§ Mr. Clinton Davis
I beg to move Amendment No. 48, in page 14, line 10, leave out from 'proceedings' to 'the' in line 12 and insert 'before the Disciplinary Committee in England or Wales or Northern Ireland'.
§ Mr. Davis
These amendments are intended to enable the Disciplinary Committee to conduct proceedings in Scotland and Northern Ireland according to their respective laws, as well as in England and Wales. They ensure, in particular, that courts can issue summonses for witnesses and call for documents, not only in their own jurisdiction, but throughout the United Kingdom. The amendments take account of the different legal situations in England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Amendments Nos. 48, 49, 50, 51 and 2 make it clear that the present subsections (1) of Clause 20 applies only to proceedings of the Disciplinary Committee in England and Wales and in Northern Ireland and that writs for the attendance of witnesses and production of documents issued by courts in England and Wales, and in Northern Ireland shall be effective throughout the United Kingdom. The Supreme Court of Judicature (Consolidation) Act 1925 applies in England and Wales only and the Attendance of Witnesses Act 1854 in Northern Ireland only.
The main amendment—No. 53—adds a new subsection dealing with proceedings before the Disciplinary Committee in Scotland. It enables the Committee to administer oaths, and provides for the Court of Session to require witnesses to appear before the Disciplinary Committee and documents to be produced with the power of issuing a second warning or "second diligence", which is a Scottish term, if this is not done. The amendment also enables evidence to be taken at second hand. This is the purpose of granting commissions.
Amendment No. 54 is mainly consequential to Amendment No. 48 and 639 makes it clear that the term "proceedings" in Clauses 20 and 21 means any proceedings before the Disciplinary Committee—for example, proceedings under Clauses 17 or 18—and not just those relating directly to disciplinary cases.
As I say, I do not think that this does more than tidy up a situation that needed to be tidied up. I hope that the House will accept it.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Amendments made: No. 49, in page 14, line 18, at beginning insert '(1A) The provisions of'.
No. 50, in page 14, line 19, leave out '(which provides' and insert
'or of the Attendance of Witnesses Act 1854 (which provide'.
No. 51, in page 14, line 21, leave out from 'such' to first 'in' in line 22 and insert
'proceedings before the Disciplinary Committee in England or Wales or, as the case may be, in Northern Ireland as they apply'.
No. 52, in page 14, line 22, at end insert
'or actions or suits pending in the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland'.
No. 53, in page 14, line 22, at end insert
'(1B) For the purpose of any proceedings before the Disciplinary Committee in Scotland, the Disciplinary Committee may administer oaths and the Court of Session shall on the application of any party to the proceedings have the like power as in any action in that Court
No. 54, in page 15, line 15, at end insert
'(4) In this section and in 21 of this Act "proceedings" means proceedings under this Act, whether relating to disciplinary cases or otherwise.'.—[Mr. Clinton Davis.]