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(a) any expenditure incurred by a Minister of the Crown under the Act; and
(b) any increase attributable to the Act in the sums payable under any other Act out of money so provided.
The money resolution concerns the private Member's Bill promoted by the hon. Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Randall). On Second Reading, the Government indicated that they were content for the Bill to proceed into Committee and that was agreed by the House. As I outlined on Second Reading, the Government have great sympathy with the aims and objectives of the Bill and again I pay tribute to him for his choice of subject. I assure the House that, subject to suitable amendment, the Government are happy to allow it to proceed[Interruption.] The right hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Mr. Forth), who is all too willing to cavil before he has sight of the detail, would be well advised to hold his peace.
The Bill's primary purpose is to establish a mechanism for the designation of marine sites of special scientific interest. As drafted, the Bill places obligations on the Government and the statutory conservation agenciesEnglish Nature and the Countryside Council for Walesto identify, designate and take account of such marine sites when authorising activities. That will have expenditure implications for the Treasury purse and therefore a money resolution is required.
The main cost of the Bill will be placed on the statutory conservation agencies, because they will be responsible for identifying, managing and monitoring nationally important marine sites. Estimates indicate that the cost per site of establishing selection criteria, surveying, notification, consultation, drawing up a management scheme and monitoring will be in the region of £200,000. Of course, until criteria for site selection are devised, it is impossible to judge how many sites will be selected, but it is currently estimated that the total initial cost will be some £8 million over 10 years. Further costs will arise for those statutory authorities that are responsible for controlling and regulating activities in the marine environment. I commend the resolution to the House.
That, subject to the discretion of the Chair, and to the right of the House to legislate on any matter or to discuss any delegated legislation, the House in all its proceedings (including proceedings of committees of the House) shall apply the following rules on matters sub judice:
1. Cases in which proceedings are active in United Kingdom courts shall not be referred to in any motion, debate or question.
(a)(i) Criminal proceedings are active when a charge has been made or a summons to appear has been issued, or, in Scotland, a warrant to cite has been granted.
(ii) Criminal proceedings cease to be active when they are concluded by verdict and sentence or discontinuance, or, in cases dealt with by courts martial, after the conclusion of the mandatory post-trial review.
(b)(i) Civil proceedings are active when arrangements for the hearing, such as setting down a case for trial, have been made, until the proceedings are ended by judgment or discontinuance.
(ii) Any application made in or for the purposes of any civil proceedings shall be treated as a distinct proceeding.
(c) appellate proceedings, whether criminal or civil, are active from the time when they are commenced by application for leave to appeal or by notice of appeal until ended by judgment or discontinuance.
But where a ministerial decision is in question, or in the opinion of the Chair a case concerns issues of national importance such as the economy, public order or the essential services, reference to the issues or the case may be made in motions, debates or questions.
2. Specific matters which the House has expressly referred to any judicial body for decision and report shall not be referred to in any motion, debate or question from the time when the Resolution of the House is passed until the report is laid before the House.
3. For the purposes of this Resolution
(a) Matters before Coroners Courts or Fatal Accident Inquiries shall be treated as matters within paragraph 1(a);
(b) 'Motion' includes a motion for leave to bring in a bill; and
(c) 'Question' includes a supplementary question.
The Joint Committee also looked at the sub judice rule and recommended that the sub judice resolutions of both Houses of Parliament should be brought up to date, and into line with one another. The House of Lords has already implemented the Joint Committee's recommendation and I now invite this House to do the same. I stress that the new motion does not significantly alter the rules on sub judice. Before I turn to the motion itself, it might be helpful if I remind the House of the reason for the sub judice rule.
A fundamental feature of our constitution is that Parliament and the courts each keep to their appropriate functions. It is for Parliament to make the law; it is for the courts to interpret it. Article 9 of the Bill of Rights provides
Secondly, the House remains free to legislate on any matter. When it appears that the law needs changing, the sub judice rule does not prevent us from making changes even as cases go through the courts.
Thirdly, the rule does not apply to cases in which a ministerial decision is in question in the courtsthat is, where a decision is being judicially reviewed. In fact, the new sub judice rule will relax the practice of the Commons on this matter and bring us into line with the more permissive rule that has applied in the Lords.
The other alterations to the sub judice rules recommended by the Joint Committee are technical rather than substantive. First, it cannot be right to have the rules contained in two resolutions, rather than one, or to have different rules in one House of Parliament from those that apply in the other. That is rectified by the proposal before the House.
Secondly, although it is accepted that the sub judice rule applies to Select Committees, in the past that has not been clearly stated. It will now be explicit that the application is also to the Committees of the House.