B1355 - Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (Amendment) Bill 2018 (Second Reading) Watch

This discussion is closed.
DayneD89
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
What is this?/I'm confused
Hi there. If you're confused as to what is going on here then you are probably new to this section of TSR. This is a Model House of Commons, a forum where we emulate the structure of the Real Life House of Commons as an excuse to debate politics.

If you are seeing this and you want to get involved in the debate, please feel free. You do not need to join a party, get approval or join any group to get stuck in right away. If you enjoy it and you do want to join a party then you can do so here. If you have any questions or need any help please message me. I am the current speaker of the house and part of my role involves offering impartial advice to new members so I will always be happy to answer what questions you have. Alternatively, you can read the new members guide to get advice on a wide range of issues.

Note: Please refrain from making comments about how we spend our free time. It is our free time to spend.


B1355 - Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (Amendment) Bill 2018 (Second Reading), TSR Conservative & Unionist Party

A
BILL
TO

Amend the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 as to raise the age of legal consumption of alcohol in private premises, and to introduce staggered criminal charges in regards to negligence surrounding the consumption of alcohol by a child.


BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 - Amendment
(1) S5 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 is to be amended to become S5(a) and to read as follows: “If any person gives, or causes to be given, to any child under the age of seven years any alcohol (within the meaning given by section 191 of the Licensing Act 2003, but disregarding subsection (1)(f) to (i) of that section), except upon the order of a duly qualified medical practitioner, or in case of sickness, apprehended sickness, or other urgent cause, he shall, on summary conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale.”
(2) S5(b) is to be inserted into the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and read as follows: “If any person gives, or causes to be given, to any child under the age of thirteen years any alcohol (within the meaning given by section 191 of the Licensing Act 2003, but disregarding subsection (1)(f) to (i) of that section), except upon the order of a duly qualified medical practitioner, or in case of sickness, apprehended sickness, or other urgent cause, without the guidance of a parent or carer, in an unsupervised environment or where the amount of alcohol given is sufficient to cause said child to become visibly inebriated and to cause said child to require medical attention, he shall, on summary conviction of gross negligence whilst in the possession of a child, be liable to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.”
(3) S5(c) is to be inserted into the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and read as follows: “If any person gives, or causes to be given, to any child between the ages of thirteen years and sixteen years any alcohol (within the meaning given by section 191 of the Licensing Act 2003, but disregarding subsection (1)(f) to (i) of that section), except upon the order of a duly qualified medical practitioner, or in case of sickness, apprehended sickness, or other urgent cause, without the guidance of a parent or carer, in an unsupervised environment or where the amount of alcohol given is sufficient to cause said child to become visibly inebriated and to cause said child to require medical attention, he shall, on summary conviction of negligence whilst in the possession of a child, be liable to a fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale.”
(4) S5(d) is to be inserted into the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and read as follows: “If any person gives, or causes to be given, to any child between the ages of sixteen years and eighteen years any alcohol (within the meaning given by section 191 of the Licensing Act 2003, but disregarding subsection (1)(f) to (i) of that section), except upon the order of a duly qualified medical practitioner, or in case of sickness, apprehended sickness, or other urgent cause, without the guidance of a parent or carer, in an unsupervised environment or where the amount of alcohol given is sufficient to cause said child to become visibly inebriated and to cause said child to require medical attention, he shall, on summary conviction of negligence whilst in the possession of a child, be liable to a fine not exceeding level 1 on the standard scale.”

2 - Citation and Commencement:
(1) This act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.
(2) This act will come into force upon Royal Assent.
(3) This act may be cited as the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (Amendment) Act 2018.

Notes
Spoiler:
Show

The current law stipulates that those aged five years and above are permitted to consume alcohol, without evident restrictions, in private premises. Ergo, this Bill proposes to amend the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 to increase the age of legal consumption to seven years of age, and to introduce specific criminal charges to negligence surrounding the consumption of alcohol by a child - charges which are staggered and representative of the potential danger caused by excessive consumption within each set band of ages.

