pages and is one of the worst examples of the complaint made by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Simon, at the beginning of today's proceedings. It is most unsatisfactory to legislate in this way, particularly about such important matters in a Bill whose provisions we hope will last for a long time.

Yet it is ironic that the amendment contains one of the few provisions which could not have been foreseen as being necessary when the Bill left this House in March. It is the provision for the admissibility of hearsay evidence to which the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor has referred. Can he indicate when the order provided for in the new clause is expected to take effect and what he has in mind in relation to the admissibility of hearsay evidence in child cases? Further, has there been any consultation? It is to be hoped that the hearsay regulations, which presumably will be made by him, will not involve an elaborate procedure of notice and counter-notice, as is the position under the Civil Evidence Act.

Without going into further detail on this enormous amendment I shall raise only one other matter. It is the remarkable final subsection of the amendment which appears at the bottom of page 48, which states that: The Lord Chancellor may by order make such further amendments in the Legal Aid Act 1988 as he considers necessary or expedient in consequence of any provision made by or under this Act". I suspect that if the noble and learned Lord, Lord Simon of Glaisdale, were present he would have fairly strong comments to make about it because it appears to provide for non-parliamentary amendment of an enactment. It must be regarded by the legal profession with considerable suspicion.

I understand that the only real requirement is for a power to enable legal aid to be expedited, if not the granting of instant legal aid, in cases where the court provides for a stringent timetable. One must ask why on earth the noble and learned Lord needs such a wide provision. There was criticism earlier today of the absurd detail contained in some parts of the Bill. Yet here is a completely contrary provision which gives an extremely broad, general power with no indication as to how it will be operated.

Lord Mottistone

My Lords, can my noble and learned friends tell me about the implications that the amendment will have for the juvenile courts? He mentioned them in passing in his introduction but I see no reference to them in the next. Will the family court subsume the juvenile courts or will they continue to function in the same way?

Baroness Seear

My Lords, I must support my noble friend Lord Meston in his complaint about the amendment. It treats your Lordships' House with not even something approaching contempt but with actual contempt. It makes an absolute mockery of the whole proceedings when we are given this amount of material at this stage and no opportunity of going through it. We on these Beaches take an extremely poor view of the matter.

Baroness Faithfull

My Lords, my noble and learned friend will know that it is inevitable that, as a member of the Family Courts Campaign I must say how disappointed we were about being unable to have a more specific law in respect of family courts. There were some notable speeches in the other place and many speeches from all sides of the House in the other place on family courts. On the other hand, the Solicitor-General on 21st October gave a very full explanation of why it was felt impossible to implement family courts under this Bill, and we accept that.

However, I also ask my noble and learned friend —and I ask him knowing quite well the answer—whether it would be possible as we cannot have family courts at present, to have a well supported conciliation service. I know that it is not possible to have conciliation written into statutory law at present. In fact it would be quite inadvisable inasmuch as the divorce law is under consideration by the Law Commission and therefore we very much hope that it will take into account the whole question of conciliation services. Also there is a committee, organised by the socio-legal centre at Bristol University, which is looking into the welfare support services for the courts.

Therefore, I ask my noble and learned friend whether he will consider —I go no further than that —the whole question of how a conciliation service could on a temporary basis be financed. He has kindly and generously written to me to say that he understands my request but cannot comment or give a decision today. However, again I make a plea for him to consider the situation.

Your Lordships may remember some years ago that the Treasury made a grant to a voluntary organisation, the Rayner Foundation, for setting up intermediate treatment centres under the juvenile law. It was not known whether those centres would be a success. However, by giving money to a voluntary organisation it was possible within five years to diminish the number of children in penal institutions.

I make a plea to my noble and learned friend that consideration should be given to the making of a grant to a voluntary organisation, perhaps the Nuffield Trust, which is already bound up with the conciliation service, to dispense to conciliation projects throughout the country (of which there are 80) on a temporary basis until such time as a decision is taken by the Law Commission when it considers the divorce laws.

I make two points. First, in the other place the honourable Member for a constituency in Wales whose name I cannot pronounce said that the people in North Wales want a conciliation service but it is not a well resourced area and they are unable to raise the money. On the other hand, in Oxford on 18th April a conciliation service was opened without any publicity whatever. Since then there have been 75 referrals, including 15 from solicitors, 10 from the divorce courts, five from civil welfare officers and three from social workers. Both those instances show that there is a need for conciliation services. I dare to suggest that money would be saved in the country in legal aid fees, although one cannot say that specifically.

Therefore, on the Floor of your Lordships' House I take the opportunity to ask my noble and learned friend whether in the near future the whole question of the resourcing of conciliation services could be considered, if only on a temporary basis.

9.45 p.m.

Lord Prys-Davies

My Lords, I very much support the plea made by the noble Baroness, Lady Faithfull. These are complex amendments to a complex Bill. It seems to me that time will show how well the Bill is fitting together. I hope that time will also show that it heralds the beginning of a family court. Meanwhile the Bill provides the practitioners and the clients with a consistent set of legal remedies which will be available in all the courts and, as we heard earlier this afternoon, in all proceedings. The courts therefore will have to adapt to its requirements.

What worries me is how quickly practitioners throughout the country will grasp the guiding principles and the guiding philosophy of the Bill. I have spoken with colleagues and I believe that many have not as yet grasped its significance. In many ways the Bill is as radical as the Law of Property Act 1925 was in the field of property law. It took many years for practitioners to grasp the significance of the 1925 legislation. The 1925 Law of Property Act dealt with property. This Bill deals with children. I am therefore particularly anxious that every effort should be made to ensure that the philosophy of the Bill is fully understood; otherwise there is a risk that for some years to come the new concept of residence, the new concept of contact, will simply be perceived as new terminology for the old substance. That worries me very much.

