HC Deb 21 March 1979 vol 964 cc601-3W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Attorney-General if he will place in the Official Report a list of the Acts affected by the transfer from the law offices to the Director of Public Prosecutions of functions in relation to prosecutions and the consent to prosecutions and a list of those Acts in which similar functions have been retained for exercise directly by the Law Officers of the Crown.

The Attorney-General

The Acts in respect of which the Consent to Prosecutions Bill seeks to transfer the exercise of functions relating to prosecutions and consents to prosecutions from the Law Officers to the Director of Public Prosecutions are, as set out chronologically in the schedule to the Bill:

Act and offence to which applied

1. Agricultural Credits Act 1928 S.1(3)—Publication of agricultural charges.

2. Agricultural Land (Removal of Surface Soil) Act 1953 S.3—Offences against the Act.

3. Agriculture and Horticulture Act 1964 S.20(3)—Offences against Part III of the Act.

4. Auctions (Bidding Agreements) Act 1927 S.1—Illegal bidding agreements.

5. Cancer Act 1939 S.4(b)—Prohibition of certain advertisements.

6. Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1955—Printing, publishing, selling etc., of books, magazines etc. which would tend to corrupt children and young persons.

7. Coinage Offences Act 1936 S.4(3)—Uttering defaced coins.

8. Criminal Justice Act 1967 S.3(6)—Reports of committal proceedings.

9. Explosive Substances Act 1883—Explosives likely to endanger life or cause injury to property.

Act and Offences to which applied

10. Highways Act 1959 S.271—Proceedings for an offence against the Act or byelaws require the written consent of the Attorney General, except proceedings by person aggrieved, or local authority concerned.

11. Law of Property Act 1925 S.183(4)—Fraudulent concealment of documents and falsification of pedigrees.

12. Legal Aid Act 1974 S.22(4)—Improper disclosures of information relating to the seeking or receiving of advice, assistance or legal aid.

13. Magistrates' Courts Act 1952 S.58—Newspaper reports of domestic proceedings.

14. Marine Insurance (Gambling Policies) Act 1909 S.1(3)—Offences against the Act.

15. Mines and Quarries Act 1954 S.164—Offences by certain persons against the Act (see S.155 (1)(a)).

16. Newspaper, Printers and Reading Room Repeal Act 1869—Printing, publishing or dispersing papers which do not bear the printer's name and address, or assisting in so doing.

17. Prevention of Corruption Acts 1906 and 1916—Bribery and Corruption of agents, including bribes to police officers.

18. Prevention of Oil Pollution Act 1971 S.19(1)(a)—Offences against the Act.

19. Public Bodies (Corrupt Practices) Act 1889—Bribing of members and officers of public bodies.

20. Public Health Act 1936 S.298—Offences against the Act (except proceedings by certain persons).

21. Public Utilities Street Works Act 1950 S.30(2)—Proceedings under the Act, except by certain persons.

22. Solicitors Act 1974 S.20(2)(c)—Action by Law Society against unqualified person acting as a solicitor.

S.42(2)—Proceedings against solicitor failing ao disclose fact of having been struck off or suspended—wthin six months of discovery by the prosecutor.

23. Shipping Contracts & Commercial Documents Act 1964 S.3—Offences against the Act.

24. Water Act 1945 S.46—All offences against the Act.

B. Acts in respect of which it is proposed that the exercise of such functions should remain for the time being with the Law Officers:

  1. (i) Acts under which the functions may be exercised solely by a Law Officer

Act and Offence to which applied

1. Biological Weapons Act 1974 S.2(1)—Offences under Section 1 of the Act.

2. Counter-Inflation Act 1973 S.17(9)—Offences against the Act.

3. Criminal Law Act 1977 S.4(2)—Conspiracy to commit offences subject to consent of the Attorney-General.

S.9(6)—Trespassing on premises of foreign missions etc.

Act and Offence to which applied

4. Genocide Act 1969 S.1(3)—Any offence of genicide.

5. Housing Act 1957 S.85(1)—Offences by Local Authorities against Part IV of the Act.

6. Hijacking Act 1971 S.5(1)—Offences against the Act.

7. Internally Protected Persons Act 1978 S.2(1)—Offences against S.1 of the Act.

8. Official Secrets Acts 1911 and 1920—All cases.

9. Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1976—Offences against Sections 1, 2, 9, 10 and 11 of the Act.

10. Protection of Aircraft Act 1973 S.4(2)—Offences against part I of the Act.

11. Public Order Act 1936 Secs. 1 & 2—Political uniforms and quasi-military organisations.

Secs. 5(A)—Incitement to racial hatred (See Race Relations Act 1976 S.70(5)).

12. Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1976 S.5(5)—Publishing information likely to lead to the identification of the complainant of rape (S.4(5)) or the accused (S.6(6)).

13. Suppression of Terrorism Act 1978 S.4(4)—Offences against section 4 of the Act

14. Theatres Act 1968 S.8—Offences under sec. 2, 5, of 6 of the Act, or an offence at common law committed by the publication of defamatory matter in the course of a performance of a play.

(ii) Acts under which the functions may also be and are usually exercised by the other authorities indicated.

Act and Offence to which applied

1. Customs and Excise Act 1952 S.28(1)(3) (Commissioners of Customs and Excise)—Offences against the Customs and Excise Acts by Order and in the name of a law officer in any case in which he thinks it proper that proceedings should be so instituted.

2. Rivers (Prevention of Pollution Act 1951 S.8 (River Boards)—Offences against the Act.

3. Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) Act 1961 S.8 (River Boards)—Offences against the Act.