The Chief Medical Office for England, in guidance documentation concerning the consumption of alcohol by children and young people and released by the Department of Health, states, among other things, the following:
  • Early age of drinking onset is associated with an increased likelihood of developing alcohol abuse or dependence in adolescence and adulthood, and also dependence at a younger age.
  • Children who begin drinking at a young age (typically below the age of 13) drink more frequently and in greater quantities than those who delay drinking, and are more likely to drink to intoxication. As with alcohol dependence and abuse, vulnerability to alcohol misuse in later
    adolescence appears to be greatest among those who begin drinking prior to age 13.
  • Adolescence represents an important period of brain development. Young people with alcohol use disorders may display structural and functional deficits in brain development compared with their non-alcohol-using peers. Studies of these young people have shown that significant changes in brain structure accompany heavy drinking that can affect motivation, reasoning, interpersonal interactions and other brain functions. In addition, heavy drinking during adolescence may affect normal brain functioning during adulthood. Young people who drink heavily may also experience adverse effects on liver, bone, growth and endocrine development.


Changes for Second Reading
Spoiler:
Show


As to assuage concerns of a ‘floodgate’ yet ensure a fortification of the law to engender the amelioration of child protection:
  • The age increase, for any consumption of alcohol, has been reduced from 8 years (to 13) to 2 (to 7) as to assuage concerns of a ‘flood gate’;
  • The penalty for giving, or causing to be given, alcohol to a child, under section 5, clause b has been increased to level 2 on the standard scale
  • Charges and fines for the excessive consumption of alcohol have been staggered - representative of the potential danger caused by excessive consumption within each set band of ages;
  • The notes have been changed accordingly.
0
LPK
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
I think this is a beneficial step in the right direction, but a couple of underlying concerns which this approach may still potentially have:

1) I completely understand what you are going for when you specify 'visibly inebriated' and 'require medical attention', but I wonder whether this is a bit more complicated than it really needs to be. Let's not forget that the Government are already actively involved in publishing recommended medical guidelines for alcohol consumption rates, so I sort of wonder whether having a framework for children which is actually legally enforceable (vs recommended for adults who have the capacity to consent to 'unwise' decisions). From 7-13 you could have a minimal unit limit, 13-15 an increased limit of x, and 16-17 a bigger increase of y units. It would, of course, be very difficult to calculate the number of units a child had consumed, but blood alcohol readings when the child is requiring medical assistance would provide strong indications of a parent's adherence to these limits, as is the case for driving under the influence limits which takes the same approach.

2) Another concern about this approach is that the people we are actually trying to target here are the ones who are least likely to actually seek out medical attention, so the terms can be problematic. For example, visible inebriation can be influenced by our tolerance to alcohol, and tolerance increases the more we consume it. If a child is being neglected and allowed to consume unhealthy quantities of alcohol, then it's feasible that they could be consuming a dangerous amount but also not really showing much visible inebriation. Infact, the medical attention could end up being needed as a result of the alcohol being withdrawn when trying to counteract abuse/neglect. Alcohol or illicit drugs are occasionally used to facilitate other forms of child abuse (typically sexual) as a way of subduing them, so the tolerance they can develop through frequent consumptions of alcohol would, despite not meeting the thresholds of this bill, still be very much problematic to the safeguarding agenda. If you had a unit measured approach, any developed tolerance stemming from abuse or neglect would be irrelevant and therefore there would be accountability under the new legislation.

