Page last updated at 23:45 GMT, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 00:45 UK

Legal Aid Bill part two

On 27 March 2012 peers continued third reading of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill in the House of Lords.

There was a series of votes during this part of the debate, all of which were won by the government.

Peers voted by a majority of 25 to reject a move by crossbench peer Lord Best to retain legal aid for cases that could prevent homelessness.

There was an "equality of votes" on Lord Pannick's amendment concerning the provision of legal aid "in exceptional cases".

The crossbench peer and former deputy High Court judge argued that the clause allowing legal aid to be provided in such circumstances was too narrowly drafted.

He said the Lord Chancellor should have the "discretion" to provide funding for exceptional cases to prevent injustice.

The vote on his amendment was tied at 201 votes for and against the suggestion, meaning it was rejected in accordance with Lords procedure, because there was no majority in favour.

Earlier on, peers accepted government amendments offered as concessions to extend legal aid in cases of domestic child abduction and to victims of human trafficking seeking damages in the civil courts.

They were agreed to by the House without the need for a vote.

Watch parts one and three of the debate.

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