Fifty Sixth Report Contents

Instruments of interest

Draft Trade in Animals and Animal Products (Legislative Functions) and Veterinary Surgeons (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

18.The purpose of these draft Regulations, laid by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), is to transfer from the European Commission to the Secretary of State legislative powers to add or remove a country from lists of approved third countries for the import of animals and animal products after EU exit. Under the new arrangements, the Secretary of State may change the list of approved third countries, with the consent of the devolved administrations, and following an assessment of the country’s biosecurity risks and application of rules on animal disease prevention and control. Defra says that the arrangements will support the UK’s listing as an approved third country by the EU, complement existing powers to control imports and enable the UK to adapt its own list of approved countries in the longer-term, including by removing third countries from the list if their biosecurity risk changes significantly after EU exit. The draft Regulations also propose to allow the Secretary of State, subject to consent of the devolved administrations, to publish lists of those animals and animal products that require or are exempt from border veterinary checks.

Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 (Designation Of Court) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/1029)

Lasting Powers Of Attorney, Enduring Powers Of Attorney And Public Guardian (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/1030)

Public Guardian (Fees, etc) (Amendment) Order 2019 (SI 2019/1033)

Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2019 (SI 2019/1034)

19.These four instruments make practical arrangements ready for the implementation of the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 (“the 2017 Act”) on 31 July 2019. The 2017 Act makes provision for the management of the property and affairs of missing persons. These instruments set out the processes to be followed when setting up a guardianship arrangement and the fees payable to the Public Guardian’s office, which will receive copies of all relevant court orders and investigate any allegations of misconduct. In particular, SI 2019/1034 allows for a single application to be considered under both the 2017 Act and the Presumption of Death Act 2013 (Rule 57.33). This rule was suggested by members of the judiciary, who thought there would be considerable merit in having flexibility where the particular circumstances in which a person has gone missing may be uncertain, or may, in the course of the case’s consideration, start to point more strongly to Presumption of Death being more appropriate. This flexibility should also be more sensitive to families by enabling the court to manage the process itself.

Parole Board Rules 2019 (SI 2019/1038)

20.The outcome of the judicial review11 of the Parole Board’s decision to release John Worboys resulted in the Parole Board Rules being amended to allow victims and other members of the public to request summaries of Parole Board’s decisions. This reform has been widely welcomed: the 1,400 summaries produced so far have been found better to inform both the victims and the media of the reasons for the Board’s decisions. These Rules further simplify the application process.

21.Following wider consultation, among other changes, this instrument introduces in Rule 28 a “reconsideration mechanism”, which allows 21 days for the decision of the Parole Board to be challenged on the grounds that it is “irrational” or “procedurally unfair”. Either the prisoner or the Secretary of State can apply for the Parole Board’s decision to be reconsidered on these grounds. Victims will be able to apply without having to resort to judicial review; their concerns will be handled administratively by the Secretary of State’s staff in the Public Protection Casework Section of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, with the assistance of their Victim Liaison Officer if they wish. Decisions are eligible for reconsideration only where the prisoner is serving an indeterminate sentence (life or Imprisonment for Public Protection) and certain determinate sentences where initial release is at the discretion of the Parole Board (including Extended Determinate Sentences and Sentences for Offenders of Particular Concern). Further information on how this process will work is published at Appendix 1.

Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Prospectus) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/1043)

22.A prospectus is a legal document that describes a company’s main line of business, its finances and shareholding structure, and the securities (such as shares, bonds, derivatives) that are being issued and/or admitted to trading. It should contain the information an investor needs before making a decision whether to invest in the company. The EU Prospectus Directive, which was implemented into UK law through the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, set out uniform criteria so that, once approved in one EU country, a prospectus is valid throughout the EU. A review conducted by the European Commission in 2015 identified shortcomings in the existing regime, finding it costly and burdensome for businesses, especially for smaller ones, and that the material was too detailed for most investors. The EU Prospectus Regulation12 addresses this by introducing new features such as the EU Growth Prospectus–a lighter, less burdensome document for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. These changes will apply directly in the UK from 21 July 2019, but this instrument is required to underpin certain aspects, including HM Treasury’s choice to make the regime as flexible as possible but to maintain the current system of administrative sanctions.

12 Regulation (EU) No 2017/1129 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 June 2017.

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