Select Committee on Constitution First Report


17 December 2002

By the Select Committee appointed to examine the constitutional implications of all public bills coming before the House; and to keep under review the operation of the constitution.



1. A bill has been introduced into this House to make provision for furthering co-operation with other countries in respect of criminal proceedings and investigations; to extend jurisdiction to deal with terrorist acts or threats outside the United Kingdom; to amend section 5 of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 and make corresponding provision in relation to Scotland; and for connected purposes.

2. We consider that aspects of the bill raise questions of principle about principal parts of the constitution.[1] We therefore wrote to Lord Filkin, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Home Office, and the Minister in charge of the bill, and are grateful for his prompt reply. Our correspondence is appended.

3. The first aspect of the bill on which we corresponded with the Minister is the proposal that foreign police officers should be permitted to carry out unaccompanied surveillance operations within the United Kingdom for up to 5 hours.

4. The second aspect concerns the rights of appeal of an individual to a national court, subsequent to that individual being disqualified from driving for a driving offence abroad.

5. We draw these matters to the attention of the House as raising questions of principle about principal parts of the constitution.

1   We set out our approach to scrutiny in our First Report, Session 2001-02, HL Paper 11, Chapter 3. Back

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