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Criminal Justice Bill - Progress [E/S/NI/W]

A stage-by-stage report of the Criminal Justice Bills progress through the Houses

House of Commons

1st Reading 21/11/02; The Bill was presented by David Blunkett

2nd reading 4/12/02; Issues discussed included:

  • Government presents the Bill as an end to end reform of the criminal justice service

  • Short speech from the Home Secretary on youth justice matters beyond the scope of the Bill, including preventive and diversionary programmes, and a reduction in reconviction rates for young offenders of 14.6 per cent

  • Drugs policies will add to police confusion in the light of the unrelated announcement that cannabis will be reclassified from Class B drug to Class C drug from July 2003

  • The Home Secretary confirms that a prison sentence should be used as a last resort, that there is a need for further use of community penalties, and refers to the Courts Bill which will provide for increased enforcement of the collection of fines due to the court

  • Conservatives support the sentencing proposals and changes to the double jeopardy rule, but are less happy with the proposals to restrict the right to trial by jury and the release of information on previous convictions and acquittals

  • Chris Mullins, Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, refers to the Committees report on the Bill in which the most contentious issue was that of the proposals to admit previous similar convictions

  • Liberal Democrats regard the Bill as putting the criminal justice system itself; on trial and comment that some of the proposals go too far to unbalance the rights of defendants, most of whom are less educated and from a poorer and disrupted family background; support the proposals for Custody Plus and Custody Minus; are deeply concerned about the Governments mixed messages regarding the prison population (too many or too few?); and believe that the push to increase the number of convictions could conflict with civil liberties and undermine justice

  • Annette Brooke MP speaks about the recent judicial review brought by the Howard League for Penal Reform which found that the Children Act 1989 applies to children in prison custody, and seeks information regarding many of the proposed sentencing anomalies specific to under-18s
Standing Committee Stage: 17/12/02 (morning session) - Amendments proposed included:
  • Programme set for Committee timetable; debates due to finish 27 Feb 2003

  • Amendments to Clause 1 re extensions to Stop and Search (amending the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 or PACE requirements) focusing on witness intimidation, what constitutes an offensive weapon, and intent

  • Amendments to Clause 2 deal with warrants to enter and search and debates deal with who is to be the authorised person; who offers advice to the supervising police officer; relevant for example in cases where IT expertise is required to access evidence of child pornography offences


  • Clause 1 ordered to stand
Standing Committee Stage: 17/12/02 (afternoon session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • Continuation of debates on Clause 2 re authorised persons assisting police during a search of premises

  • Amendments to Clause 3 deal with the use of street bail

  • Amendments to Clause 4 re the use of telephones for review of police detention lead to discussions about seniority of staff involved, and availability of legal advice; particular issues about appropriate safeguards for young people are raised


  • Clause 2 ordered to stand

  • Clause 3 (amended) ordered to stand

  • Clause 4 ordered to stand


Standing Committee Stage: 19/12/02 (morning session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • Amendments to Clause 5 refer to limits on the period of detention without charge which will increase the list of offences subject to detention up to 36 hours

  • Amendments to Clause 6 relate to the property of detained persons

  • Clause 5 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 6 ordered to stand part
Standing Committee 7/1/03 (afternoon session) - Amendments proposed included:
  • Amendments to Clause 7 re the proposed Codes of Practice attempt to ensure that any amendments must go through Parliament first (affirmative resolution) the Government agrees to return to this issue during the Report stage of the Bill

  • Amendments to Clause 9 relate to the power of arrest for possession of Class C drugs, which will now include cannabis. Under current law (Misuse of Drugs Act 1971), possession of Class C drugs is not an arrestable offence. Measures in the Bill will lead to under-18s being treated more severly than adults for possession of a Class C drug - their age will be considered an aggravating factor which will lead to arrest and possibly detention

  • A series of amendments to Clause 10 which relates to drug-testing for under-18s. Some try to lower the proposed age in the Bill from 14 to 12 for drug testing; many concern the need for an appropriate adult at police stations for all young people, including those aged 17. Issues raised include invasive testing procedures (ie, urine samples), and the lack of appropriate treatment facilities for under-16s in particular (the Conservatives recommend an 8-fold increase in drug treatment places for young people). The Government responds that the difference in treatment of 17-year-old is consistent with PACE requirements, and that the lower age limit of 14 is consistent with the definition of young person in law (Children and Young Persons Act 1933)

  • Amendments to Clause 11 relate to grant and conditions of bail, and the proposed extension to include welfare assessments of children - the debate begins to look at the possible blurring of welfare issues with criminal justice issues, where welfare interventions are taking place at the bequest of the youth justice system without the appropriate safeguards in place

  • Clause 7 ordered to stand

  • Clause 8 ordered to stand

  • Schedule 1 agreed to

  • Clause 9 ordered to stand

  • Clause 10 amended and ordered to stand

  • Clause 11 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 12 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 13 amended and ordered to stand part
Standing Committee 9/1/03 (morning session) - Amendments proposed included:
  • Clause 16 refers to restrictions on bail for adult drug users, but a lengthy discussion about treatment availability leads to a brief debate on young people who use drugs

  • Clause 18 deals with conditional cautions, and there is a suggestion that the youth justice scheme of reprimands and final warnings should be changed for those aged 16 to 18 and conditional cautions be made available to them

