§ 166 Clause 42, page 39, line 34, after '(1)', insert 'Without prejudice to section (Rules of court) or any other power to make such rules'.
§ 167 Page 40, line 14, after 'to', insert—
- (a) the considerations to which the local authority shall have regard in forming an opinion as mentioned in subsection (3)(c); and
§ The Lord Chancellor
My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 166 and 167. Amendment No. 166 is a minor technical amendment to Clause 42 to make clear that the rule-making power in Clause 46(1) for Part V proceedings does not restrict or affect in any way the general rule-making provisions which are covered by Amendment No. 238 or any other power to make rules of court.
Amendment No. 167 seeks to deal with a point which concerned the noble Lords, Lords Mottistone and Mishcon. Clause 42(3) allows the Secretary of State to make regulations providing for the local authority within whose area a child who was a subject of an emergency protection order usually lived to take over an EPO applied for by someone else if it considers that it would be in the child's best interests for it to take over the responsibilities given under the order.
The noble Lord, Lord Mottistone, thought that this could lead to difficulties for the child and family if an authority exercised this power in EPO cases initiated by the NSPCC. This could undermine the society's efforts to establish a relationship with the child and family. The noble Lord, Lord Mishcon, was concerned that an EPO taken out by a concerned authority which found the child in its area could be transferred to a much less concerned authority in whose area the child normally lived; he took the view that such transfers should be controlled by the court rather than by regulations.
I have explained the Government's view and now we propose this amendment which would provide specifically that the regulations which may be made under subsection (3) may make provision for the considerations to which the local authority must have regard in forming an opinion as to whether it would be in the child's best interests to take over responsibility under the order.
§ Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in the said amendments.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.