Enforcement of notices and certain other requirements and restrictions

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:15 pm ar 19 Ebrill 2016.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Minister (Home Office) 4:15, 19 Ebrill 2016

I beg to move amendment 225, in clause 84, page 65, line 20, after “not”, insert “, without reasonable excuse,”.

There are two points to make here. One is to state the principle that reasonable excuse defences are needed to protect those who are exposed in wrongdoing. We had that debate last week and I listened carefully to the response given. The practical reason is the inconsistencies may be intentional, or they may be unintentional. Clause 73(1), under which unlawful disclosure is made an offence under part 3, has a “without reasonable excuse” provision. Clause 84, which is in part 4, does not. There may be a very good reason for that, but it escapes me at the moment. That is either a point that the Solicitor General can deal with now, or I am happy for him to deal with it later on. It may be just one of those things when you draft a long, complicated Bill, but there is an inconsistency of approach here, because reasonable excuse is sometimes written in and other times not, for no apparent reason.