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    Saturday, 31 October 2009

    Give it back!: Lords debate proposed rules on criminal memoirs

    On Thursday, the House of Lords concluded its report stage debates on the Coroners and Justice Bill (a-v; hansard transcript). This comprises a smorgasbord of reform, with many measures affecting the media in more or less significant ways. Much attention was focused on the Government's plan to allow the recovery of monies made by convicted criminals through the media exploitation of their stories.

    The proposal, which the Government accepts will apply in only a very small number of instances, was criticised as 'gesture politics', and its compliance with Convention rights questioned. Ultimately, the amendment was defeated on a vote, and the measure remains part of the Bill.






    Also during the report stage on the Bill, Baroness Miller (col1302 et seq) moved a further amendment that would have limited the power of the police to retain photographs taken of unarrested or uncharged protestors, photographers and others in public places. The measure would have applied to both police Forward Intelligences Teams (FIT) and other evidence gathering exercises. The amendment was withdrawn.


    [Photo 1 seemed appropriate, but is in fact the cover photo for a recent novel; Photo 2 - (c) Marc Vallee]

    2 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    There was also some discussion at the 2nd reading and ctte stages.

    In the former respect, see in particular the comments of Lords Bach (col 1208), Borrie (1242 et seq), Lester (col 1247 et seq), baroness Stern (col 1255). The ctte stage discussion took place on 21 July (see cols 1541 et seq).

    On the Bill more generally, it has been derided as "a miscellany of no fewer than 15 discrete and complex topics that have been thrown together" (and this was the polite version), with the result that important issues are apt to be crowded out in Parliamentary discussion (per Lord Thomas, 2nd reading col. 1213)

    Anonymous said...

    English PEN have published a briefing note on this legialtive reform. It can be found at:

    Criminal Memoirs: An English PEN Briefing

    There have also been a couple of noteworthy letters published in the newspapers:

    - The Times, 19 October 2009
    - Guardian, 21 July 2009

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