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Session 2008 - 09
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Other Bills before Parliament

Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill


Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill
Part 2 — Ratification of treaties

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24      

Section 21 not to apply to certain descriptions of treaties

(1)   

Section 21 does not apply to—

(a)   

a treaty covered by section 12 of the European Parliamentary Elections

Act 2002 (c. 24) (treaty providing for increase in European Parliament’s

powers not to be ratified unless approved by Act of Parliament);

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(b)   

a treaty covered by section 5 of the European Union (Amendment) Act

2008 (treaty amending founding Treaties not to be ratified unless

approved by Act of Parliament).

(2)   

Section 21 does not apply to a treaty in relation to which an Order in Council

may be made under one or more of the following—

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(a)   

section 158 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (c. 51) (double taxation

conventions);

(b)   

section 788 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 (c. 1) (double

taxation arrangements);

(c)   

section 173 of the Finance Act 2006 (c. 25) (international tax

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enforcement arrangements).

(3)   

Section 21 does not apply to a treaty concluded (under authority given by the

government of the United Kingdom) by the government of a British overseas

territory, of any of the Channel Islands or of the Isle of Man.

(4)   

Section 21 does not apply to a treaty a copy of which is presented to Parliament

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by command of Her Majesty before that section comes into force.

25      

Meaning of “treaty” and “ratification”

(1)   

In this Part “treaty” means a written agreement—

(a)   

between States or between States and international organisations, and

(b)   

binding under international law.

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(2)   

But “treaty” does not include a regulation, rule, measure, decision or similar

instrument made under a treaty (other than one that amends or replaces the

treaty (in whole or in part)).

(3)   

In this Part a reference to ratification of a treaty is a reference to an act of a kind

specified in subsection (4) which establishes as a matter of international law the

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United Kingdom’s consent to be bound by the treaty.

(4)   

The acts are—

(a)   

deposit or delivery of an instrument of ratification, accession, approval

or acceptance;

(b)   

deposit or delivery of a notification of completion of domestic

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procedures.

 
 

Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill
Part 3 — The House of Lords

13

 

Part 3

The House of Lords

Excepted hereditary peers

26      

Ending of by-elections for hereditary peers

(1)   

For section 2(4) of the House of Lords Act 1999 (c. 34) substitute—

5

“(4)   

The limit in subsection (2) is reduced by one whenever a person who

counts towards that limit dies.”

(2)   

Subsection (1) has no effect in relation to a death occurring before this section

comes into force.

Removal of members etc

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27      

Removal of members of the House of Lords etc

(1)   

This section applies to a person (“P”) who is an excepted hereditary peer or a

life peer if any of the following events (“relevant events”) occurs—

(a)   

a condition set out in Part 1 of Schedule 3 is met in relation to P,

(b)   

an expulsion resolution is passed in relation to P under section 28, or

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(c)   

P resigns from the House of Lords under section 29.

   

(The conditions set out in Part 1 of Schedule 3 cover serious criminal offences

and bankruptcy restrictions orders etc.)

(2)   

P shall not be a member of the House of Lords at any time after the relevant

event occurs and, accordingly—

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(a)   

P shall not be entitled to receive writs of summons to attend the House,

and

(b)   

any writ of summons previously issued to P has no further effect.

(3)   

Part 2 of Schedule 3 supplements subsection (2).

(4)   

Part 3 of Schedule 3 provides for the effect of subsection (2) to be reversed in

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certain circumstances.

(5)   

In this Part—

“excepted hereditary peer” means a person excepted from section 1 of the

House of Lords Act 1999 by virtue of section 2 of that Act;

“life peer” means a person who is entitled to receive writs of summons to

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attend the House of Lords by virtue of a peerage under the Life

Peerages Act 1958 (c. 21) or the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 (c. 59);

“peerage” includes the dignity conferred by virtue of appointment as a

Lord of Appeal in Ordinary.

(6)   

In determining whether a person is entitled to receive writs of summons for the

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purposes of the definition of “life peer”, ignore—

(a)   

section 2 of the Forfeiture Act 1870 (c. 23);

(b)   

sections 426A and 427 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (c. 45);

(c)   

regulation 4 of the European Parliament (House of Lords

Disqualification) Regulations 2008 (S.I. 2008/1647);

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Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill
Part 3 — The House of Lords

14

 

(d)   

any suspension resolution passed in relation to the person under

section 28.

28      

Expulsion and suspension of members of the House of Lords

(1)   

Standing Orders of the House of Lords may make provision under which the

House may pass, in relation to a person who is an excepted hereditary peer or

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a life peer, an expulsion resolution or a suspension resolution.

(2)   

An expulsion resolution is a resolution which states that, in the House’s

opinion—

(a)   

the House is in disrepute because of conduct of the person,

(b)   

that conduct warrants the loss of the person’s entitlement to receive

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writs of summons to attend the House, and

(c)   

accordingly, the person should lose that entitlement.

