Commons debates Private Members’ Bills

19 October 2009

In the last Private Members' Bills Friday of the current session, the House of Commons debated the report stage and third reading of the Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) Bill, the report stage and third reading of the Law Commission Bill, and the report stage of the Crown Employment (Nationality) Bill

Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) Bill

The Bill, sponsored by Andrew Dismore, Labour MP for Hendon, would treat certain asbestos-related conditions as actionable personal injuries.

Those suffering from asbestos-related pleural plaques or asbestosis would therefore be able to claim damages against the person causing them. The provisions would not affect the legislation determining liability for personal injury.

The Bill passed its report stage and received its third reading. It will now go to the House of Lords.

Law Commission Bill

MPs also debated the report stage of the Law Commission Bill - which started in the Lords - sponsored by Emily Thornberry, Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury.

The Bill would alter some of the ways in which the Law Commission - which promotes the reform of the law of England and Wales - currently undertakes and reports its work, and would amend the Law Commission Act 1965.

The Bill passed its report stage and received its third reading. Since it has already gone through the Lords, its passage - apart from receiving Royal Asssent - is now complete.

Crown Employment (Nationality) Bill

The third measure, the Crown Employment (Nationality) Bill, is also sponsored by Andrew Dismore. MPs discussed the report stage of the Bill which would remove nationality restrictions from employment in the civil service - which date back to the Act of Settlement 1701.

It would open up all employment under the Crown to all nationalities, subject to certain positions selected by Ministers which would require restrictions.

Debate on the report stage of the Crown Employment (Nationality) Bill was adjourned.

Private Members' Bills

Private Members' Bills are Public Bills introduced by MPs and Lords who aren't government ministers. As with other Public Bills their purpose is to change the law as it applies to the general population. A minority of Private Members' Bills become law but, by creating publicity around an issue, they may affect legislation indirectly.

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