Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Update on LASPO

This blog has been following the Legal Aid; Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Bill in the House of Lords. The committee stage will begin just before the House breaks for the Christmas Recess. As amendments are submitted for consideration (and unlike the House of Commons where the selection of amendments for debate is a matter for the Speaker or the Chairman presiding over that Public Bill Committee - all amendments can be discussed - though by mutual consent they may be put together in group of similar amendments and debated together) - they are listed under Amendment papers (here).

It's worth reading through some of the amendments. In order to see how they make changes - you will need to download a copy of the Bill (download here)

Amendments make reference to clauses - these are the main building blocks of a bill (and become "Sections" when the bill becames an Act of Parliament.

For example clause 27 is preceded by

27 Position of providers of services

On the right hand side of the page are numbers (5, 10, 15....). These are the line numbers.

So to find The following amendment -

Clause 11

Page 8, line 18, leave out “may” and insert “must”

Go to page 8 of the bill - and on line 18 (which is in clause 11) the word currently in the bill is "may", Lord Bach & Lord Beecham which to delete the word may (which gives a discretionary power) and replace it by "must" (an obligation)