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Commons Amendment

Volume 413: debated on Tuesday 21 October 1980

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157 Schedule 7, page 84, line 45, at end insert—

'21A. In section 19(1) (prisoners before examination to have access to solicitor), the existing words after "arrest" shall be paragraph (a) of the subsection and after that paragraph there shall be inserted the following paragraph—
"(b) to be told what rights there are under paragraph (a) above and subsections (2) and (3) below.".

21B. At the end of section 28 (admission or refusal of bail after committal), there shall be added the following subsection—

"(3) For the avoidance of doubt, the provisions of section 26 of this Act and the foregoing provisions of this section apply whether or not the person is in custody at such time as he appears for the disposal of his application.".'.

My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 157. I will speak also to Amendments Nos. 161, 162 and 163. Amendments Nos. 162 and 163 and the first paragraph of amendment No. 157 introduce a requirement for the police to inform an arrested person of his right to have his solicitor informed of his arrest, and his other rights under Sections 19 and 305 of the 1975 Act. They parallel the requirement made in relation to detained persons by the group of amendments to Clauses 2 and 3 which we have already considered.

The other amendments in this group (No. 161 and the second paragraph of No. 157) are linked only in a fortuitous textual way to these amendments. Their purpose is to make clear that the courts have power to grant bail to accused persons who appear in court in fulfilment of an undertaking to appear, besides those who are already in custody. Some sheriffs have taken the view that, following the introduction of the Bail etc. (Scotland) Act 1980, bail is only competent in respect of persons who are in custody. This was not the intention of the 1980 Act, and these amendments to the 1975 Act make clear that bail may be granted whether or not the accused is in custody. I beg to move.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said amendment. —( The Earl of Mansfield.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.