  • Clause 14 amended and ordered to stand

  • Clause 15 ordered to stand

  • Clause 16 amended and ordered to stand

  • Clause 17 ordered to stand

  • Clause 18 ordered to stand

  • Clauses 19 to 23 ordered to stand

  • Schedule 2 ordered to stand

  • Clause 24 ordered to stand

  • Clauses 25 and 26 ordered to stand
Standing Committee 9/1/03 (afternoon session) - Amendments proposed included:
  • Clause 27 discussion leads to a debate about safeguarding witnesses with mention of the Damilola Taylor and Stephen Lawrence trials

  • Discussions round following Clauses refer to the Governments attempts to shift the balance more in favour of the defendant (and witnesses) rather than the prosecution

  • Clause 27 ordered to stand

  • Clause 28 amended and ordered to stand

  • Clause 29 ordered to stand

  • Clause 30 ordered to stand

  • Clause 31 ordered to stand

  • Clause 32 ordered to stand

  • Clause 33 ordered to stand

  • Clause 34 ordered to stand
Standing Committee 14/1/03 (morning session) - Amendments proposed included:
  • Long debate on the principle of the right to a trial by jury focused on Clause 36 - the debate continues into the afternoon session
Standing Committee 14/1/03 (afternoon session) - Amendments proposed included:
  • The debate regarding trial by jury continues, with an example of the trial of a person accused of being a paedophile but choosing to appear before a judge rather than members of the local community. Other case examples cited where a hearing which proves to be more sympathetic to the defendant may take place before a male judge include rape and domestic violence

  • Substantial debate round Clause 37 (where the prosecution can apply for a trial to be conducted without jury) and what some claim will be the creation of a two-tier system of justice

  • Clause 36 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 37 ordered to stand

  • Clauses 38 to 48 ordered to stand
Standing Committee 16/1/03 (morning session) - Amendments proposed included:
  • Clause 62 relates to cases which may be retried, or the double jeopardy rule, and the debates focus on the seriousness of the eligible offences with reference to the Stephen Lawrence murder case and trial
Standing Committee 16/1/03 (afternoon session) - Amendments proposed included:
  • Continuation of debate on Clause 62

  • Comment that the sex offences listed in Schedule 4 will soon be replaced by new offences in the forthcoming Sex Offences Bill

  • Clause 62 ordered to stand

  • Schedule 4 agreed to

  • Clause 63 ordered to stand


Standing Committee 21/1/03 (morning session)

Amendments proposed included:

  • Amendments to Clause 65 relate to the Governments desire to abolish the rule of double jeopardy and allow a retrial in cases where new evidence emerges. Arguments include the observation that the current wording of the Clause indicates that the jury has already made a decision regarding the probable guilt of the accused; and definitions of compelling evidence

  • Clause 64 ordered to stand


Standing Committee 21/1/03 (afternoon session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • Continuation of debates on Clause 65

  • Debates round Clauses 69 and 70 seek to discover more about the Governments intentions regarding press coverage of cases, and include a suggestion that there be closer links between this Bill and the Communications Bill

  • Clause 65 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 66 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 67 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 68 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 69 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 70 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 71 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 72 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 72 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 73 ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 74 to 76 ordered to stand part (no amendments debated)

  • Clause 77 ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 78 and 79 ordered to stand part (no amendments debated)

  • Clause 80 ordered to stand part


Standing Committee 23/1/03 (morning session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • Series of amendments to Clause 81 which deals with the concept and definition of ‘bad character. Issues discussed include whether the admission of previous bad character should refer solely to previous convictions including those committed by under-18s, or (as proposed by the Bill) more widely to encompass behaviour which might be viewed with disapproval by a reasonable person. The speakers refer to the recent review of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 which made very different recommendations about spent convictions

  • Clause 81 ordered to stand part


Standing Committee 23/1/03 (afternoon session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • Continuation of discussions round proposals regarding the evidence of bad character as it applies to non-defendants and defendants

  • Clause 82 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 83 ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 84 to 97 ordered to stand part (Committee ran out of time for debates)

  • Schedule 5 agreed to


Standing Committee 28/1/03 (morning session)
  • Discussions relate to new provisions on hearsay evidence

  • Clause 98 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 99 ordered to stand part


Standing Committee 28/1/03 (afternoon session)
  • Discussions continue on new provisions on hearsay evidence

  • Amendments to Clauses 120 and 121 deal with extending the right to give video evidence from young witnesses more widely to those who are vulnerable by reason of intimidation

  • Clause 100 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 101 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 102 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 103 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 104 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 105 ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 106 to 108 ordered to stand part (no amendments debated)

  • Clause 109 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 110 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 111 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 112 ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 113 to 118 ordered to stand part (no amendments debated)

  • Clause 119 ordered to stand part

  • Schedule 6 agreed to

  • Clause 120 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 121 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 122 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 123 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 124 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 125 ordered to stand part


Standing Committee 30/1/03 (morning session)
  • Amendments to Clause 126 re the purposes of sentencing seeks to include under 18s and ensure that the impact of sentencing on their welfare is taken into account by the court


Standing Committee 30/1/03 (afternoon session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • Continuation of debates on amendments to Clause 126 to which the Government respond that it plans to issue a green paper on Children at Risk in Spring 2003, and later introduce legislation bringing together the purposes of juvenile sentencing

  • Other amendments to Clause 126 refer to alternatives to custody, and the use of custody as a measure of last resort (for adults)

  • Amendments to Clause 127 re determining the seriousness of offences - a measure which includes juveniles and adults

  • Clause 126 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 127 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 128 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 129 ordered to stand part


Standing Committee 4/2/03 (morning session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • Debate on Clause 130 compared reoffending rates for those who served custodial sentences (55 to 60%) with those who served community sentences (40 to 50%), and the publics perception that community sentences are a soft option

