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12 Clause 27, page 15, line 40, leave out "whether it is unreasonable for a landlord to withhold" and insert "a landlord's reasonableness in relation to"
13 Page 15, line 41, after "dwelling" insert "in England or Wales"
14 Page 15, line 43, at end insert-
"(2A) The Commission may make arrangements for the provision of conciliation services for disputes about whether—
(a) it is unreasonable for a landlord of a house (within the meaning of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (asp 01)) in Scotland to withhold consent to the carrying out of work in relation to the house for the purpose of making the house suitable for the accommodation, welfare or employment of any disabled person who occupies, or intends to occupy, the house as a sole or main residence, or
(b) any condition imposed by such a landlord on consenting to the carrying out of such work is unreasonable."
15 Page 16, line 1, leave out "and (2)" and insert "to (2A)"
16 Clause 28, page 16, line 40, after first "proceedings" insert "in England and Wales"
17 Page 16, line 41, leave out "whether it is unreasonable for a landlord to withhold" and insert "of a landlord's reasonableness in relation to"
18 Page 16, line 44, at end insert-
"(2A) The Commission may assist an individual who is or may become a party to legal proceedings in Scotland if and in so far as the proceedings concern or may concern the question whether—
(a) it is unreasonable for a landlord to withhold consent to the carrying out of work in relation to a house (within the meaning of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (asp 01)) for the purpose of making the house suitable for the accommodation, welfare or employment of any disabled person who occupies, or intends to occupy, the house as a sole or main residence, or
(b) any condition imposed by a landlord on consenting to the carrying out of such work is unreasonable."

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 12 to 18, to which I spoke with Amendment No. 6.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.


19 Page 18, line 1, after "sex" insert "(including reassignment of gender)"
20 Page 18, line 2, leave out "or to equality of opportunity between men and women"

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 19 and 20. Noble Lords may recall that I brought forward an amendment to the legal assistance clause at Third Reading, to enable the new commission to support proceedings alleging that domestic legislation is incompatible with EC legislation combating discrimination on grounds of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. The purpose of the amendment was to ensure that there were no fewer powers available to the new commission than are currently available to the existing commissions, as case law has determined that this power is available to the Equal Opportunities Commission.
 
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Noble Lords may also recall that, although the amendment was accepted by this House, concern was expressed about the drafting. I agreed to take this away and consider the substance further with my ministerial colleagues. After further reflection, my honourable friend the Minister for Women and Equality, Meg Munn, decided to bring forward Amendments Nos. 19 and 20 to clarify Clause 28(11)(a). Amendment No. 19 inserts a specific reference to gender reassignment, thus placing beyond doubt the statutory authority for the commission to support proceedings in respect of EC law regarding that.

3.15 pm

Similarly, my honourable friend brought forward Amendment No. 20 for the purpose of clarification. Concerns were raised in your Lordships' House that an express reference in subsection (11)(a) to,

and no mention of race implied that we attached less importance to provisions of Community law relating to equality of opportunity for race. That was never our intention and, to make that very clear, we proposed the removal of the express reference to men and women. We were persuaded that the reference in subsection (11) to the discrimination grounds was sufficient to embrace Community provisions on equality. The reference to "sex" in subsection (11)(a) therefore includes equality of opportunity and equal treatment, which brings in equal pay matters, and so on. Consequently, we see no need for the express provision on equality of opportunity between men and women in the clause. Therefore, Amendment No. 20 will remove it.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 19 and 20.—(Baroness Ashton of Upholland.)

Lord Lester of Herne Hill: My Lords, we welcome these amendments. I want briefly to raise one point. The existing equality agencies, especially the CRE and the EOC, have the power to take into account the equality provisions of European Community law, whether it is for gender or race. Under EU law, as under the Race Relations Act, "race" includes discrimination based on nationality, national origins and so on. My understanding of the legal position is that, if the CRE found some value-added EU law on discrimination based on nationality, national origins and race which went further than the Race Relations Act, under the European Communities Act 1972 the Race Relations Act has to be read and given effect to compatibly. Therefore, the CRE has the power to give legal assistance so that individuals can rely on European Community law on race, as on gender.

