New Clause 75

Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 5:30 pm ar 29 Tachwedd 2007.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Northern Ireland Commissioner for Prison Complaints: disclosure of information etc.

‘(1) For the purposes of this section information is protected information if it is obtained by the Commissioner (or a member of the Commissioner’s staff)—

(a) in carrying out functions in relation to, or otherwise in connection with, a complaint;

(b) in carrying out or otherwise in connection with an investigation under section (Northern Ireland Commissioner for Prison Complaints: investigations of deaths) or (Northern Ireland Commissioner for Prison Complaints: investigations requested by the Secretary of State); or

(c) from the Information Commissioner by virtue of section 76 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (c. 36).

(2) Such information ceases to be protected information 70 years after it is first obtained as mentioned in subsection (1).

(3) Protected information shall not be disclosed except—

(a) for the purposes of any of the Commissioner’s functions in relation to a complaint or to matters arising in connection with it;

(b) in the case of information obtained in connection with an investigation, for the purposes of—

(i) an investigation under section (Northern Ireland Commissioner for Prison Complaints: investigations of deaths) or (Northern Ireland Commissioner for Prison Complaints: investigations requested by the Secretary of State), or

(ii) any of the Commissioner’s functions in relation to such an investigation or to matters arising in connection with it;

(c) for the purposes of proceedings for—

(i) an offence under the Official Secrets Act 1989 (c. 6) alleged to have been committed in relation to protected information; or

(ii) an offence of perjury alleged to have been committed in relation to anything being done in connection with the Commissioner’s functions;

or for the purposes of an investigation with a view to the taking of such proceedings;

(d) for the purposes of proceedings under section (Northern Ireland Commissioner for Prison Complaints: obstruction and contempt);

(e) to a coroner (or a person acting on behalf of a coroner) for the purposes of an inquest;

(f) to the Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland for the purposes of the exercise of any of the functions of that office;

(g) to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales for the purposes of the exercise of any of the functions of that office;

(h) in the case of information to which subsection (4) applies, to the Information Commissioner;

(i) in the case of information to which subsection (7) applies, to any person to whom the Commissioner thinks it should be disclosed in the public interest.

(4) This subsection applies to information if it appears to the Commissioner to relate to—

(a) a matter in respect of which the Information Commissioner could exercise a power conferred by an enactment mentioned in subsection (5); or

(b) the commission of an offence mentioned in subsection (6).

(5) Those enactments are—

(a) Part 5 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (c. 29);

(b) section 48 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (c. 36);

(c) Part 4 of that Act.

(6) Those offences are offences under—

(a) any provision of the Data Protection Act 1998 (c. 29) other than paragraph 12 of Schedule 9;

(b) section 77 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (c. 36).

(7) This subsection applies to information if—

(a) in the opinion of the Commissioner it reveals or otherwise relates to a serious threat to the health or safety of a person; or

(b) it does not fall within paragraph (a) but the Commissioner is nevertheless of the opinion that it should be disclosed for the purpose of enabling such a threat to be dealt with.

(8) No person mentioned in subsection (10) may be called upon in any proceedings to give evidence of protected information within subsection (1)(a) or (b).

(9) Subsection (8) does not apply in relation to proceedings mentioned in subsection (3)(c) to (e).

(10) Those persons are—

(a) the Commissioner;

(b) a member of the Commissioner’s staff;

(c) a person from whom advice is obtained by virtue of paragraph 11 of Schedule (The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Prison Complaints).

(11) For the purposes of the law of defamation the publication of any matter by the Commissioner for purposes connected with his functions (including functions under this section) shall be absolutely privileged.’.—[Maria Eagle.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.