  • Discussion during debates on Clause 134 on the possibility of the Government introducing drugs courts to deal with crime directly connected with drug use

  • An amendment debated in respect of Clause 135 refers to the use of custodial sentences for offences against children

  • Clause 130 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 131 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 132 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 133 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 134 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 135 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 136 ordered to stand part


Standing Committee 4/2/03 (afternoon session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • Amendment to Clause 143 seeks to take forward the concerns expressed by the Joint Committee on Human Rights that young offenders should have the right to see their pre-sentence report; further consideration was given to young people who did not wish their parents to see the report. The Government offers to return to the issue at Report stage

  • Clause 137 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 138 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 139 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 140 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 141 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 142 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 143 amended and ordered to stand part


Standing Committee 6/2/03 (morning session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • Clause 145 deals with the extension of pre-sentence drug testing to young people from the age of 14 - one amendment attempts to raise the proposed age to 18 arguing that a criminal sanction is not the most appropriate response, whilst another argues that the age should be reduced to match the age of criminal responsibility - 10. Others would widen the scope of the proposal to include drug use beyond Class A so as to pull in young people who use cannabis or drink alcohol. Much of the ensuing debate refers to the links between drugs and alcohol use and acquisitive crime

  • Government amendments to Clause 145 change the age at which the child should have an appropriate adult present up to and including 16-year-olds

  • Amendments debated round Clause 151 seek to ensure that specific professions and young people are represented on the Sentencing Guidelines Council

  • Clause 144 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 145 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 146 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 147 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 148 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 149 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 150 amended and ordered to stand part


Standing Committee 6/2/03 (afternoon session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • The discussion on the composition of the Sentencing Guidelines Council (Clause 151) continues, with the Government responding that it will return to this issue at Report stage

  • Clause 151 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 152 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 153 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 154 ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 155 and 156 ordered to stand part without debate

  • Clause 157 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 158 to 162 ordered to stand part without debate

  • Schedule 7 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 163 to 165 ordered to stand part without debate

  • Clause 166 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 167 to 169 ordered to stand part without debate

  • Schedule 8 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 170 to 172 ordered to stand part without debate

  • Clause 173 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 174 to stand part without debate

  • Schedule 9 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 175 to 191 ordered to stand part without debate

  • Clause 192 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 193 to 199 ordered to stand part without debate

  • Schedule 10 agreed to

  • Clauses 200 and 201 ordered to stand part without debate

  • Clause 202 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 203 ordered to stand part without debate


Standing Committee 11/2/03 (morning session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • Detailed discussions about the Bills proposals regarding dangerous offenders - particularly the issue of the definition of dangerous and the offences which would bring offenders into this category (eg, the Governments proposed list of offences includes assault, child abandonment, female circumcision, and public order offences)

  • A debate on Clause 206 seeks to establish what the policy is regarding life detention for under-18s who commit serious offences, including comments about the appropriateness of prison custody for young offenders, and for those transferred from local authority secure units to adult prisons when they reach the age of 18 (with the accompanying loss of the therapeutic support they had been receiving)

  • Clause 204 ordered to stand part

  • Schedule 11 amended and agreed

  • Clause 205 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 206 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 207 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 208 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 209 ordered to stand part without debate

  • Schedules 12 and 13 agreed without debate

  • Clauses 210 to 216 ordered to stand part without debate


Standing Committee 11/2/03 (afternoon session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • Amendments to Clause 218 seek to include conditions to licences ensuring that the court takes account of the emotional maturity and parenting skills of the young person, and educational attainment/employment

  • Debate on Clause 235 re additional days for disciplinary offences where clarification is asked for as a result of a European Court ruling regarding decisions made by prison governors to extend the time spent in custody. Mr Malins raises the issue of the poor conditions in which young offenders are kept in YOIs, and the detrimental effect this can have on behaviour

  • Debate on Clause 236 questions Governments intention to remove (deport) certain offenders from the UK without Parole Board involvement - the question refers in particular to violent and sex offenders who may remain a danger abroad

  • Debate on Schedule 17 asks if young people should be subject to compulsory testing and treatment for a drug problem, and seeks assurance that the use of a DTTO (drug treatment and testing order) must be relevant to the offence. Other amendments ask that the young person consent to the treatment, and the Government is considering placing that requirement in the Bill

  • Schedule 18 - Government amendment adds the Vagrancy Act 1824 offences of encouraging a child to beg in a public place to the list of offences no longer punishable with imprisonment

  • Clause 217 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 218 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 219 ordered to stand part

  • Schedule 15 agreed

  • Clause 220 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 221 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 222 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 223 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 224 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 225 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 226 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 227 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 228 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 229 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 230 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 231 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 232 to 234 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 235 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 236 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 237 to 238 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 239 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 240 ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 241 to 242 ordered to stand part

  • Schedule 16 agreed

  • Clause 243 ordered to stand part

  • Schedule 17 agreed

  • Clause 244 ordered to stand part

  • Schedule 18 amended and agreed

  • Schedule 19 amended and agreed

  • Clauses 245 and 246 ordered to stand

  • Clause 247 ordered to stand


Standing Committee 13/2/03 (morning session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • Clause 248 and Schedule 20 lead to another discussion round the Governments decision to reclassify cannabis from a Class B drug to Class C, but to increase the maximum sentence for Class C drugs to 14 years

  • Amendment to Schedule 21 ensures that convictions are never spent for which an extended sentence for a violent or sexual offence has been imposed - this affects under-18s as well as adults; the relevant offences are listed in Schedule 11 of the Bill

