Notice of application for order: confidential journalistic data

Part of Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 11:15 am ar 18 Rhagfyr 2018.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Huw Merriman Huw Merriman Ceidwadwyr, Bexhill and Battle 11:15, 18 Rhagfyr 2018

I will be brief because the hon. Gentleman said much of what I wish to say, but I wish to endorse it. The amendment would make the clause consistent with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and apply it to all journalistic information, rather than just confidential information. I would be pleased if the Minister considered such a provision.

The point has been made—perhaps I can extend it—that such a measure would also save a lot of time and administration. If journalists are given an opportunity to negotiate with more notice, we will not find that matters reach the stage where it is too late. I am led to believe that the procedure works very much on a negotiation basis. On that basis, I think this measure is fair and consistent with domestic matters, and that it will also make for more administrative justice through our court process. I therefore support the sentiments behind the amendment, and I hope that the Minister will consider it.

I say gently to Opposition Members that, to a certain extent, and judging by what the Minister said earlier, we could perhaps have flexibility in this area and make the Bill work better if they do not seek to drive a coach and horses through the Bill with an amendment that is completely outside its scope and could potentially take it to pieces. I make those gentle points to those on both Front Benches.