JCHR Press Notice 03-04 No. 17

Session 2003-04                                                  1 April 2004

Forthcoming Publication

Scrutiny of Bills: Fourth Progress Report

The Tenth Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights of Session 2003-04, Scrutiny of Bills: Fourth Progress Report will be published on Tuesday 6 April 2004 as House of Lords Paper 64/House of Commons Paper 503.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights examines every Bill presented to Parliament.  With Government Bills its starting point is the statement made by the Minister under section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 in respect of its compliance with Convention rights as defined in that Act.  However, it also has regard to the provisions of other international human rights instruments to which the UK is a party.

The Committee does not usually publish separate reports on each Bill which raises human rights questions, but publishes regular progress reports on its scrutiny of Bills, setting out any initial concerns it has about Bills it has examined and, subsequently, the Government's responses to these concerns and any further observations it may have on these responses. The aim is to complete the cycle of consideration of a Bill before its second reading in the second House.

In this Report, the Committee's fourth progress report on its scrutiny of Bills in the 2003-04 Session, the Committee draws the special attention of each House to the human rights implications of three Government Bills on which it has previously commented, the Employment Relations Bill, the Housing Bill and the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill; and one Private Members' Bill, the Trespassers on Land (Liability for Damage and Eviction) Bill.

It also lists a number of Government and Private Members' Bills which, in the Committee's view, do not need to be drawn to the attention of either House on human rights grounds at this time, other Bills which engage human rights in ways which appear to be justifiable and Bills which do not appear to engage human rights.