  • Clause 248 ordered to stand part

  • Schedule 20 agreed

  • Clause 249 ordered to stand part

  • New Clause 19 (Power to impose unpaid work requirement or curfew requirement on fine defaulter) agreed

  • New Clause 20 (Fine defaulters: driving disqualification) agreed

  • New Schedule 2 (Default orders: modification of provisions relating to community orders) agreed

  • Clause 250 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 251 ordered to stand part

  • Schedule 21 amended and agreed

  • Clause 252 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clauses 253 to 255 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 256 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 257 ordered to stand part


Standing Committee 13/2/03 (afternoon session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • Clause 259 deals with Individual Support Orders (ISOs) which are civil orders aimed at young offenders and linked to Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) and intended to deal with whatever is causing the anti-social behaviour. Questions are raised regarding the size of the fine (up to 1000) which can be made for non-compliance with the ISO; Mr Heath regards this as high for a 14-year-old to pay

  • Clause 261 deals with new court powers to issue Parenting Orders with Referral Orders

  • Schedule 22 agreed

  • Clause 259 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 260 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 261 ordered to stand part

  • Schedule 23 agreed


Standing Committee 25/2/03 (morning session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • Amendments to Clause 262 seek to expand the authorities required to cooperate in the assessment and treatment of sex offenders to include Local Education Authorities and local authority leisure departments

  • Probing amendment to Clause 263 to discover the Governments intentions behind the appointment of two laypersons to MAPPAs - ensuing debate refers to the campaign for Sarahs law (public notification of sex offenders)

  • Amendment to Schedule 3 seeks to provide magistrates with more discretion (in the interests of justice”) to send cases involving children and young people to Crown Court


  • Clause 262 ordered to stand

  • Clause 263 ordered to stand

  • Clause 264 amended and ordered to stand

  • Clause 35 ordered to stand

  • Schedule 3 agreed


Standing Committee - 25/2/03 (afternoon session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • Clause 49 amended and ordered to stand

  • Clause 50 amended and ordered to stand

  • Clause 51 amended and ordered to stand

  • Clause 52 amended and ordered to stand

  • Clause 53 ordered to stand

  • Clause 54 amended and ordered to stand

  • Clause 55 amended and ordered to stand

  • Clauses 56 and 57 ordered to stand

  • Clause 58 ordered to stand

  • Clause 59 amended and ordered to stand

  • Clause 60 amended and ordered to stand

  • Clause 61 amended and ordered to stand


Standing Committee - 27/2/03 (morning session)

Amendments proposed included:
  • Schedule 24 lowers the age at which an offender can be in an adult prison from 21 to 18, so that detention in a YOI will disappear for that age group

  • Discussion on Clause 270 offers interesting details regarding costs of various disposals, including 6000 for an Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP), and 6000 for a Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO)


  • Clause 265 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 266 ordered to stand part

  • Schedule 25 amended and agreed

  • Clause 267 ordered to stand part

  • Schedule 26 amended and agreed

  • Clause 268 ordered to stand part

  • Schedule 24 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 269 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 270 ordered to stand part

  • Clause 271 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 272 amended and ordered to stand part

  • Clause 273 ordered to stand part


Standing Committee - 27/2/03 (afternoon session)

New Clauses debated:
  • New Clause 17 (Duty of prison to rehabilitate) points out the failure of prisons to offer prisoners purposeful activity. Withdrawn

  • New Clause 24 (Powers of confiscation) refers to allowing police to confiscate alcohol, tobacco or cannabis especially from under 18s as a measure to tackle anti-social behaviour. Withdrawn


  • New Clause 8 (Early release of fine defaulters) added to Bill

  • New Clause 9 (Restriction on consecutive sentences for released prisoners) added to Bill

  • New Clause 13 (Transfer of community orders to Scotland or Northern Ireland) added to Bill

  • New Clause 19 (Power to impose unpaid work requirement or curfew requirement on fine defaulter) added to Bill

  • New Clause 20 (Fine defaulters: driving disqualification) added to Bill

  • New Clause 21 (Execution process between England and Wales and Scotland added to Bill

  • New Clause 25 (Application of Part 7 to Northern Ireland) added to Bill


Standing Committee - 4/3/03 (morning session)

New Clauses debated:
  • New Clause 27 (Joint and several liability for death or serious injury of a child) refers to cases in which two parents/carers escape conviction for a childs death because it is unclear which was responsible


Standing Committee - 4/3/03 (afternoon session)

New Clauses debated:
  • A continuation of the debate on New Clause 27 (above) regarding joint and several liability in the case of a childs death - the Government offers to ensure that the Law Commission takes account of the debate because it wishes to take action on the issue when a workable legal solution can be found. Withdrawn

  • New Clause 31 (Welfare of detained children) relates to the recent judicial review brought by the Howard League for Penal Reform in which Justice Munby ruled that local authorities retain their Children Act 1989 duty to safeguard the welfare of children in prison service establishments. The minister says that he welcomes the judgment, and mentions new child protection policies and links with the local ACPCs; as well as a Youth Justice Board intention to draw up a specification for advocacy services in juvenile establishments. Withdrawn


  • New Schedule 1 (Transfer of community orders to Scotland or Northern Ireland) added to Bill

  • New Schedule 2 (Default orders: modification of provisions relating to community orders) added to Bill

  • New Schedule 3 (Enabling powers: alteration of maximum penalties, etc) added to Bill


Bill, as amended, to be Reported

Report Stage 2/4/03, amendments discussed included:
  • Several on hearsay evidence, and the definition and use of the term bad character in the Bill (Clauses 82 and 85). Amendments negatived