(3)   

A suspension resolution is a resolution which states that, in the House’s

opinion—

(a)   

the House is in disrepute because of conduct of the person,

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(b)   

that conduct warrants the suspension of the person’s entitlement to

receive writs of summons to attend the House, and

(c)   

accordingly, the person’s entitlement should be suspended for the

period specified in the resolution.

(4)   

A person in relation to whom a suspension resolution is passed shall not be a

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member of the House of Lords during the period of suspension specified in the

resolution and, accordingly—

(a)   

during that period the person shall not be entitled to receive writs of

summons to attend the House, and

(b)   

any writ of summons previously issued to the person has no effect in

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relation to that period.

(5)   

An expulsion resolution or a suspension resolution must specify—

(a)   

the date or dates on which, or

(b)   

the period or periods during which,

   

in the House’s opinion, the conduct occurred.

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(6)   

A date specified under subsection (5) must not be earlier than the start date and

a period specified under subsection (5) must not start before the start date.

(7)   

“The start date” means the date specified as such by Standing Orders which

must not be earlier than the date on which this section comes into force.

(8)   

An expulsion resolution or a suspension resolution may contain other

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provision in addition to that mentioned in the subsections above.

29      

Resignation from House of Lords

(1)   

A person who is an excepted hereditary peer or a life peer may at any time

resign from the House of Lords.

(2)   

A peer resigns by giving notice of the peer’s resignation to the Clerk of the

40

Parliaments.

(3)   

The notice must be in writing signed by the resigning peer and by two persons

as witnesses.

 
 

Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill
Part 3 — The House of Lords

15

 

(4)   

On receipt of the notice, the Clerk of the Parliaments must—

(a)   

sign a certificate of receipt, and

(b)   

send a copy of it to the resigning peer and to the Lord Chancellor.

(5)   

The resignation takes effect on signature of the certificate.

30      

Disclaimer of peerage

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(1)   

A person (“the former member”) to whom section 27 has applied may at any

time disclaim the peerage by virtue of which the former member was entitled

to receive writs of summons to attend the House of Lords (unless the effect of

section 27(2) has been reversed under Part 3 of Schedule 3).

(2)   

The former member disclaims the peerage by giving notice of the disclaimer to

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the Lord Chancellor.

(3)   

The notice must be in writing signed by the former member and by two

persons as witnesses.

(4)   

On receipt of the notice, the Lord Chancellor must—

(a)   

sign a certificate of receipt, and

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(b)   

send a copy of it to the former member.

(5)   

The disclaimer takes effect on signature of the certificate.

(6)   

If the former member was an excepted hereditary peer, section 3(1), (3) and (4)

of the Peerage Act 1963 (c. 48) applies in relation to the disclaimer as if the

former member disclaimed the peerage under that Act by way of an

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instrument of disclaimer delivered on the day on which the disclaimer takes

effect in accordance with subsection (5) above.

(7)   

If the former member was a life peer, the disclaimer—

(a)   

divests the former member (and any spouse or children) of all right to

or interest in the peerage and all titles, rights, offices, privileges and

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precedence attaching to it, and

(b)   

relieves the former member of all obligations and disabilities arising

from it.

(8)   

The Lord Chancellor must—

(a)   

keep a register containing the particulars of any disclaimer of a peerage

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under this section, and

(b)   

make arrangements under which the public may inspect the register.

31      

Supplementary provision

(1)   

The proceedings of the House of Lords are not to be called into question

because of the participation of a person who should not be participating.

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(2)   

Nothing in this Part affects—

(a)   

a person’s membership of the House of Lords by virtue of being an

archbishop or bishop, and

(b)   

accordingly, the person’s entitlement to receive writs of summons to

attend the House by virtue of being an archbishop or bishop.

40

 
 

Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill
Part 5 — Human rights claims against devolved administrations

16

 

Part 4

Public order

32      

Demonstrations etc in the vicinity of Parliament

(1)   

Omit sections 132 to 138 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

(c. 15) (which regulate demonstrations in the vicinity of Parliament).

5

(2)   

Schedule 4 (which inserts new powers into Part 2 of the Public Order Act 1986

(c. 64) etc) has effect.

Part 5

Human rights claims against devolved administrations

33      

Time limit for human rights actions against Northern Ireland Ministers etc

10

(1)   

After section 71(2C) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (c. 47) (human rights)

insert—

“(2D)   

Section 24(1)(a) does not enable a person to bring any proceedings in a

court or tribunal in respect of an act unless the proceedings are brought

before the end of—

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(a)   

the period of one year beginning with the date on which the act

took place, or

(b)   

such longer period as the court or tribunal considers equitable

having regard to all the circumstances,

   

but that is subject to any rule imposing a stricter time limit in relation

20

to the procedure in question.

(2E)   

Subsection (2D) does not apply to—

(a)   

proceedings brought on the ground that any subordinate

legislation made, confirmed or approved by a Minister or a

Northern Ireland department is incompatible with the

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Convention rights;

(b)   

proceedings brought by a person mentioned in subsection (2).

