LASPO next round of amendments explained Apr 14, 2012 23:11:58 GMT 1
Post by nickd on Apr 14, 2012 23:11:58 GMT 1
Confused over what the latest LASPO Commons proposals mean?
We'll do our best to explain. If you want to skip all the technical stuff just go to the next post which puts it all in a nutshell - it's not good reading & people really need to be contacting their MP's in droves today..
I wouldn't be surprised if some of you were confused what all this means. What with all this talk of ping pong, LASPO and amendments changing at quite regular intervals as the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offender's Bill (LASPO) makes its way through Parliament. Government is hoping it will all be done in time for the Queen's speech; it wants to get it to get her majesty's seal of approval or 'Royal Assent'.
We explained how the bill goes from the House of Commons to the House of Lords and vice versa in a game of 'ping pong' here..
Use the above link to identify the 11 amendments which the Lords voted on and Government in what was a humiliating defeat for them; it signals a lot of discontent with the bill as it was when they considered it at the 'report stage'. The article refers to the amendments by our own use of numbers 1 to 11 which are merely used to identify the 11 amendments. These were not all of the amendments considered by the Lords, there were many more, a lot of them get agreed or sometimes the person who decides to put them forward agrees either to not 'move them' or moves them then later decides to 'withdraw' them. This alters the numbering of the amendments as the bill gets bashed around from one debate to the next, it's already been through the House of Commons before reaching the Lords. Within the 11 amendments there is reference to the numbers which were used to move them before the House of Lords for consideration in the report stage; this has now concluded and the bill is heading back to House of Commons on the 17th April.
After the House of Lords considered the bill we end up with it in it's 'amended' form. This shows how the legislation or law looks as it stands after the Lords have considered it. This is how it looked as of March 29th after clearing the Lords..
Now, on Friday (well it was the 13th) Ken Clarke and his government (that's both Conservatives & Liberals) have put forward a new document which relates to how the House of Commons will look at the amendments made by the House of Lords when they debate the bill in the Commons on the 17th April. Here's the document, you will note all of the moves have come from Ken Clarke; they are all his handiwork - along with his chums in the Ministry of Justice. The document will not highlight which amendment is which but it will relate to where it is in the House of Lord amended bill version. Bear in mind it also includes some additions which Ken Clarke has proposed, they can be called concessions - but believe me, they are few and far between. The document should be read as almost entirely disagreeing with the Lord, indeed they go a step further because Clarke & co have come back with 16 indications that the House of Commons disagrees. The Labour party has pledged to back us in opposing Ken Clarke; - however, they can give in or in some cases they could lose the votes by not turning up in sufficient numbers. This would depend on how many voted with Clarke.
So here's Clarke's proposals as released on Friday 13th April
Now we're a helpful lot on Mylegal & Ilegal so we've done the hard work and sorted out what it means. A glance at Clarke's document won't in itself tell you anything - it has to be read together with the amended bill
and also the ones specifically considered by the Lords in the Report stage with a particular emphasis on the 11 which our side won and Clarke's side lost.
Here's a run down of what they mean. Please remember to cross check this with the article on the 11 amendments here..
Use in conjunction with our list of the 11 amendments shown on the above link
(1) Amendment 1 in the House of Lords on March 5th (In our original list as 1)
Is opposed by the Commons as amendment 1 of clause 1 (a clearer definition of the Lord Chancellor's functions)
(2) Amendment 2 of clause (1) in the House of Lords on March 5th (in our original list as 2)
Is opposed by the Commons as amendment 2 of clause 2 (access to legal aid for domestic violence victims).
(3) Amendment 3 of clause (4) in the House of Lords on March 5th (in our original list as 3)
Is opposed by the Commons (director of legal aid casework) but Clarke has put forward an alternative amendment which replaces 3 and 4 (clause 4) which is as follows:
Secretary Kenneth Clarke
To move the following Amendment to the Bill in lieu of Lords
Amendments Nos. 3 and 4:—
leave out subsection (4) and insert—
‘( ) But the Lord Chancellor—
(a) must not give a direction or guidance about the carrying out of those
functions in relation to an individual case, and
(b) must ensure that the Director acts independently of the Lord Chancellor when applying a direction or guidance under subsection (3) in relation to an individual case.’.
Page 3, line 24,
So amendment 4 of clause (4) also becomes opposed but substituted by the above amendment replacing 3 & 4 - Amendment 4 was not one of the 11 which government lost in the House of Lords (so it was not in our original list)
Amendment 11 in the House of Lords on March 7th (in our original list as 4)
Is opposed by the Commons as 168 (schedule 1) (Legal aid for welfare benefits up to first tier tribunal)
Amendment 12 in the House of Lords on March 7th (in our original list as 5)
Is opposed by the Commons as 169 (schedule 1) (Legal aid for welfare benefits up to Upper Tribunal & including higher Courts)
But note. Although 169 is opposed - Clarke has put forward an alternative amendment which replaces 169 and also 240..
Lords Amendment No. 240 (not in our original list)
This is opposed by the Commons
Amendment 240 is..
"Page 137, line 29, leave out paragraph 15"
The substitute amendment to 169 & 240 is...
To move the following Amendments to the Bill in lieu of Lords Amendments Nos. 169 and 240:—
Page 119,line 2, at end insert—
‘Appeals relating to welfare benefits
6A (1) Civil legal services provided in relation to an appeal on a point of law to the Upper Tribunal, the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court relating to a benefit, allowance, payment, credit or pension under—
(a) a social security enactment,
(b) the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979, or
(c) Part 4 of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008.
