Justice and Security

The Justice and Security Act

The Bill has completed all its parliamentary stages in both Houses  and Royal Assent  was given on 25 April, 2013

Key Changes made from Bill to Act

The Government has listened to the views expressed on judicial discretion. In particular, the judge:

  • Will be able to grant an application for a declaration from any party, not just the Government and order one of its own motion
  • The claimant will now be able to apply to the judge for a CMP for material they do not hold themselves.
  • Has the explicit power to revoke a declaration at any point in the proceedings if he does not believe its continuation to be in the interests of the fair and effective administration of justice in the proceedings;
  • Will be required to conduct a formal review of his decision once the disclosure of material has taken place in open and closed, to determine whether a declaration is still in the interests of the effective and fair administration of justice in the proceedings. If it is not, the judge must revoke the declaration, as a result of which there will be no CMPs in those proceedings. The review will be conducted on all the material put before the court up to that point, not just on the subsection of material that may be presented at the original application for a declaration.
  • Will only be able to grant a declaration to enable an application for a CMP if one is in the interests of the fair and effective administration of justice in the case.
  • The judge must be satisfied that the Government has considered whether to make a claim for public interest immunity before making an application for a CMP as one of the tests to be met before a CMP could be granted.

In addition the Act provides for:

  • An annual factual report on the operation of CMPs under the Bill will be required.
  • A five year review on the operation of CMPs under the Bill will be required

Amendments were also made to enhance the powers of the Intelligence and Security Committee which hold the intelligence services to account. These include:

  • Making clear that the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) is a statutory Committee of Parliament
  • Providing the ISC with statutory immunity giving the Committee protections replicating certain aspects of parliamentary privilege.
  • Clarifying the ISC’s remit to oversee operational matters.

 

Progress of the Bill 

The Bill’s progress can be followed here – Link to Parliament website and Hansard

The Bill was introduced to the House of Lords on 28 May 2012.

House of Lords

A Bill can start in the House of Commons or the House of Lords and must be approved in the same form by both Houses before becoming an Act of Parliament (law).

First Reading – First stage of a Bill’s passage through the Lords – usually a formality and takes place without debate,

1st reading took place on 28 May, 2012

Second Reading - First opportunity for Lords to debate main principles and purpose of the Bill and flag up concerns and areas where they think changes (amendments) are needed.

2nd reading took place on 19 June, 2012

Committee Stage – Every clause (part) of the Bill is examined in detail and has to be agreed to. All amendments (suggested changes) can be discussed and there is no time limit on discussion. Votes on the amendments can take place. There were no votes on the Justice and Security Bill.

Committee Stage 1st sitting: 9 July, 2012

Committee Stage 2nd sitting: 11 July, 2012

Committee Stage 3rd sitting: 17 July, 2012

Committee Stage 4th sitting: 23 July, 2012

Report Stage - Further line by line examination of the Bill takes place – this allows Members to revisit issues discussed previously. Again, all amendments (suggested changes) to the Bill can be discussed and votes can take place.

Report Stage Day 1: 19 November, 2012

Report Stage Day 2: 21 November, 2012

List of Government tabled amendments – Letter regarding Government amendments

Bill as amended on Report, November 2012

Third Reading - Every amendment (suggested change) can be discussed and votes can happen. Amendments can be made at this stage, provided the issue has not been considered and voted on before. Amendments at this stage are often used to clarify specific parts of the Bill.

Third Reading; 28 November, 2012

House of Commons

First Reading – First reading is the first stage of a Bill’s passage through the House of Commons – usually a formality, it takes place without debate. First reading of a Bill can take place at any time in a parliamentary session,

First Reading took place on 28 November

Second Reading - First opportunity for MPs to debate main principles and purpose of the Bill and flag up concerns and areas where they think changes (amendments) are needed.

Second Reading; 18 December, 2012

Committee stage

Committee stage is where detailed examination of the Bill takes place. Committee Stage will commence on 29 January.

List of Government amendments on Part 1 of the Bill

List of Government amendments on Part 2 of the Bill

Link to records of the debates – Parliament Website

Report Stage - Further line by line examination of the Bill takes place – this allows Members to revisit issues discussed previously. Again, all amendments (suggested changes) to the Bill can be discussed and votes can take place.

Report Stage will take place on Monday 4 and Thursday 7 March

Report Stage Government amendments

Day one, Monday 4 March 2013

Day two, Thursday 7 March 2013

Consideration of amendments  (‘Ping Pong’)

26 March 2013

Royal Assent

Now that the Bill has completed all its parliamentary stages in both Houses, it must have Royal Assent before it can become an Act of Parliament (law). Royal Assent is the Monarch’s agreement to make the Bill into an Act and is a formality.

Royal Assent  was given on 25 April, 2013

Justice and Security Act 2013

Links to public documents can be found on the publications tab