Clauses debated:
  • Clause 5

  • Clause 6

  • Schedule 1 amended

  • Schedule 2

  • Clause 25 amended

  • Clause 47 amended

  • Clause 99

  • Clause 104

  • Clause 105

  • Clause 106

  • Clause 107

  • Clause 108

  • Clause 111

  • Clause 116

  • Clause 119 amended

  • Schedule 6 amended

  • Clause 125 amended

  • Clause 85 amended

  • Clause 86

  • Clause 87 amended

  • Clause 88

  • Clause 89

  • Clause 90

  • Clause 91 amended

  • Clause 92

  • Clause 96

  • Clause 97 amended

  • Schedule 5 amended


House of Commons
Report stage -19/5/03

Amendments discussed included:
  • Opposition amendment to Clause 9 (Power of arrest for possession of Class C drugs) asks why the Government is making this an arrestable offence. The Government responds that ACPO will be drawing up guidance, and that the focus for arrest is possession of the newly reclassified drug, cannabis

  • Substantive debates (though not directly applicable to young people) on New Clauses 14 (Taking fingerprints without consent); 15 (Taking non-intimate samples without consent); 52 (Absconding by persons released on bail); and 53 (Supplementary amendments to the Bail Act 1976)

  • Debates round new Clause 52 raise questions about the applicability of the provisions to under-18s; to the dissatisfaction of the Conservatives, the Government states that they are for adult offenders only

  • Substantive debates on New Clause 29 (Rules of court) and which cases will be affected by being heard by a judge rather than jury; and New Clause 63 (Cases that may be retried) where the point is made that the list of relevant ‘grave offences though wide-ranging is selective. The remaining New Clauses were not debated


Clauses debated:
  • Clause 10 (Drug-testing for under-18s) amended

  • New Clause 14 (Taking fingerprints without consent) added to Bill

  • New Clause 15 (Taking non-intimate samples without consent) added to Bill

  • New Clause 52 (Absconding by persons released on bail) added to Bill

  • New Clause 53 (Supplementary amendments to the Bail Act 1976) added to Bill

  • Clause 11 (Grant and conditions of bail) amended

  • Clause 12 (Offences committed on bail) amended

  • Clause 16 (Drug users: restriction on bail) amended

  • Clause 28 (Defence disclosure) amended

  • Clause 29 (Notification of intention to call defence witnesses) amended

  • Clause 31 (Further provisions about defence disclosure) amended

  • Clause 34 (Fault in defence disclosure) amended

  • New Clause 29 (Rules of court) added to Bill

  • Clause 39 (Procedure for applications under sections 36 to 38) amended

  • Clause 40 (Discharge of jury because of jury tampering) amended

  • Clause 42 (Further provision about trials without a jury) amended

  • Clause 63 (Cases that may be retried) added to Bill

  • Schedule 4 (Qualifying offences for purposes of Part 10) amended

  • Clause 64 (Application of Court of Appeal) amended

  • Clause 66 (New and compelling evidence) amended

  • Clause 67 (Interests of justice) amended

  • Delete Clause 70 (Restrictions on reporting) amended

  • Delete Clause 71 (Offences in connection with reporting) amended

  • Clause 72 (Retrial) amended

  • Clause 73 (Authorisation of investigations) amended

  • Clause 74 (Urgent investigative steps) amended

  • Clause 75 (Arrest and charge) amended

  • Clause 76 (Bail and custody before application) amended

  • Clause 77 (Bail and custody before hearing) amended

  • Clause 78 (Bail and custody during and after hearing) amended

  • Clause 81 (Interpretation of Part 10) amended

  • New Clause 42 (Restrictions on publication in the interests of justice) added to Bill

  • New Clause 43 (Revocation of bail) added to Bill

  • New Clause 44 (Armed forces: Part 10) added to Bill

  • New Clause 54 (Application of Part 10 to Northern Ireland) added to Bill

  • Clause 279 (Extent) amended


House of Commons
Report stage - 20/5/03

Amendments discussed included:
  • The debate round all amendments from new Clause 30 to New Schedule 3 focus on sentencing tariffs with the Home Secretary stating that, in some cases, life should mean life, and using the example of child murder. Mr Blunkett admits that there will be an increase in those serving life sentences, and therefore an increase in prison numbers. Opposition members ask why the tariffs being proposed are so much higher than those set out in the practice directions issued by the Lord Chief Justice in May 2002

  • In col.882, Dominic Grieve asks about juvenile offenders, reminding Parliament that:. . . we have always differentiated between adults who commit murder and juveniles who commit murder. That is enshrined in the different sentencing regimes, if only in the words involved. Adults receive a sentence of life imprisonment, while a different order is applied to juveniles, described as ""detention at Her Majesty's pleasure"". Whatever the words imply, however, I saw a clear differentiation. The Home Secretary may not disagree with my perception of a much greater emphasis on rehabilitation in the case of juveniles. The view seemed to be that although they must clearly be punished, it was in the widest interests of society for them to be released as soon as possible if it had been satisfactorily established that rehabilitation had indeed occurred. Under the new guidelines, children who commit murder could receive 30 year sentences [minimum 15 year tariff]. He asks that young offenders be removed from the guidelines under consideration. Other speakers refer to other examples where the new guidelines are over-severe: ie, in domestic violence cases where women have killed their partners

  • The Government responds that age is one of the mitigating factors in the proposals, but that they will consider what has been said about juveniles

  • At col.932, Hilton Dawson MP speaks to an amendment which was not debated, on the inappropriateness of transferring an adult sentencing framework onto the youth justice system. He calls for a separate Youth Justice Bill


