Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 - Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee Contents



6.  The purpose of the changes in this Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules ("the Statement") is to reduce from 21 to 18 years the minimum age at which a person may be granted entry clearance or leave as the spouse, civil partner, fiancé(e), proposed civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner of a sponsor, and the minimum age at which a person may sponsor such an application. It will also delete references to a minimum age of 18 for entry clearance or leave as the spouse, civil partner, fiancé(e), proposed civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner of a HM Forces sponsor, and the minimum age at which a member of HM Forces may sponsor such an application. The Statement was accompanied by a Written Statement from Lord Henley, Minister of State at the Home Office[4]. The changes are being made to give effect to the Supreme Court judgement in R (on the application of Quila and another) (FC) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and R (on the application of Bibi and another) (FC) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] UKSC 45 given on 12 October 2011.


7.  These Regulations make provision for penalties and enforcement of certain restrictive measures specified in the following EU Regulations: Council Regulation (EC) 881/2002 ("the Al-Qaida Regulation") as amended by Council Regulation (EU) No 754/2011("the amending Al-Qaida Regulation") and Council Regulation (EU) No 753/2011 ("the Taliban Regulation"). The Al-Qaida and Taliban Regulations implement the elements falling within the competence of the EU in relation to the restrictive measures contained in the United Nations Security Council Regulations 1988 (2011) and 1989 (2011), which in turn modify the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime first established by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 (1999) on 15 October 1999. These two EU Regulations contain a number of measures which include: prohibitions on technical advice, assistance or training related to military activities to any person, body or group listed in Annex 1 of the Al-Qaida Regulation; and prohibitions on technical assistance related to the goods and technology listed in the Common Military List of the European Union to any person, group, undertaking or entry listed in Annex 1 of the Taliban Regulation. A notice to exporters explaining the purpose and effect of the Al-Qaida Regulation and the Taliban Regulation will be published on the website of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.


8.  Following a review and extensive consultation in 2010, the Department for Transport has revised the format and conditions for issuing the "Blue Badge" issued to enable disabled people with mobility difficulties to park in reserved spaces. The format is to be revised to include security features and a passport-style photograph to reduce the incidence of fraud. The fee is to be raised to £10 to reflect the cost of production. Around 36% of badge holders are "eligible without further assessment" because, for example, they are in receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance or are registered blind. For cases where eligibility is not obvious, regulation 4(2)(f) now introduces a more objective test through the use of an independent mobility assessment with the aim of introducing a more consistent standard of assessment. The most significant change made by these Regulations is in respect of the local authority's ability to withdraw a badge for misuse - previously this could only be done where three relevant convictions has been obtained, this is now reduced to one such conviction. Badges may also be withdrawn where a badge holder has attempted to transfer the badge to another person by gift or sale.


9.  This instrument exercises the power to specify another name for organisations that are already proscribed in Schedule 2 to the Terrorism Act 2000 under the names "Al Ghurabaa" and "The Saved Sect". The alternative name is "Muslims Against Crusades". The Order was laid before Parliament on 10 November and came into force on 11 November. The Explanatory Memorandum (EM) says that any delay between the laying of the instrument and its coming into force would alert the organisation to its impending proscription, and is likely in this case to result in pre-emptive action by its members designed to circumvent the provisions of the Terrorism Act 2000 and/or the criminal law (EM paragraph 3.1). The EM says that it is a criminal offence to belong to a proscribed organisation or to encourage support for a proscribed organisation, to arrange a meeting in support of a proscribed organisation, or to wear clothing or to carry articles in public which arouse reasonable suspicion that an individual is a member or supporter of the proscribed organisation (EM paragraph 7.3). The EM also says that proscription means that the financial assets of the organisation become terrorist property and can be subject to freezing and seizure (EM paragraph 7.3).

4   HL Deb 7 November 2011 Col WS 7-8 Back

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