§ (". Section 69 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (evidence from computer records inadmissible unless conditions relating to proper use and operation of computer shown to be satisfied) shall cease to have effect.").
§ Lord Williams of Mostyn
My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 24. I speak also to Amendments Nos. 40, 42 to 48, and 50 to 52.
The amendments seek to implement the recommendation of the Law Commission that Section 69 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 should be repealed. Amendments Nos. 42 to 48 and 50 to 52 are simply consequential.
Section 69 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act— PACE—provides that a document produced by a computer may not be adduced as evidence unless it is shown that the computer was operating properly and was not used improperly.
There have been enormous advances in computer technology and networking in recent years. That has made Section 69 an increasingly difficult hurdle for either defence or prosecution to overcome. The burdens on business in providing Section 69 certificates for criminal trials and releasing members of staff to attend court to give evidence are believed to be significant.
The Law Commission concluded that the present law served no useful purpose. It recommended that the provision should be repealed without replacement. The vast majority of those who responded to the consultation agreed that if a law has no useful purpose—or if this part does not—it ought to be repealed. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 24.—(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.