(2F)   

Subsection (9) of section 7 of the Human Rights Act 1998 applies for the

purposes of subsection (2D) as it applies for the purposes of that

section.”

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(2)   

This section applies to any proceedings brought after this section comes into

force (including proceedings in respect of an act taking place before this section

comes into force).

34      

Time limit for human rights actions against Welsh Ministers etc

(1)   

Section 81 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 (c. 32) is amended as set out in

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subsections (2) and (3).

(2)   

After subsection (3) insert—

“(3A)   

Subsection (1) does not enable a person to bring any proceedings in a

court or tribunal in respect of an act unless the proceedings are brought

before the end of—

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Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill
Part 6 — Courts and tribunals

17

 

(a)   

the period of one year beginning with the date on which the act

took place, or

(b)   

such longer period as the court or tribunal considers equitable

having regard to all the circumstances,

   

but that is subject to any rule imposing a stricter time limit in relation

5

to the procedure in question.

(3B)   

Subsection (3A) does not apply to—

(a)   

proceedings brought on the ground that any subordinate

legislation made, confirmed or approved by the Welsh

Ministers is incompatible with the Convention rights;

10

(b)   

proceedings brought by a person mentioned in subsection (3).

(3C)   

Subsection (9) of section 7 of the Human Rights Act 1998 applies for the

purposes of subsection (3A) as it applies for the purposes of that

section.”

(3)   

In subsection (5) after “Ministers” insert “(and in subsection (3B)(a) the

15

reference to the Welsh Ministers is to be read accordingly)”.

(4)   

Subsections (3A) to (3C) of section 81 of the Government of Wales Act 2006

(c. 32) apply in relation to section 107(1) of the Government of Wales Act 1998

(c. 38) (so far as proceedings may be brought by virtue of it despite its repeal)

as those subsections apply in relation to section 81(1) of the 2006 Act.

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(5)   

This section applies to any proceedings brought after this section comes into

force (including proceedings in respect of an act taking place before this section

comes into force).

Part 6

Courts and tribunals

25

35      

Judicial appointments etc

Schedule 5 (which makes amendments relating to judicial appointments etc)

has effect.

36      

Salary protection for members of tribunals

(1)   

This section applies if, in accordance with the terms of a person’s appointment,

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the person is to be paid a salary (as opposed to fees) under any of the following

provisions.

(2)   

The provisions are—

(a)   

section 5(1)(a), (b) or (c) of the Employment Tribunals Act 1996 (c. 17);

(b)   

paragraph 10(a) of Schedule 4 to the Nationality, Immigration and

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Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41);

(c)   

paragraph 10 of Schedule 1 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement

Act 2007 (c. 15);

(d)   

paragraph 5(2) of Schedule 2 to that Act;

(e)   

paragraph 5(2) of Schedule 3 to that Act;

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(f)   

paragraph 3(2), 5(10) or 6(6) of Schedule 4 to that Act.

 
 

Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill
Part 7 — National audit

18

 

(3)   

The Secretary of State (with the consent of the Treasury as required) or the Lord

Chancellor (as the case may be)—

(a)   

must, under the provision in question, determine the amount of the

salary to be paid to the person and pay it accordingly;

(b)   

may, under the provision in question, determine increases, but not

5

reductions, in the salary.

Part 7

National audit

The Comptroller and Auditor General

37      

The office of the Comptroller and Auditor General

10

(1)   

The office of the Comptroller and Auditor General is to continue.

(2)   

In Welsh the office is called Y Rheolwr ac Archwilydd Cyffredinol.

(3)   

It is for Her Majesty by Letters Patent to appoint a person to the office.

(4)   

Her Majesty’s power is exercisable on an address of the House of Commons.

(5)   

It is for the Prime Minister to move the motion for the address.

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(6)   

To do so the Prime Minister must have the agreement of the person who chairs

the Committee of Public Accounts.

(7)   

The person appointed holds the office for ten years.

(8)   

The person may not be appointed again.

38      

Status of the Comptroller and Auditor General etc

20

(1)   

The Comptroller and Auditor General continues by that name to be a

corporation sole.

(2)   

The Comptroller and Auditor General continues to be an officer of the House

of Commons.

   

(But section 4(4) of the House of Commons (Administration) Act 1978 (c. 36)

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does not apply in relation to the office of the Comptroller and Auditor

General.)

(3)   

The person who is the Comptroller and Auditor General must not be a member

of the House of Lords.

(4)   

The Comptroller and Auditor General is not to be regarded—

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(a)   

as the servant or agent of the Crown, or

(b)   

as enjoying any status, immunity or privilege of the Crown.

(5)   

The person who is the Comptroller and Auditor General must not hold any

other office or position for which the person is appointed or recommended by

or on behalf of the Crown.

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(6)   

The Comptroller and Auditor General has complete discretion in the carrying

out of the office’s functions, including in determining whether to carry out an

 
 

 
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