That would be my immediate thoughts on it, but it is still a positive step in the right direction. At this point, I think it's about ironing out minor areas of concern, rather than having glaring gaps like the first reading bill did.
0
CoffeeAndPolitics
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 year ago
#3
Aye
0
ns_2
  • Political Ambassador
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 year ago
#4
(Original post by LPK)
I think this is a beneficial step in the right direction, but a couple of underlying concerns which this approach may still potentially have:

1) I completely understand what you are going for when you specify 'visibly inebriated' and 'require medical attention', but I wonder whether this is a bit more complicated than it really needs to be. Let's not forget that the Government are already actively involved in publishing recommended medical guidelines for alcohol consumption rates, so I sort of wonder whether having a framework for children which is actually legally enforceable (vs recommended for adults who have the capacity to consent to 'unwise' decisions). From 7-13 you could have a minimal unit limit, 13-15 an increased limit of x, and 16-17 a bigger increase of y units. It would, of course, be very difficult to calculate the number of units a child had consumed, but blood alcohol readings when the child is requiring medical assistance would provide strong indications of a parent's adherence to these limits, as is the case for driving under the influence limits which takes the same approach.

2) Another concern about this approach is that the people we are actually trying to target here are the ones who are least likely to actually seek out medical attention, so the terms can be problematic. For example, visible inebriation can be influenced by our tolerance to alcohol, and tolerance increases the more we consume it. If a child is being neglected and allowed to consume unhealthy quantities of alcohol, then it's feasible that they could be consuming a dangerous amount but also not really showing much visible inebriation. Infact, the medical attention could end up being needed as a result of the alcohol being withdrawn when trying to counteract abuse/neglect. Alcohol or illicit drugs are occasionally used to facilitate other forms of child abuse (typically sexual) as a way of subduing them, so the tolerance they can develop through frequent consumptions of alcohol would, despite not meeting the thresholds of this bill, still be very much problematic to the safeguarding agenda. If you had a unit measured approach, any developed tolerance stemming from abuse or neglect would be irrelevant and therefore there would be accountability under the new legislation.

That would be my immediate thoughts on it, but it is still a positive step in the right direction. At this point, I think it's about ironing out minor areas of concern, rather than having glaring gaps like the first reading bill did.
I note your reasoned concerns, and look forward to further cohesive and constructive debate.

In regards to removing ambiguity from the Bill, I would put forward the idea of using the, or a variation on the 'field impairment test' which includes pupillary examination,a Romberg balance test, walk and turn test, one leg stand test and finger to nose test for visible impairment. If further investigation - that is to say the field impairment test is inconclusive - is needed, a sample of blood, breath or urine may be taken.

If the sample has an alcohol content greater than 35 micrograms per millilitre of breath or 80 milligrams per mililitre of blood or 107 milligramme of urine, the action designated in the bill takes place.

It goes without saying that if they have already been admitted to hospital, for example, the field impairment test may be omitted in favour of the sample.
0
barnetlad
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 year ago
#5
Moving it by two years hardly seems any change at all.
0
ns_2
  • Political Ambassador
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 year ago
#6
(Original post by barnetlad)
Moving it by two years hardly seems any change at all.
At the age of 5, these children would have just left Reception; at 7, they would be entering KS2.
0
LibertarianMP
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 year ago
#7
nay
0
LPK
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 year ago
#8
(Original post by ns_2)
I note your reasoned concerns, and look forward to further cohesive and constructive debate.

In regards to removing ambiguity from the Bill, I would put forward the idea of using the, or a variation on the 'field impairment test' which includes pupillary examination,a Romberg balance test, walk and turn test, one leg stand test and finger to nose test for visible impairment. If further investigation - that is to say the field impairment test is inconclusive - is needed, a sample of blood, breath or urine may be taken.

If the sample has an alcohol content greater than 35 micrograms per millilitre of breath or 80 milligrams per mililitre of blood or 107 milligramme of urine, the action designated in the bill takes place.

It goes without saying that if they have already been admitted to hospital, for example, the field impairment test may be omitted in favour of the sample.
I think that sounds like a reasoned approach, but you would also need to be mindful that an impairment test would only yield reliable results amongst children who are either not disabled or don't have particular disabilities. As children who are disabled can often be one of the most vulnerable to abuse and neglect, an impairment test being used to protect them from harm is inevitably going to run into problems and is wholly incompatible with a variety of disabilities, so it risks fundamentally undermining your broader approach if it isn't catching the most challenging and vulnerable cases.