Clauses debated:
  • New Clause 28 (Sentencing Guidelines Council: supplementary provisions) added to Bill

  • New Clause 30 (Determination of minimum term in relation to mandatory life sentences) added to Bill

  • New Clause 31 (Duty to give reasons) added to Bill

  • New Clause 32 (Appeals) added to Bill

  • New Clause 33 (Review of minimum term on reference by Attorney General) added to Bill

  • New Clause 34 (Life prisoners transferred to England and Wales) added to Bill

  • New Clause 35 (Further provisions about references relating to transferred life prisoners) added to Bill

  • New Clause 36 (Duty to release certain life prisoners) added to Bill

  • New Clause 37 (Mandatory life sentences: transitional cases) added to Bill

  • New Clause 38 (Interpretation of Chapter) added to Bill

  • New Clause 39 (Increase in penalties for certain driving-related offences causing death) added to Bill

  • New Clause 46 (Minimum sentence for certain firearms offence) added to Bill

  • New Clause 47 (Certain firearms offences to be triable only on indictment) added to Bill

  • New Clause 48 (Power to sentence young offender to detention in respect of certain firearms offences: England and Wales) added to Bill

  • New Clause 49 (Power to sentence young offender to detention in respect of certain firearms offences: Scotland) added to Bill

  • New Clause 50 (Power to order to exclude application of minimum sentence to those under 18) added to Bill

  • New Clause 51 (Increase in penalty for offences relating to importation or exportation of certain firearms) added to Bill

  • Clause 127 (Purposes of sentencing) amended

  • Clause 134 (Community sentence not available where sentence fixed by law etc.) amended

  • Clause 136 (General restrictions on imposing discretionary custodial sentences) amended

  • Clause 137 (Length of discretionary custodial sentences: general provision) amended

  • Clause 158 (Duty to give reason for, and explain effect of, sentence) amended

  • Clause 257 (Sentencing: repeals) amended

  • Schedule 24 (Amendments related to sentencing) amended

  • Clause 259 (Interpretation of Part 12) amended

  • New Clause 41 (Mode of trial for certain firearms offences: transitory arrangements)

  • Schedule 3 (Allocation of cases triable either way, and sending cases to the Crown Court etc.) amended

  • Clause 272 (Orders and rules) amended

  • Schedule 28 (Repeals) amended

  • Clause 278 (Commencement) amended

  • Clause 279 (Extent) amended

  • New Clause 45 (Limitation on period of detention without charge of suspected terrorists) added to Bill


  • Debate on the Criminal Records Bureau only gets underway before they run out of time - the New Clause is passed without debate


  • New Clause 26 (Criminal record certificates: amendments of Part 5 of Police Act 1997) added to Bill

  • New Schedule 1 (Criminal record certificates: amendments of Part 5 of Police Act 1997) added to Bill

  • New Clause 40 (Offence of outraging public decency triable either way) added to Bill

  • New Schedule 2 (Determination of minimum term in relation to mandatory life sentence) added to Bill

  • New Schedule 3 (Mandatory life sentences: transitional cases) added to Bill


Third reading - 20/5/03

The Home Secretary states that the Government wishes to give the Home Affairs Select Committee sufficient time to scrutinise the Bill before it receives its 2nd reading in the House of Lords [provisionally scheduled for 16 June 2003]. He offers to consider comments made by the Opposition in respect of the applicability of the new sentencing guidelines for juvenile offenders. Other areas he wishes to return to in the Lords include:
  • Cases involving a multiplicity of charges where only specimen charges can be dealt with owing to the complexity or length of the trial

  • Cases in which offenders claims compensation for injury incurred while committing burglary or another offence on other’s property

  • In response to a question from Vera Baird, he says that he will be considering the law on joint enterprise - a reference to her two amendments on child death cases where neither parent/carer can be prosecuted because it is unclear who was responsible for the death of the child


Oliver Letwin, speaking for the Conservatives, wants further debate on:
  • The new provisions concerning DNA

  • Double jeopardy

  • The ‘retailing of previous bad character - as currently constructed in the Bill


Simon Hughes, speaking for the Liberal Democrats, object to:
  • The mixed messages about cannabis - now a Class C drug, but with possession made an arrestable offence

  • The Governments failure to publish its Victims and Witnesses Bill, and the Criminal Justice Bills cuts into the rights of defendants

  • The failure of the Bill to ensure that all criminal justice agencies are equally accountable to the public


The Bill is passed and sent to the House of Lords.

b>Lords

Second reading 16/6/02 - Issues discussed included:
  • The Government sets out its framework for reform: Too many people escape justice. Nearly a quarter of defendants commit at least one offence while on bail. Twelve per cent of those bailed fail to appear at court. Every year over 60,000 trials do not go ahead on the day planned. A further 70,000 trials crack on the day that they are due to be heard. So over half of all witnesses who attend court do not give evidence. Every time a case collapses or the verdict is perceived as unjust, a victim's suffering is made worse.

  • The Lord Chancellor confirms that the Government will bring forward amendments to Clause 9 (Codes of practice) to ensure that any significant revisions are subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.

  • Lord Falconer only briefly refers to two of the few clauses in the Bill specific to young people; 292 and 293; which introduce a provision to attach an individual support order to an anti-social behaviour order made against a young person aged between 10 and 17 years; and Clause 294 and Schedule 28 allow a parenting order to be attached to a referral order.