I welcome the amendment because deleting,

makes it clear, to me at any rate, that the reference to the equality enactments covers gender and, indeed, race—and, unless I am corrected, it covers relevant EU
 
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law in the areas where it is linked with our equality law. These amendments make it more likely that that is the position than the previous amendments did. I welcome them on that basis. If I have it wrong, I would be very grateful to be corrected by the Minister before we approve the amendments.

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: My Lords, the noble Lord has not got it wrong, but he will know that we specifically have not included references to national origin, nationality or citizenship in the list because that would bring matters under Article 12 of the treaty into play, which goes beyond the core work of the CEHR. I hope that gives him reassurance that we are trying appropriately to incorporate EC law, but that we are not specifically going into those details. The principle is to ensure that the new commission is able to do everything that the previous commission could do, but not to range wider. I hope he is able to welcome the amendments on that basis, with the caveat that I have given about Article 12.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill: My Lords, I am very grateful. I understand that that is the Government's decision. Indeed, there is nothing very controversial about it, but there are areas of EU law in a narrower sense not under Article 12 where the CRE has that capacity now, which could be a matter of argument before the courts as to the position under the new Bill. But, as I understand it, there is no regression intended. Therefore, the existing provision will prevail.

On Question, Motion agreed to.


21 After Clause 42, insert the following new Clause—
"Transitional: rented housing in Scotland
(1) In the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (c. 50), the following shall be inserted after section 49H (conciliation of disputes about improvements to let dwelling houses in England and Wales)—
"49I Conciliation of disputes: rented housing in Scotland
(1) The Disability Rights Commission may make arrangements with any other person for the provision of conciliation services by, or by persons appointed by, that person in relation to a dispute of any description concerning the question whether—
(a) it is unreasonable for a landlord to withhold consent to the carrying out of any relevant work in relation to a house (within the meaning of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (asp 01)) in Scotland, or
(b) any condition imposed by a landlord on consenting to the carrying out of any such work is unreasonable.
(2) Subsections (2) to (8) of section 28 apply for the purpose of this section as they apply for the purpose of that section and for that purpose a reference in that section to—
(a) a dispute arising under Part 3 is to be construed as a reference to a dispute mentioned in subsection (1), and
(b) arrangements under that section is to be construed as a reference to arrangements under subsection (1).
(3) In subsection (1), "relevant work", in relation to a house, means work for the purpose of making the house suitable for the accommodation, welfare or employment of any disabled person who occupies, or intends to occupy, the house as a sole or main residence."
(2) In section 53A (codes of practice) of that Act—
(a) after subsection (1E) insert—
 
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"(1F) The Commission may prepare and issue codes of practice giving practical guidance to landlords and tenants of houses (within the meaning of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (asp 01)) in Scotland as to—
(a) circumstances in which the tenant requires the consent of the landlord to the carrying out of work in relation to the house for the purpose of making the house suitable for the accommodation, welfare or employment of any disabled person who occupies, or intends to occupy, the house as a sole or main residence,
(b) circumstances in which it is unreasonable to withhold such consent,
(c) circumstances in which any condition imposed on the granting of such consent is unreasonable, and
(d) the application, in relation to such work, of—
(i) sections 28 to 31 and 34(6) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 (asp 10), and
(ii) sections 52, 53 and 64(6) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (asp 01).";
(b) after subsection (4A) insert—
"(4B) Where a draft code of practice under subsection (1F) is submitted to the Secretary of State for approval, the Secretary of State must, before deciding whether to approve it, consult the Scottish Ministers.";
(c) after subsection (6A) insert—
"(6B) Before appointing a day under subsection (6)(a) for the coming into effect of a code of practice under subsection (1F), the Secretary of State shall consult the Scottish Ministers.";
(d) after subsection (8A) insert—
"(8B) Subsection (8A) does not apply to a code of practice under subsection (1F).".
(3) In section 7 of the Disability Rights Commission Act 1999 (c. 17) (provision of assistance in relation to proceedings), in subsection (1), after paragraph (aa) insert—
"(ab) proceedings in Scotland of any description to the extent that the question whether—
(i) it is unreasonable for a landlord to withhold consent to the carrying out of work in relation to a house (within the meaning of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (asp 01)) in Scotland for the purpose of making the house suitable for the accommodation, welfare or employment of any disabled person who occupies, or intends to occupy, the house as a sole or main residence, or
(ii) any condition imposed by a landlord on consenting to the carrying out of any such work is unreasonable,
falls to be considered in the proceedings,"."

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 21.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.


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