I support the emphasis which the noble Baroness, Lady Faithfull, has placed on the importance of conciliation. I note that it is a concept that fits in with the Law Commission's discussion paper on the grounds for divorce —that divorce should be granted only at the end of a transition period. It appears that even where the parties in a divorce —the husband and wife or former husband and wife —wish for a settlement, there are substantial areas of disagreement. This is an area where the conciliator and the mediator can be of help. Conciliation has yet to develop as a discipline. I agree with the noble Baroness, Lady Faithfull, that the development of that discipline should be encouraged by the department.

The Lord Chancellor

My Lords, I should like, first, to respond to the feeling of outrage of the noble Baroness, Lady Seear, at being faced with this amendment and its later colleagues. When the Bill was originally designed it was a Bill to alter the substantive law in relation to children. It is plain that that is the way it had been proceeding for some considerable time through the White Paper and through the work of the Law Commission on private law in this area.

I was very keen that these two matters should go together; that the private law and the public law be reformed at the same time so that the children we are concerned for face an integrated structure with principles and philosophy that are capable of being understood and explained. I entirely take the point that we shall have to explain it as clearly as we can and as often as we can. I try to take my part in that by lecturing to various people who want to listen on the Children Bill and on what we are seeking to achieve.

However, I felt it was extremely important that we should also try to alter the court procedures to conform with the substantive rules and to move towards an integrated method of court procedure for dealing with children's cases. That matter had to be developed later than the earlier provisions to which I have referred. The options were either to leave it out of this Bill altogether and hope that in due course another opportunity would arise with a substantive law reform but no corresponding reform of the court and its jurisdiction, or to try to seize the opportunity of this Bill to deal with the matter of the courts.

I indicated as plainly as I could when the Bill was before your Lordships what I had in mind. But the detailed working up of these provisions required a good deal of consultation, and I have indicated the scale of that. We had clauses in the Bill indicating in general terms what we had in mind. This is a development from that presented as the Bill went through its parliamentary procedure in the other place.

Therefore while I appreciate the difficulty, we have done what is very necessary at the earliest possible moment. The noble Lord, Lord Meston, referred to the provision at the end concerning the Legal Aid Act. We have in mind provisions of the Legal Aid Act which require to be modified as a consequence of this Act. We have already set out certain modifications that will take place including, for example, a compulsory legal aid allowance under Clause 2(3)(b).

It is plain that further amendments may be required to the Legal Aid Act in consequence of a provision made by or under this Act. So it is not a very wide power, it is simply to bring effectively into play what we have done under this Act by using or amending the Legal Aid Act 1988.

To turn to the hearsay matter, the noble Lord accepted that it is very fortunate that we are in a position to modify the decision of the Court of Appeal. I gathered from his observations that he was in favour of the modification in this instance. That we propose to do. The power to make the orders will come into force on Royal Assent to this Bill. I shall certainly wish to exercise the power to bring the law regarding children's cases into the state in which it was before the decision of the Court of Appeal or something along those lines.

Naturally, I have spoken about the matter before to those concerned with it, but I shall be formally consulting about the matter before exercising the power. That is what I presently have in mind. Turning to the question asked by my noble friend Lord Mottistone, the clear jurisdiction of the juvenile court will be absorbed within the new family proceedings court. Amendment No. 238 begins by saying: Leave out Clause 67 and insert — (1) the name 'domestic proceedings', given to certain proceedings in magistrates' courts, is hereby changed to 'family proceedings', and the names 'domestic court' and 'domestic court panel' are hereby changed to 'family proceedings court' and 'family panel', respectively". The care jurisdiction of the juvenile court will be absorbed within the new family proceedings court. The juvenile court will remain but it will be concerned with criminal cases only. That ties in with the point made concerning the philosophy of the Bill. It is our intention that those who will adjudicate on these matters will be those with a special interest in and who have made a study of the Act, as I hope it will become, and its provisions.

The judicial studies board has already made considerable arrangements. I believe this to be part of the development for which those who are concerned for the family court are looking. It is a considerable step in the direction of achieving the aims of those who over the years have supported the family court campaign. It is true that in discussion on these matters with the family court campaigners sometimes one discerns between the members of the campaign somewhat different views about what the family court should be. However, as I understand the thrust of that campaign, I think I can claim that, broadly, we are moving in the right direction.

My noble friend Lady Faithfull emphasised conciliation. As she knows, my predecessor but one, my noble and learned friend Lord Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, commissioned research from Newcastle on this matter. It would be fair to say that, although the research was carefully and competently conducted, the results do not yield a very sure guide to the way forward. We have also to take into account the fact that the Law Commission is dealing with questions of the substantive law of divorce. The shape of that law as it emerges will have an effect on the place that conciliation may have.

I am grateful to my noble friend for mentioning the precedent of the intermediate treatment resourcing. I have asked my officials to look at thai point and to inform me about it. But, as matters stand, it is unlikely at the present time that money could be provided through the Lord Chancellor's Department for conciliation. We provided money through the department for the continuation of the fieldwork on which the Newcastle project was based. We provided funds to assist the continuation of the fieldwork at three centres. To make an assessment of the place of conciliation was a reasonable use of the money. At present I fear that I cannot give much hope, although I am concerned to make progress in this matter. I am grateful to my noble friend for raising it. Those are the main questions in relation to the amendment.

On Question, Motion agreed to.