Compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights
70 The Government considers that the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights ("ECHR"). Accordingly, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State has made a statement under section 19(1)(a) of the Human Rights Act 1998 to this effect.
71 Clauses 2, 6, 7 and 15 may, in some instances, engage Article 1 of Protocol 1 (protection of property). Clause 2 will enable permits to be varied or cancelled, which may extinguish an operator’s right of possession or impose conditions on an operator’s use of a permit. Clause 6 enables an inspector to detain a vehicle temporarily for inspection purposes; clause 7 enables an examiner to prohibit a goods vehicle in the UK from being taken to a country specified in a prohibition notice; and Regulations made under clause 15 may make provision for the marking of trailers including provision as to which persons can mark trailers.
72 Clause 4 may engage Article 6 (right to a fair trial) of the ECHR to the extent that there is no provision enabling an appeal against the decision not to grant an international road transport permit. Decisions on applications will be automated however and, as such, are not amenable to appeal. An operator who is not content with such a decision will still be able to challenge that decision by way of judicial review.
73 We nevertheless consider that these powers fairly balance those rights of operators with the general public interest, including the economy and industry, and that they are proportionate to the aims to be achieved. These powers support the integrity of the permitting and registration systems, encourage compliance and facilitate enforcement.