Having said that, a child who is disabled is also more likely to have statutory involvement by the local authority (LA), so the potential for a sample to be obtained at a hospital is greater, therefore decreasing the reliance on an impairment test which would inevitably be inconclusive for them. The problem then would be how you obtain consent for gathering the sample, as a parent being accused of abuse/neglect is unlikely to provide consent, and court orders would potentially take longer than is available for a reliable sample to be legally obtained to measure an alcohol reading. What might be needed is a caveat providing hospitals/LA's the authority to obtain a sample under emergency conditions if it can be argued as a best interests decision. In other words, taking a sample without consent so as to protect a child from abuse/neglect would be in their best interests, as opposed to not getting the sample (or getting it too late) and not being able to make an informed judgement based off the results it produces at that time (e.g. the child now being under a harmful limit after it has started leaving their system).
0
cranbrook_aspie
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#9
Report 1 year ago
#9
NO GIVE AOECORNYE ALCOHOL EVERYNE NEED ALCOHOL EVEN 7 YEARS olDS need alcohol **** ns_4 and the conservatives
0
CountBrandenburg
  • Political Ambassador
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 year ago
#10
(Original post by DayneD89)
Ergo, this Bill proposes to amend the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 to increase the age of legal consumption to seven years of age, and to introduce specific criminal charges to negligence surrounding the consumption of alcohol by a child - charges which are staggered and representative of the potential danger caused by excessive consumption within each set band of ages.
Hadn’t noticed this sentence in the first reading... I can take a few guesses who contributed to this sentence 😜

No, I still wouldn’t support this. Might I ask how this is enforced?
0
LPK
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#11
Report 1 year ago
#11
(Original post by CountBrandenburg)
Might I ask how this is enforced?
It would presumably be a combination of unscheduled visits, LA/NHS co-ordination during hospital admissions, and giving the relevant agencies the authority to take samples as a best interests decision to determine adherence to the limits.

These happen to varying degrees already, so I can't envisage any unprecedented challenges which currently don't exist anyway in the safeguarding agenda. There aren't many areas of children's safeguarding where you read it and think 'Well that's easy to enforce...', so it isn't something which concerns me greatly. The general point of this type of legislation is that the legal avenues exist to take action when such information becomes apparent, and that will always be fundamentally undermined by the fact that we can only ever be reactive to those types of allegations. The only way to challenge that would be to have an overly intrusive state which inserts itself into every home and treats all individuals as potential child abusers until proven innocent, and I suspect that would be a horrid approach for the libertarians.

As I said, the above approaches tend to happen already to varying degrees. For example, a parent/guardian who is, or has been, an addict may be subject to conditions on their alcohol consumption, and those same questions of "how can you enforce that?" still tend to pop up, which takes a combination of unscheduled visits, random sampling etc. It's certainly invasive, but the argument is that this only occurs when that risk of significant harm threshold is met, so I'm sympathetic to that aspect of the bill because it still adheres to the paramountcy principle of the Children Act 1989. I appreciate that it's probably a bitter pill to swallow for a libertarian so your objections aren't without understanding, but I think it's one of those cases where you can't really have a reliable safeguarding agenda if you don't have a specific legal framework in place to consistently address this.

