Amendment 76

Part of Victims and Prisoners Bill - Report (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords am 6:30 pm ar 23 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Bellamy Lord Bellamy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice 6:30, 23 Ebrill 2024

I shall answer a couple of questions and make one clarification. I think it was the noble Baroness, Lady Lister, who said, “Come on now, when are the code and the protocol going to be available?” I am afraid that, at this point, I cannot advance matters further other than to say, according to my instructions, that the code will be available for parliamentary scrutiny this spring—I know that is not as precise as anyone would like—and that the protocol will be launched later this year. These matters are under the control of the Home Office, and we had a discussion earlier about the relationship between 102 Petty France and Marsham Street. That is as far as I can go at the moment, and I apologise to the noble Baroness that I cannot be more precise.

I am prepared, as always, to have a further exchange of views on Amendment 96. I am not sure we can take it much further but we are always ready to listen, since throughout the Bill we are dealing with the problem of striking a balance between effective immigration control and victim support, and unfortunately there are always trade-offs to be made.

To respond to my noble friend Lady Morgan about requests for relevant information, new Section 44A(6) requires that the request is proportionate. The authorised person must be satisfied that there is no other means of obtaining the information or, if there are such means, that they are not practicable. The decision to release the information ultimately lies with the third party, and that third party has their own obligation under the Data Protection Act and their own duties of confidentiality owed to the person concerned. Again, I respectfully suggest that, bearing in mind my noble friend Lady Bertin’s amendments, the balance between fair-trial rights and victim protection is effectively drawn in the result that we have arrived at. It is not perfect, I know, but it seems to be a practical solution to a very difficult problem.