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Clause 8

Volume 171: debated on Friday 4 May 1990

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Relevance Of External Law

I beg to move amendment No. 13, in page 6, line 16, leave out

'in their opinion the condition is not satisfied'
and insert
', on the facts as alleged with respect to the relevant conduct, the condition is not in their opinion satisfied'.

With this we will discuss Government amendments Nos. 14 and 15.

These are splendidly technical and wonderfully complicated amendments. I shall summarise the effects of amendments Nos. 13 and 14. Clause 8 provides that offences are triable under clause 4(4) provided that the act complained of would involve the commission of an offence under the law where it was intended to take place. Clause 8(5) provides for a presumption that the act complained of is unlawful unless the defendant serves a counter notice requiring the prosecution to prove illegality.

On further consideration of the Bill, it was felt that it might have the effect of compelling a defendant who did not service a counter notice to accept both the acts complained of and the criminal intention attributed to him. That was not the purpose of the Bill, and out of an abundance of caution this group of amendments has been introduced.

Amendment No. 15 deals only with Scotland. It would enable the prosecution to present oral or documentary evidence during the hearing, which would otherwise be inadmissible because the defence had not given the prescribed notice in advance. As I said, the amendments are technical and complicated, but I hope that the House will accept them.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 14, in page 6, line 18, at end insert—

'(5A) In subsection (5) above "the relevant conduct" means—
  • (a) where the condition in subsection (1) above is in question, what the accused intended to do or facilitate;
  • (b) where the condition in subsection (2) above is in question, the agreed course of conduct; and
  • (c) where the condition in subsection (3) above is in question, what the accused had in view.'
  • No. 15, in page 6, line 21, at end insert—

    '( ) If by virtue of subsection (6) above a court of solemn jurisdiction in Scotland permits the defence to require the prosecution to show that the condition is satisfied, it shall be competent for the prosecution for that purpose to examine any witness or to put in evidence any production not included in the lists lodged by it.'.—[Mr. Douglas Hogg.]