- The Convener (Dr Sylvia Jackson):
I welcome members to the first meeting of 2004, and I wish everybody a happy new year. I have received two apologies. One is from Gordon Jackson, and the second is from Mike Pringle, who is attending the Justice 2 Committee's meeting today.
The first item is delegated powers scrutiny of the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill at stage 1. You will remember that we referred two particular questions to the Executive. The first related to the technical problem with the drafting and application of new section 24A(10) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, which is inserted by section 14 of the bill and applied by section 12. The Executive has accepted our points. It proposes to address the issue by an amendment at stage 2, and it has undertaken to look again at the drafting of sections 12 and 14 in general. Is it agreed that that is a reasonable response to our questions on that matter?
- The Convener:
The second matter related to sections 21 and 22. There is not only a free-standing provision; there is also a provision under a commencement order, and it is a question of how those two provisions work together. Our legal advice, in particular annex A to the legal brief, points out that there is also the issue of both a free-standing provision and a commencement order in the Criminal Justice Act 2003, and that Westminster has possibly separated out those two provisions and described how they work a little better than the Executive has done with the Scottish provisions.
However, we have received reassurance from the Executive about the limits to how sections 21 and 22 would operate. Do we think that the explanation and reassurance that have been given by the Executive are sufficient, or do we need to take the matter further?
- Alasdair Morgan (South of Scotland) (SNP):
Reading it again, I think that section 22(2)(b) is sufficiently narrowly drawn, and I do not think that we need have any concern about it.
- The Convener:
Is that agreed?
Members indicated agreement.