Joint Committee On Human Rights Twenty-Third Report



Appendix 2: Correspondence from The Lord Brabazon of Tara DL, Chairman of Committees, House of Lords

LETTER DATED 24 JANUARY 2006 RE LONDON LOCAL AUTHORITIES BILL

In its 18th Report of last session, the JCHR made an interim report on the London Local Authorities Bill [HE] (a private bill), noting that its provisions would engage, or would be likely to engage, various rights under the Articles of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Committee concluded that, "Should [the bill] be reintroduced in the next Parliament, our successor committee may wish to scrutinise its terms further".

The bill was indeed revived in this session and received its second reading in the House of Lords on 5th July 2005. I would be grateful if you could let me know whether the JCHR is likely to report on the bill before the beginning of its Committee stage, which is due to begin on Monday 13 March.

I am particularly keen to hear the Committee's view, given the report in January 2005 by the then Minister of State for Housing and Planning, the Rt Hon Keith Hill MP, that the promoters had failed to make an adequate assessment of the compatibility of their proposals with the ECHR in respect of clauses 78(1), and clauses 117-120.

As there are a number of other private bills which may go into Committee in the next few months, I would also be grateful to know the JCHR's intentions more generally as regards the scrutiny of private bills, as this may affect the timing of future Select Committees.

24 January 2006

LETTER DATED 8 MAY 2006 RE HUMAN RIGHTS SCRUTINY OF PRIVATE BILLS

Following our correspondence earlier this year, I am again writing to ask whether the JCHR will be able to report on certain private bills. The JCHR's report on the London Local Authorities Bill greatly assisted the Committee on that bill, and I am grateful to you for producing it in time to assist its deliberations.

The bill which is in greatest need of a report by the JCHR is the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Bill. In its 18th Report of last session, the JCHR made an interim report on this bill, and noted that its provisions engaged Convention Rights. The Committee concluded that, "Should the Bill be reintroduced in the next Parliament, our successor committee may wish to return to this Bill and to engage in more detailed scrutiny of its terms."

The bill was indeed revived in this session and received its second reading in the House of Lords on 1 February 2006.

I would be grateful if the JCHR were able to report on the bill before the beginning of its Committee stage, which is likely to take place on 26-27 June.

As a secondary consideration, the Department for Trade and Industry has raised a Human Rights point in its report on the Leicester City Council, Liverpool City Council and Maidstone Borough Council bills. These bills, which are identical except for the names and locations, are likely to be considered in Committee in early July. Again, I would be grateful if the JCHR were able to report on these bills before then.

8 May 2006

LETTER DATED 9 MAY 2006 RE JOINT COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS: WORKING METHODS

At its meeting on 8 May, the House of Lords Liaison Committee (which I chair) discussed briefly the review currently being undertaken into the working methods of the Joint Committee.

In their discussion, members of the Committee were very complimentary about the work of the Joint Committee in scrutiny of bills. As you know, I myself value highly the advice of your Committee on private legislation (for which I am responsible in this House).

The Liaison Committee asked me to write to you to record the value which it—and, indeed, the House as a whole—places on the scrutiny service you provide. While there may well be scope for an element of selectivity in the amount of detail presented in the Joint Committee's reports, the Liaison Committee of this House hopes that a comprehensive bill scrutiny service (at least of government and private bills) will be preserved, whatever other adjustments your Committee may decide to make in the light of the review.

I am sending a copy of this letter to the Lords' members of the Joint Committee and to its two Clerks.

9 May 2006


 
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