The final point I would make is that the direction the bill is heading in is potentially more enforceable than what we currently have, rather than the opposite. At the moment, the significant harm threshold can be used to intervene on cases like this in an inconsistent and unclear manner, so there is something to be said for having statutory guidelines for everybody to follow equally. I could decide a child drinking x units of alcohol is dangerous and should be subject to LA involvement, whereas the next LA over from me could decide that they'll only consider that threshold met at y units. There's the potential for an intrusive state with the current free-for-all that exists, so there are some areas of ideological alignment between this bill and the libers. In that regard, it wouldn't be a bad thing for the party to offer suggestions on making it more passable, as voting no will simply revert to the current free-for-all which exists for the state now.
0
04MR17
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#12
Report 1 year ago
#12
As usual, I think the Penguin kid has it spot on.
0
ns_2
  • Political Ambassador
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#13
Report 1 year ago
#13
(Original post by LPK)
I think that sounds like a reasoned approach, but you would also need to be mindful that an impairment test would only yield reliable results amongst children who are either not disabled or don't have particular disabilities. As children who are disabled can often be one of the most vulnerable to abuse and neglect, an impairment test being used to protect them from harm is inevitably going to run into problems and is wholly incompatible with a variety of disabilities, so it risks fundamentally undermining your broader approach if it isn't catching the most challenging and vulnerable cases.

Having said that, a child who is disabled is also more likely to have statutory involvement by the local authority (LA), so the potential for a sample to be obtained at a hospital is greater, therefore decreasing the reliance on an impairment test which would inevitably be inconclusive for them. The problem then would be how you obtain consent for gathering the sample, as a parent being accused of abuse/neglect is unlikely to provide consent, and court orders would potentially take longer than is available for a reliable sample to be legally obtained to measure an alcohol reading. What might be needed is a caveat providing hospitals/LA's the authority to obtain a sample under emergency conditions if it can be argued as a best interests decision. In other words, taking a sample without consent so as to protect a child from abuse/neglect would be in their best interests, as opposed to not getting the sample (or getting it too late) and not being able to make an informed judgement based off the results it produces at that time (e.g. the child now being under a harmful limit after it has started leaving their system).
Having taken your concerns and ideas onboard, as to remove ambiguity, the notion of 'visible inebriation' has been removed in favour of a 'field impairment test' - if the child fails the test without 'good reason' i.e. age or disability, the procedures detailed in this bill are carried out.
0
LPK
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#14
Report 1 year ago
#14
(Original post by ns_2)
Having taken your concerns and ideas onboard, as to remove ambiguity, the notion of 'visible inebriation' has been removed in favour of a 'field impairment test' - if the child fails the test without 'good reason' i.e. age or disability, the procedures detailed in this bill are carried out.
That sounds like a good approach, and I will happily support the passage of the bill when it reaches division. :yy:

I would hope other members of the house will too, as it is a sensible balance between not impinging on the rights of parents, but provides a clear legal framework to protect the child when alcohol is being used in a manner which is potentially harmful to a child. In my mind, this bill addresses the concerns which were raised regarding innocent parents being at risk of unjust prosecution, so I cannot see a reason why this wouldn't garner wider support.
1
username1751857
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#15
Report 1 year ago
#15
(Original post by LPK)
That sounds like a good approach, and I will happily support the passage of the bill when it reaches division. :yy:

I would hope other members of the house will too, as it is a sensible balance between not impinging on the rights of parents, but provides a clear legal framework to protect the child when alcohol is being used in a manner which is potentially harmful to a child. In my mind, this bill addresses the concerns which were raised regarding innocent parents being at risk of unjust prosecution, so I cannot see a reason why this wouldn't garner wider support.
Hear, hear!
0
CatusStarbright
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#16
Report 1 year ago
#16
I just have a small concern that this bill would mean that parents would not take their children to a hospital for treatment for fear of being prosecuted if, say, their child had been to a party and had so much alcohol as to require medical attention.

Overall, I do like the changes that have been made to this bill in response to the points raised in the original debate.
0
DayneD89
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#17
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#17
This has gone to a third reading
0
X
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

What's your favourite genre?

Rock (142)
24.44%
Pop (141)
24.27%
Jazz (26)
4.48%
Classical (32)
5.51%
Hip-Hop (103)
17.73%
Electronic (42)
7.23%
Indie (95)
16.35%

Watched Threads

View All