  • For the Conservatives, Baroness Anelay states that they regard it as a mistake to include juveniles in the 15-year minimum sentence category (part of a series of amendments introduced in the Commons during Report stage). She also refers to the Part 11 measures relating to bad character warning of a risk that people could be convicted on the basis of their past criminal record rather than for the alleged offence before the court.

  • Comments from both Lord Thomas of Gresford, the Liberal Democrat spokesperson, and the Lord Chief Justice The Lord Woolf, refrain to mention young people, but indicate there are serious divisions between the Home Secretary and the Judiciary.

  • The Lord Bishop of Blackburn questions the extension of drug testing and compulsory treatment to juveniles, only 3% of whom may become addicted to Class A drugs; reminds the House that the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 already allows for indeterminate sentences to be imposed on juveniles but this provision has rarely been used; and refers to the punitive tenor of the Bill as a whole.

  • Baroness Linklater (LibDem) makes an impassioned speech about the increasing use of prison, and again criticises proposals to allow for the indeterminate sentencing of young people, and the 15-year minimum sentence.

  • Baroness Gibson of Market Rasen (Lab) communicates the concern of the Criminal Records Bureau about Commons Report stage amendments which would allow non-public service staff to have access to sensitive information held on the police national computer.

  • Baroness Massey of Darwen (Lab), supported by Baroness Stern (Cross-bencher), devotes her speech to the effects of the Bill on children and young people. Specifically, she refers to street bail, the proposed increase from 24 to 36 hours for detaining suspects without charge, the use of custody as a measure of last resort, and the need to ensure that the childs welfare is considered throughout the criminal justice process and that children are treated separately from adults.

  • Lord Ahmed (Lab) refers to the Bills failure to introduce measures which will deal with the disproportionate number of black and minority ethnic children and adults in the criminal justice system.

  • Lord Adebowale (Crossbencher) speaks on the drugs provisions, and asks that the extension of the court order down to the age of 14 be accompanied by an expansion of services for young people - and that they not be diverted to adult drug treatment services. Later in the debate, Baroness Scotland responds on behalf of the Government, saying that the Youth Justice Board is providing funding for all 155 YOTs across England and Wales to have access to an allocated, named drugs worker. The National Treatment Agency has allocated 15 million for 2003/4 to ensure that, from April 2004, all young people who require treatment will get it.

  • Lord Dholakia (LibDem) refers to the Joint Committee on Human Rights scrutiny of the Bill.



Committee Stage: 7/7/03
  • Liberal Democrat amendment to introduce a new clause after clause 8 on destruction of fingerprints and samples. Short debate on retaining samples taken from those who are not charged and potential DNA databases. Amendment withdrawn

  • Suggested amendments to clause 9 leads to debate over the breadth of consultation necessary before changes to PACE codes of practice; with the government amendments seeking to target consultation and lessen bureaucracy. Baroness Walmsley (Liberal Democrat) and Baroness Anelay (Conservative) urge that changes to the safeguards for children remain subject to wide consultation

  • Clause 9, as amended (Government), agreed to

  • Clause 10 agreed to

  • Schedule 1 agreed to

  • Clause 11, on the power to arrest for possession of class c drugs, negatived

  • Clause 12

    • Debate includes arguments for the need for children to be considered separately in legislation rather than under adapted laws for adults. Series of amendments debating the age at which testing might be carried out, the anomaly that 17 year olds need not be tested in the presence of an appropriate adult, and the potential violation of national and international obligations by testing children under 14. Government counters that custody and testing will only occur after being charged with a trigger offence where research (Home Office Research Study 192 and 261) has shown a clear link between an offence and substance use (currently acceptable under section 63B of PACE). Government also insists that PACE regulations are being followed in the unsupervised testing of 17 year olds

    • Government amendment on right of Secretary of State to change the ages of children in the relevant parts of the clause cause the lordships to be divided: Contents 114, Not Contents 97

    • Clause 12, as amended, agreed to

  • Proposed amendments to clause 13 express concern over the welfare of under 18s and the conditions imposed on their bail, the appropriateness of a custody sergeant setting bail rather than the courts, and the need to involve appropriate welfare authorities. Government response is that clause 13 follows recommendations by the Law Society. Clause 13, as amended (Government), agreed to

  • Clause 14, as amended (Government), agreed to

  • Clause 15, as amended (Government), agreed to

  • Clause 16, as amended (Government), agreed to

  • Clause 17, as amended (Government) agreed to


Committee Stage: 14/7/03
  • Clause 18 agreed to

  • Clause 19 agreed to

  • Clause 20, as amended (Government), agreed to

  • Clause 21 agreed to

  • Clause 22, as amended (Government), agreed to

  • Clause 23, as amended (Government), agreed to

  • Clause 24 agreed to

  • Clause 25 - Discussion of amendments concerning codes of practice in relation to conditional cautions. Lordships divided on amendment 89, which would have ensured that the Secretary of State shall (as opposed to may include the detailed provisions, set out in Clause 25, in the code of practice: 74 Contents, 145 Not Contents, amendment not agreed. Clause 25, as amended (Government), agreed to

  • Clause 26, as amended (Government), agreed to

  • Clause 27 agreed to

  • Schedule 2, as amended (Government), agreed to

  • Clause 28 agreed to

  • Clause 29 agreed to

  • Clause 30 agreed to

  • Clause 31 agreed to

  • Clause 32 agreed to

  • Clause 33 agreed to

  • Debate concerning the requirement in the Bill that the accused deliver up names of expert witnesses consulted, even if they are not then used in court. Lordships divided on amendment to remove this requirement: Contents 29, Not Contents 47

