Joint Committee On Human Rights Fifteenth Report


The Joint Committee on Human Rights has agreed to the following Report:



1. The Police Reform Bill was introduced to the House of Lords on 24 January 2002.[1] It was given its second reading on 5 February.

2. On 25 February, we agreed that the Chairman should write to the Minister in charge of the Bill in the Lords, Lords Rooker, raising a number of questions about the compliance of certain provisions of the Bill with Convention rights. In order to place these questions in the public domain before the Bill completed its Committee stage in the Lords, we published the text of that letter as an Annex to our Thirteenth Report.[2] We undertook to report further on the Bill when we had considered the Government's responses to our questions.[3] The response, in the form of a Memorandum from the Home Office, was received on 13 March 2002, and is published as an Annex to this Report.[4] We are grateful to the Minister and to those in the Home Office who prepared the memorandum for the thorough and helpful way in which our questions were addressed, against the background of a demanding schedule.

3. To ensure that we were in possession of the widest possible range of opinions on the human rights issues raised by the Bill, we also canvassed evidence from a number of individuals and bodies. We intend to make this a regular feature of our approach to scrutiny of bills, both to enable us to benefit from people's expertise and to engage civil society more generally in the process of scrutinizing bills for their human rights implications. We are grateful to those who offered comments, and we publish them as Annexes to this Report.[5]

1   HL Bill 48 Back

2   Thirteenth Report of Session 2001-02, Police Reform Bill, HL Paper 86, HC 646, pp. 5-16 Back

3   ibid., p. 5, para. 2 Back

4   pp Ev 1 to Ev 8 Back

5   pp Ev 8 to Ev 22 Back

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Prepared 25 March 2002