JOINT

Legislative Scrutiny 2010-12

In Session 2010-12 the Committee will continue its practice of scrutinising all Government Bills for their human rights implications and compatibility (details of the sifting system used are set out in our predecessor Committee's 23rd Report of Session 2005-06).

Guidance on written submissions to the Committee (PDF PDF 58 KB).

Bills under scrutiny

Localism Bill - The Bill will devolve greater powers to councils and neighbourhoods and give local communities more control over housing and planning decisions

Police (Detention and Bail) Bill - The Committee has received correspondence on this Bill

Bills Reported On

Armed Forces Bill - An Armed Forces Bill is required every five years. The last Bill received Royal Assent in November 2006 and therefore a new Bill is required in the 2010-2011 Session. The Bill provides the legal basis for the system of military law which exists in the UK, and an opportunity to make any suggested or necessary amendments. It also presents an opportunity to introduce new measures relating to the Armed Forces outside the traditional sphere of Service discipline.

Budget Responsibility and National Audit Bill - The purpose of the Bill is to establish an Office for Budget Responsibility.

Education Bill - This Bill seeks to implement the legislative proposals in the Department for Education's schools White Paper 'The Importance of Teaching' and measures from the Deparment of Business, Innovation and Skills relating to skills and the reform of higher education funding.

Finance (No. 2) Bill 2010 - The Committee has received a memorandum from the Government identifying retrospective provisions in the Bill.

Health and Social Care Bill - The Bill proposes to create an independent NHS Board, promote patient choice, and to reduce NHS administration costs.

Identity Documents Bill - The main purpose of this Bill is to abolish identity cards and the National Identity Register; it repeals the Identity Cards Act 2006

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill - The Bill covers a wide range of issues. It comprises four parts and 16 schedules. Part 1 makes provisions on legal aid, Part 2 deals with litigation funding and costs, and Part 3 covers sentencing and the punishment of offenders.

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill - This Bill legislates for the next general election to be held under the AV voting system, provided that a majority of those voting  in a referendum agree to use AV rather than First Past the Post for parliamentary elections. The Bill also creates new Rules for the Redistribution of Seats which require 600 constituencies in the Commons rather than 650 at present. The Rules will also give priority to numerical equality as a principle, in that there is to be a uniform electoral quota for the UK, and seats may not vary by more than 5 per cent from the quota, with some limited exceptions.

Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill - This Bill would make provision about the administration and governance of police forces; amend the Licensing Act 2003 to assist with controlling noise nuisance and giving communities greater say in licensing decisions; to prohibit certain activities in Parliament Square; enable provision in local authority byelaws to include powers of seizure and forfeiture; increase the control of dangerous or otherwise harmful drugs; restrict the issues of warrants for certain extra-territorial offences.

Protection of Freedoms Bill - The Committee has published a report on this Bill

Public Bodies Bill - This Bill would provide powers to enable Ministers to carry out substantial reforms to a range of public bodies, including powers to merge or abolish bodies. The Bill was introduced in the House of Lords on 28 October 2010

Superannuation Bill - Clause 1 of this Bill would cap compensation payable under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme at a maximum of 12 months’ pay for compulsory redundancy and 15 months’ for voluntary exits. Clause 2 provides for clause 1 to expire after 12 months, unless repealed, extended or revived using order-making powers. 

Terrorist Asset-Freezing Bill - The Government is required under UN resolution to freeze the funds of those who participate in terrorist acts, and to prohibit the provision of funds to anyone who participates in terrorist acts. Under EU regulation, the Government must also implement measures directed at certain persons and entities, with a view to combating terrorism.  Until recently, these UN and EU obligations were given effect by three Orders in Council made under the United Nations Act 1946. One of these Orders was quashed by the Supreme Court on 27 January 2010 and the others are considered vulnerable to being quashed on similar grounds: that the Government had exceeded its powers. On 10 February 2010 the Terrorist Asset-Freezing (Temporary Provisions) Act was passed, which provides for the temporary validity of the Orders on Council. This Bill is intended to provide a permanent solution to the problem.

Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill (TPIM) - The provisions in the Bill follow on from the Coalition Government's 'Review of Counter-Terrorism and Security Powers', published in January 2011. The Bill abolishes the system of control orders, established under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, and replaces it with a new regime designed to protect the public from terrorism, called Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures.

 Welfare Reform Bill  - The Committee has published a report on this Bill.