  • Clause 34 agreed to

  • Clause 35 agreed to

  • Clause 36 agreed to

  • Clause 37 agreed to

  • Clause 38, as amended (Government), agreed to

  • Government amendment 126 inserting a new clause after Clause 38 on the - code of practice for police interviews of witnesses notified by the accused, agreed to

  • Clause 39, as amended, agreed to

  • Schedule 3, as amended (Government), agreed to

  • Clause 40 agreed to


Committee Stage: 15/7/03
  • Lord Hunt of Wirral (Conservative) introduced a clause stand part debate on Clause 41 concerning the right for defence or prosecution to request trial by judge alone. Long debate on general importance of trial by jury, and which cases are appropriate for it focusing on those cases where the Bill would remove trial by jury (lengthy or complex trials, such as those involving fraud, and cases involving jury tampering)

  • Clause 41. Lordships divided, Contents 136, Not Contents 210. Resolved in the negative, clause 41 not agreed to

  • Debates on each of the remaining Clauses (Clauses 42-49) in Part 7 with all clauses being negatived. Part 7 (trials on indictment without jury) therefore deleted from the Bill

  • Amendments concerning the use of, and provisions for, live links to give evidence in court - for example when it is appropriate for evidence to be given this way. The Minister stated that the court should take into account all the circumstances of the case when deciding upon a live link. The criteria in the Bill is not exhaustive, but a guide

  • Clause 50 agreed to

  • Clause 51 agreed to

  • Clause 52 - Debate over which courts will be installed with live link facilities. The Minister responded that the Government would like to reach the stage where all appropriate courts have appropriate facilities. The sensitivity around cases involving children would be taken into account when deciding about a live link and the practicalities of a live link. Clause 52 agreed to

  • Clause 53 - Debate over the - warning - of a jury by the judge to give due weight to live link evidence, including research by Davies and Noon in 1991 which found that evidence given through live links by children was not significantly less effective or credible than other evidence, with the conclusion being therefore, that live links were a good thing. Clause 53 agreed to

  • Clause 54 agreed to

  • Clause 55 agreed to

  • Clause 56 agreed to


Committee Stage: 17/7/03
  • Clause 57, as amended, agreed to (consequential from the removal of Part 7 from the Bill)

  • Clause 58 agreed to

  • Clause 59 agreed to

  • Clause 60 agreed to

  • Clause 61 agreed to

  • Clause 62 agreed to

  • Clauses 63-68 agreed to

  • Clause 69 - Long debate on the double jeopardy rule. Issues discussed include the interrelation of the provisions for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland; the precise definition of new and compelling evidence retrospective changes; the potential media hounding of high profile acquittals for retrial; the relevance of DNA evidence; qualifying offences for retrial; and the general loss of finality in legal proceedings. Clause 69 agreed to

  • Schedule 4 agreed to

  • Clause 70 agreed to

  • Clause 71 agreed to

  • Clause 72 agreed to

  • Clause 73 agreed to

  • Clause 74 agreed to

  • Clause 75 agreed to

Further Information

  1. Criminal Justice Bill
  2. Criminal Justice Bill
  3. Criminal Justice Bill
  4. Criminal Justice Bill
  5. Criminal Justice Bill
  6. Criminal Justice Bill
  7. Criminal Justice Bill - Standing Committee 9/1/03 (afternoon session)
  8. Criminal Justice Bill
  9. Criminal Justice Bill
  10. Criminal Justice Bill
  11. Criminal Justice Bill - Standing Committee 16/1/03 (morning session)
  12. Criminal Justice Bill
  13. Criminal Justice Bill
  14. Criminal Justice Bill
  15. Criminal Justice Bill
  16. Criminal Justice Bill
  17. Criminal Justice Bill
  18. Criminal Justice Bill
  19. Home Affairs First Report on the Criminal Justice Bill
  20. Criminal Justice Bill
  21. Criminal Justice Bill
  22. Criminal Justice Bill
  23. Criminal Justice Bill
  24. Criminal Justice Bill
  25. Criminal Justice Bill
  26. Criminal Justice Bill
  27. Criminal Justice Bill
  28. Criminal Justice Bill - Standing Committee 7/1/03 (afternoon session)
  29. Criminal Justice Bill
  30. Criminal Justice Bill - Report Stage: 30/10/03
  31. Criminal Justice Bill
  32. Criminal Justice Bill
  33. Criminal Justice Bill
  34. Criminal Justice Bill
  35. Criminal Justice Bill
  36. Criminal Justice Bill Second Reading
  37. Criminal Justice Bill - Report Stage: 5/11/03
  38. Criminal Justice Bill
  39. Criminal Justice Bill
  40. Criminal Justice Bill
  41. Criminal Justice Bill - Standing Committee 9/1/03 (morning session)
  42. Criminal Justice Bill
  43. Criminal Justice Bill
  44. Criminal Justice Bill
  45. Criminal Justice Bill
  46. Criminal Justice Bill
  47. Criminal Justice Bill [E/NI/S/W] - Explanatory Notes
  48. Criminal Justice Bill
  49. Home Affairs Second Report on the Criminal Justice Bill
  50. Criminal Justice Bill
  51. Criminal Justice Bill
  52. Criminal Justice Bill
  53. Criminal Justice Bill
  54. Criminal Justice Bill
  55. Criminal Justice Bill
  56. Criminal Justice Bill
  57. Criminal Justice Bill [E/S/NI/W]
  58. Criminal Justice Bill
  59. Criminal Justice Bill - Standing Committee 16/1/03 (afternoon session)
  60. Criminal Justice Bill
  61. Home     More Articles - Acts