The Joint Committee on Human Rights has
agreed to the following Report:
POLICE REFORM BILL: FURTHER REPORT
1. The Police Reform Bill was introduced to the House
of Lords on 24 January 2002.
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.
We undertook to report further on the Bill when we had considered
the Government's responses to our questions.
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. 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.
1 HL Bill 48 Back
Thirteenth Report of Session 2001-02, Police Reform Bill,
HL Paper 86, HC 646, pp. 5-16 Back
ibid., p. 5, para. 2 Back
pp Ev 1 to Ev 8 Back
pp Ev 8 to Ev 22 Back