Lords begin consideration of “Asbo Bill”

The House of Lords Committee stage hearing of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill commenced on 12 November 2013 and in view of its size, a further 5 days have been scheduled for the line-by-line consideration of its 14 sections, 162 clauses and 9 schedules. These are now scheduled for 18, 20, 25 November and 2, 4 December.  The amendments discussed to date have covered: Schedule 5, which concerns amendments of Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003; clauses 106-109 within Parts 9 and 10 of the Bill, on Protection from Sexual Harm and Violence, and Forced Marriages; and clauses 151-152 within Part 13 of the Bill, Criminal Justice and Court Fees, which deal with compensation for miscarriages of justice and low-value shoplifting, respectively.

The Second Marshalled List of Amendments details the amendments to be moved in committee, which will inevitably be supplemented by additional amendments and these will be available on the web page providing links to all Bill documents.

Comment

To date the areas debated have been relatively uncontroversial and there has been no unexpected opposition to the amendments:

Withdrawn: 1 to 3, 5 to 8, 11, 14 to 16, 18 and 19

Not moved: 4, 8A to 10, 11A to 12B, 13, 17

At the end of the debate, Baroness Anelay of St Johns (Con) stated [12 Nov 2013 : Column 720]

“by agreement with the usual channels today, our business next Monday has changed. It will be the second day in Committee on the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill and it will not be the first day on Report of the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill”.

The Church Times indicates that this debate on the Banking Reform Bill was postponed so that the Archbishop of Canterbury could participate and avoid a clash with his presence at the Church of England General Synod.  The BBC reports that in parallel with this has been pressure from Lord McFall of Alcluith, (Lab) and the opposition front bench for further time for the scrutiny of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, given the substantial number of amendments made to the Bill.

The amendments to be considered by the Lords on 18 November address Part 1 of the Bill: Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance.  These include important proposed changes:

Amendment 19C, (Lord Dear, Baroness Mallalieu): Page 1, line 7, leave out “on the balance of probabilities” and insert “beyond reasonable doubt”

Amendment 20D, (Lord Dear, Baroness Mallalieu): Page 1, line 10, leave out “just and convenient” and insert “necessary and proportionate”

Amendment 22A, (Baroness Smith of Basildon, Lord Rosser): Insert the following new Clause—“Corporate anti-social behaviour order

(1)   It is an offence for a corporate body to act in a manner that caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons.

(2)   In this section “corporate body” has the same meaning as in Part 12 of the Corporation Tax Act 2009 (see section 1005 of that Act).

(3)   The Secretary of State shall, by regulations, set out the circumstances under which an offence has been committed under subsection (1).”

A lively debate is expected following the reported comments of former DPP Lord Macdonald, which suggested inter alia that under its draconian new powers designed to clamp on anyone deemed “annoying”, Christian preachers, buskers and peaceful protesters could effectively be driven off the streets.

2 thoughts on “Lords begin consideration of “Asbo Bill”

  1. Re: Lords begin consideration of “Asbo Bill”

    I suppose only a matter of time before the first ASBO is awarded to a local Church under new plans for ‘discrimination’; i.e The ‘offended’ of Wimbledon (only takes one to complain) or Merton Council seeking to ‘redress’ access to a local School on grounds of Catholic faith could also be targeted. The London Oratory (in the news yesterday in The Times 14/Nov/13) is already accused of ‘discrimination’ (under the interpretation below) in accepting Catholic children is that reason enough to ‘bar’ Catholic children from top Catholic Schools? Not all Catholic Schools are clearly so good academically – but it is relatively ‘better’ than the to the local LEA State School. Hence Academies will be better outside local (Labour) authority control as do Catholic Schools. It is faith but also ‘discipline’, which is lacking in many state schools that is apparent to parents (and often Teachers).

    Perhaps that is why Welby is obliging by wishing to bar ‘privileged’ Catholic children from ‘Church of England’ Schools perhaps. I can see that he might have no option with the New ‘Cromwellian’ laws that could ban ‘Christmas Carols’ (outright) if just one protester from ‘Stonewall’ or ‘Outrage’ was offended by the word ‘God’ or ‘family’ values…. (not part of their valueless lifestyles). There will be no end to these legal challenges within Labour boroughs.

    Quote: ‘A lively debate is expected following the reported comments of former DPP Lord Macdonald, which suggested inter alia that under its draconian new powers designed to clamp on anyone deemed “annoying”, Christian preachers, buskers and peaceful protesters could effectively be driven off the streets’.
    As reported TELEGRAPH http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10437127/New-Asbo-plans-are-assault-on-basic-freedom-says-former-DPP-Lord-Macdonald.html

    The right to display a cross or respect Sunday as a day of Worship will become increasingly ‘discriminate’ in almost all public places. To share a faith, when there are so many other ‘faithless and hopeless’ individuals who are so ‘offended’. Merton Council being such one employer who recently took a respected Child Carer to court because she declared Sunday to be a ‘Day of Worship’ (reported by the BBC as a moral crime until she pointed out that she covered many others who were Islamic, or Jewish the BBC quickly dropped the charge). It is clear where this is going. And it will be a High Court ruling (currently at Appeal): http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/devout-christian-mount-landmark-legal-2474344

    I am reminded of the (Independent) quip ‘Trevor Philips’ made (former chair of Labour ‘equality rights commission’) spoke of his ‘distaste’ of the ‘Salvation Army’ as ‘annoying’ (as it supported Catholic Institutions and values). If one ‘offended’ Secular person can close any such institution with an ASBO (from Merton Council say) which is clearly a political comment and not part of any English tradition of fairness, which has declined somewhat since 2008.

    Onward Christian Solders…

  2. Pingback: Religion and law round up – 17th November | Law & Religion UK

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