Joint Committee on the Draft Disability Discrimination Bill

Session 2003-04, 26 January 2004

Call for Evidence

Call for Evidence

The two Houses of Parliament have established a Joint Committee on the Draft Disability Discrimination Bill (Cm 6058) which was published by the Government on 3 December 2003. 

The remit of the Committee is to consider the draft bill, and to report on it to both Houses. The Committee will proceed in the normal manner of Select Committees, by holding hearings and receiving written evidence. The Committee will prepare a report making recommendations (to which the Government must respond) by 30 April 2004.


The members of the Committee are as follows:

Miss Anne Begg MP (Aberdeen South)
Mr Roger Berry MP (Kingswood)
Rt Hon Tom Clarke CBE MP (Coatbridge and Chryston)
Mr Paul Goodman MP (Wycombe)
Tom Levitt MP (High Peak)
Mr Roger Williams MP (Brecon and Radnorshire)
The Lord Addington
Rt Hon the Lord Carter (Chairman)
The Lord Rix, CBE, DL
The Lord Swinfen
Rt Hon the Lord Tebbit
The Baroness Wilkins

Members' declared interests will soon be available on the Committee's webpages, along with other information about the inquiry:

At its first meeting on Wednesday 21 January the Committee elected Lord Carter as Chairman. The Committee expects to take oral evidence in February and March. The programme of such evidence sessions will be announced as soon as possible.



The Joint Committee invites interested organisations and individuals to submit written evidence as part of its inquiry into the Draft Disability Discrimination Bill. Submissions, reflecting the guidance on written evidence given in this press notice, should reach the Committee as soon as possible and no later than Friday 27 February 2004.

Scope of the Committee's inquiry

In particular, the Committee invites evidence on the following themes:

1. Whether the draft bill's proposals are necessary, workable and sufficient.

2. When the bill's provisions should come into force.

3. What should be in the regulations, orders and codes of practice proposed in the draft bill.

4. The adequacy of the enforcement procedures.

5. Whether the draft bill achieves the right balance between securing the rights of disabled people and imposing duties and costs on the private and public sectors.

6. The proposed change to the definition of disability.

7. Whether the range of "triggers" in the draft bill for requiring reasonable adjustments are appropriate.

8. How the draft bill reflects the Government's 2001 manifesto commitment to extend basic rights and opportunities for disabled people.

The Committee does not intend to consider the issue of comprehensive equality legislation.

Written evidence

All written evidence should be submitted to the Joint Committee no later than Friday 27 February 2004. Given the limited time available for the submission of evidence and for the completion of the Committee's work, written evidence should be short and should concentrate on the major issues arising from the draft bill. Witnesses should feel free to cover only those aspects of the draft bill in which they are particularly interested.

Written evidence should contain, if appropriate, a brief introduction to the persons or organisations submitting it. Submissions should take the form of a memorandum and should have numbered paragraphs. They should not exceed 1500 words in length. Unless submissions are very short, they should be accompanied by a summary. Submissions may be accompanied by background material (perhaps already published elsewhere), which will not be reprinted by the Joint Committee.

We wish to receive written evidence, if possible, in MS Word or rich text format, by e-mail to  A single hard copy (single-sided, unbound) should also be sent to Claudia Rock, Committee Office, House of Lords SW1A 0PW. If you would find it difficult to submit evidence in this way, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss alternatives.

Once written evidence has been submitted it becomes the property of the Committee. Those who have submitted written evidence to the Joint Committee are welcome to publish their evidence themselves (for example, by placing it on their own website), provided that it is not published until after the Joint Committee has acknowledged receipt of the evidence and that it is made clear that the document was prepared as evidence to the Joint Committee. Written submissions from those giving oral evidence will be available at the relevant hearing. Written evidence will wherever possible be posted on the Committee's webpages, and then either be published by the Committee with its final Report or placed in the public domain when that Report is published. Individuals and organisations considering submitting information to the Committee that they would wish the Committee to treat as confidential should consult the Clerks in advance, initially by sending an e-mail to the address given above.

Let us know if you wish to be added to the mailing list for future notices.

This press notice is also available on our webpages, in large print, in Braille  and on audio tape (contact Claudia Rock, details below).



Claudia Rock
Committee Office
House of Lords


Tel: 020 7219 8675