(2) Sub-paragraph (1) is subject to—
(a) the exclusions in Part 2 of this Schedule, with the exception of
paragraphs 1 and 15 of that Part, and
(b) the exclusion in Part 3 of this Schedule.
(3) In this paragraph “social security enactment” means—
(a) the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992,
(b) the Jobseekers Act 1995,
(c) the State Pension Credit Act 2002,
(d) the Tax Credits Act 2002,
(e) the Welfare Reform Act 2007,
(f) the Welfare Reform Act 2012, or
(g) any other enactment relating to social security.’.
Page 137,line 30,at end insert—
‘(a) a social security enactment,
(b) the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979, or
(c) Part 4 of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008.
Amendment 13 (schedule 1) in the House of Lords on March 7th (in our original list as 6)
Is opposed by the Commons as 170 (schedule 1) (expert reports in clinical negligence cases)
Amendment 119 in the House of Lords on March 14th (in our original list as 7)
Is opposed in the Commons as 24 (Part 1 clause 27 (2) (access to advice including face to face - 'the telephone gateway' vote)
Amendment 132AA (newly inserted before Clause 43) in the House of Lords on March 14th (in our original list as 8)
Is opposed in the Commons as 31 (exceptions in respiratory /industrial disease or illness cases)
Amendment 132AB (newly inserted before Clause 43) in the House of Lords on March 14th (in our original list as 9)
Is opposed in the Commons as 32 (exceptions in Industrial disease cases where breach of duty by employer)
Amendment 3 (schedule 1) in the House of Lords on March 27th (in our original list as 10)
Is opposed in the Commons as 171 (access to legal services for children)
Amendment 4 (schedule 1) in the House of Lords on March 27th (in our original list as 11)
Is opposed in the Commons as 172 (access to legal services in clinical negligence cases in instances which took place when the victim was a child)
*This completes all of the amendments related to the 11 we originally listed in the separate article here..
So of the 11 above - The Lords (3) (considering director of legal services) to be replaced with a further amendment substituting (3) & (4) for a new consideration and also (169) & (240) to be substituted with a second consideration concerning welfare benefits at upper tribunal and higher courts - so two partial concessions thus far.
Now let's have a look at the additional ones opposed by the Commons
These relate to various amendments on domestic violence etc. As these are not detailed within the separate article relating to the amendments upon which Government was defeated, we will explain how they were inserted into the amendments made by the House of Lords.[/i]
Lords amendment 192
192 is opposed by the Commons with a proposal that it be moved to 193 and substituted with a new one.
As 192 is the current Lords amendments -
Page 120, line 45, at end insert—
““abuse” means any incident or repeated incidents of threatening
behaviour, violence or abuse (whether psychological, physical,
sexual, financial or emotional, and including acts of neglect,
maltreatment, exploitation or acts of omission) between adults who
are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of
gender or sexuality;”
192 new amendment proposed which moves 192 to 193...
Lords Amendment No. 192
To move amendment (a) to Lords Amendment No. 193, amendment (b) to Lords Amendment No. 219 and amendment (c) to Lords Amendment No. 220 in lieu of Lords Amendment No. 192:—
(a) Line 2, after ‘means’ insert ‘any incident of’.
(b) Line 2, after ‘means’ insert ‘any incident of’.
(c) Line 25, after ‘means’ insert ‘any incident of’.
Lords Amendment No. 194
194 is opposed by the Commons - here is how it is in the current Lords amendments..
194Page 121, line 31, at end insert—
For the purposes of this paragraph, evidence that abuse has occurred
may consist of one or more of the following (without limitation)—
(a) a relevant court conviction or police caution;
(b) a relevant court order (including without notice, ex parte, interim
or final orders), including a non-molestation undertaking or
order, occupation order, forced marriage protection order or
other protective injunction;
(c) evidence of relevant criminal proceedings for an offence
concerning domestic violence or a police report confirming
attendance at an incident resulting from domestic violence;
(d) evidence that a victim has been referred to a multi-agency risk
assessment conference, as a high risk victim of domestic violence,
and a plan has been put in place to protect that victim from
violence by the other party;
(e) a finding of fact in the family courts of domestic violence by the
other party giving rise to the risk of harm to the victim;
(f) a medical report from a doctor at a UK hospital confirming that
the applicant has injuries or a condition consistent with being a
victim of domestic violence;
(g) a letter from a General Medical Council registered general
practitioner confirming that he or she has examined the applicant
and is satisfied that the applicant had injuries or a condition
consistent with those of a victim of domestic violence;
(h) an undertaking given to a court by the alleged perpetrator of the
abuse that he or she will not approach the applicant who is the
victim of the abuse;
(i) a letter from a social services department confirming its
involvement in providing services to the applicant in respect of
allegations of domestic violence;
(j) a letter of support or a report from a domestic violence support
(k) other well-founded documentary evidence of abuse, such as
from a counsellor, midwife, school or witness.”
Lords amendment 196
Is opposed by the Commons. here is how it is in the current Lords amendments..
196 Page 122, line 10, at end insert—
For the avoidance of doubt, no time limit shall operate in relation to any
evidence supporting an application for civil legal services under
paragraphs 10 and 11.”
This completes ALL of the amendment proposals put forward by Clarke before the bill is considered on Tuesday the 17th April. In the next post there is a brief run down as the implications