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Criminal Evidence (Witness Anonymity) Bill

Volume 703: debated on Tuesday 8 July 2008

Brought from the Commons; read a first time, and ordered to be printed.

My Lords, before I adjourn the House, I should give an enormous thanks to all noble Lords who have participated in today’s debate. This is one of the most important issues that we debate in this House and I apologise on behalf of the Government for the fact that it has arrived a little late in the Session. However, I look forward to October and November when we will discuss it in Committee for, I would imagine, five or six days.

My Lords, I look forward to taking part in October and November. Will we be going into December as well? Has it been announced when the state opening is going to be held?

My Lords, state opening has indeed been announced. It will take place on 4 December. I always get that date wrong. Forgive me; it will take place on 3 December. But I assure your Lordships that debates on this particularly important Bill will have finished long before then. I imagine that we will begin our Committee proceedings on this Bill during the first week back after the recess, but we are still discussing that through the usual channels. I hope that by the time next week’s Forthcoming Business is published, we will be able to definitively say when we are going to have the Committee stage.

My Lords, can the noble Baroness tell us when we are likely to be dealing with the 42-day issue? That is the matter which has been the most contentious today. Will the noble Baroness be putting that to the fore of the Bill or will it come at a much later stage?

My Lords, I imagine that our debate on 42 days will take place on the second day of Committee, which will probably be the second week back in October.

House adjourned at 10.40 pm