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|Human Rights Act 1998 (Making Of Remedial Orders) Amendment Bill [HL]|
These notes refer to the Human Rights Act 1998 (Making of Remedial Orders) Amendment Bill [HL] as brought from the House of Lords on 28 April 2004 [Bill 103]
HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 1998 (MAKING OF REMEDIAL ORDERS) AMENDMENT BILL [HL]
1. These explanatory notes relate to the Human Rights Act 1998 (Making of Remedial Orders) Amendment Bill as brought from the Lords on 28 April 2004. They have been prepared on behalf of the Joint Committee on Human Rights in order to assist the reader in understanding the Bill. They do not form part of the Bill and have not been endorsed by Parliament.
2. The notes need to be read in conjunction with the Bill. Where a clause or part of a clause does not seem to require any explanation or comment, none is given.
3. The Bill was introduced to the House of Lords on 1 March 2004, and was given its Third Reading in that House on 27 April. It has been taken up in this House by the Rt Hon Jean Corston MP, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Human Rights. The Bill's purpose is to give effect to recommendations of that Committee.
4. Section 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998 gives powers to Ministers to make "remedial orders", and Schedule 2 to that Act prescribes the procedure for the making of these statutory instruments.
5. Section 10 of the 1998 Act provides that remedial orders can amend legislation (including primary legislation) where it has been declared by one of the higher courts in the United Kingdom to be incompatible with a Convention right within the meaning of section 1 of the Act, or where it appears to a Minister or to Her Majesty in Council that a legislative provision is incompatible with a Convention right in the light of a finding of the European Court of Human Rights in proceedings against the United Kingdom. This power is exercisable if certain other conditions are satisfied.
[Bill 103EN] 53/3
6. The procedures to be followed in making a remedial order are set out in paragraphs 2 to 6 of Schedule 2 to the 1998 Act. There are two methods by which an order may be made. In urgent cases, the order may be made without first being approved in draft (paragraphs 2(b) and 4). For other cases, paragraphs 2(a) and 3 lay down the following procedure:
7. Paragraph 6 of Schedule 2 to the Act provides that the periods of sixty days are calculated without taking account of any period during which Parliament is prorogued or dissolved, or both Houses are adjourned for more than four days.
8. The Joint Committee on Human Rights is required, under Standing Order No. 152B, of the House of Commons to consider each proposal for a draft remedial order, each draft remedial order, and each remedial order made by the urgent procedure. The Committee is required to report to each House whether the proposal, draft order or order meets certain tests and its recommendation as to whether it should be approved in the form proposed by the Minister, or with amendments, or should be disapproved. In December 2001, in its Seventh Report of Session 2001-02, Making of Remedial Orders, HC 473, the Joint Committee drew attention to two implications of the statutory provisions arising from its consideration of the first proposal for a draft remedial order to be laid under the 1998 Act.
9. First, the Committee commented at paragraphs 39 to 40
10. Second, the Committee commented at paragraphs 42 to 43 that the sixty-day period before either House can consider a resolution to approve a draft remedial order
11. These recommendations were endorsed by the House of Commons Procedure Committee in its First Report of Session 2001-02, Making of Remedial Orders: Recommendations by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, HC 626.
12. The purpose of the Human Rights Act 1998 (Making of Remedial Orders) Amendment Bill is to give effect to those two recommendations of the Joint Committee on Human Rights by amending paragraphs 2(a) and 6(b) of Schedule 2 to the 1998 Act.
COMMENTARY ON CLAUSES
13. Clause 1(2) of the Bill will amend paragraph 2(a) of Schedule 2 to the 1998 Act so that each House would be able to consider a resolution to approve a draft remedial order without waiting for sixty days after the draft order has been laid. There would already have been a sixty-day period for each House to consider a proposal for the draft order, which would have been laid before it under paragraph 3(1) of Schedule 2 to the 1998 Act (see paragraph 4 above). This would give effect to the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Human Rights set out in paragraph 10 above. Standing Order No. 72(1) of the House of Lords provides that a motion to approve a draft remedial order could not be moved until the Joint Committee on Human Rights had reported on it: Standing Order No. 152B(3)(b) of the House of Commons should have the same effect in the House of Commons.
14. Clause 1(3) of the Bill would amend paragraph 6(b) of Schedule 2 to the 1998 Act so that, when calculating the period of sixty days for the purpose of the Schedule, no account would be taken of any period when either House is adjourned for more than four days. This would give effect to the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Human Rights set out in paragraph 9 above.
15. The Bill would have no implications for public finance or public service manpower.
16. The Bill would not place any additional regulatory burden on the public, private or voluntary sectors.
17. The Bill does not give rise to any issues in connection with Convention rights.
18. The changes to the procedures laid down in Schedule 2 to the Human Rights Act will come into effect immediately upon the Bill receiving the royal assent.
|© Parliamentary copyright 2004||Prepared: 12 May 2004|