Joint Committee on the Draft Corruption Bill

Session 2002-03
26 March 2003 Call for Evidence

Session 2002-03
26 March 2003 Call for Evidence

The two Houses of Parliament have established a Joint Committee on the Draft Corruption Bill (Cm. 5777), which was published by the Government on 24 March 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 publish a report making recommendations (to which the Government must respond) by Thursday 24 July 2003.


The members of the Committee are as follows:

Lord Slynn of Hadley (Crossbencher) Chairman
Lord Bernstein of Craigweil (Labour)
Lord Campbell Savours (Labour)
Lord Carlisle of Bucklow  QC (Conservative)
Baroness Scott of Needham Market (Liberal Democrat)
Lord Waddington QC (Conservative)
Baroness Whitaker (Labour)
Vera Baird QC MP (Labour, Redcar)
Mr Edward Garnier QC MP (Conservative, Harborough)
Mr John MacDougall MP (Labour, Central Fife)
Mr Mark Oaten MP (Liberal Democrat, Winchester)
Mr Richard Shepherd MP (Conservative, Aldridge-Brownhills)
Mr Paul Stinchcombe MP (Labour, Wellingborough)
Dr Desmond Turner MP (Labour, Brighton Kemptown)

Members' declared interests will be available on the website:

At its first meeting on Monday 24 March, the Committee elected Lord Slynn of Hadley as Chairman. The Committee expects to start taking oral evidence in early May. The programme of such evidence sessions will be announced nearer the time.


The Joint Committee invites interested organisations and individuals to submit written evidence as part of its inquiry into the Draft Corruption Bill. Submissions, reflecting the guidance on written evidence given in this press notice, should reach the Committee as soon as possible and must be submitted at the latest by Friday 2 May.

Scope of the Committee's inquiry

The Joint Committee expects to concentrate its inquiry on the following themes:

1    What is the background to the draft Bill and what other options could have been pursued?  What are the reasons for any changes from the Law Commission's 1998 report (No. 248) and the 2000 White Paper (Cm. 4759)?

2    Whether proposed definitions are workable and sufficient:

    a.    Whether they will be readily understood by police, prosecutors, jurors, the public etc

    b.    Whether specific offences should have been proposed for specific situations

    c.    The effect of not making the new offences retrospective

    d.    The effect of removing the presumption of corruption

    e.    Whether the agent/principal analogy is still relevant, in particular in the case of public acts

    f.    The treatment of facilitation payments

    g.    Should there be a public interest defence?

3    Whether the proposals are compatible with international obligations and how they compared with equivalent law in other countries.

4    Omission from the draft Bill of misuse of public office and trading in influence.

5    Waiver of parliamentary privilege in cases involving peers and MPs

    a.    Attorney's consent to prosecution

    b.    Relationship with Registration of Interests, Codes of Conduct and Electoral Commission requirements on political donations.

Written evidence

All written evidence should be submitted to the Joint Committee no later than Friday 2 May. 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.

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. An indicative length would be 1,000- 1,200 words - memoranda which exceed five pages should be accompanied by a one-page summary. Submissions may be accompanied by background material (perhaps already published elsewhere) which would 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 the Scrutiny Unit.  A single hard copy (single-sided, unbound) should also be sent to Claire Little, Committee Office, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW. Fax 020 7219 0277.

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 from others will 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.

Further notices will be issued shortly, indicating how the Committee will proceed.

To follow the progress of the inquiry, you may visit our webpages.

Ask to be added to the mailing list for future notices.


Claire Little
Secretary to the Joint Committee on the Draft Corruption Bill
House of  Lords
London SW1A 0PW

Or email: The Scrutiny Unit
Tel: 020 7219 4911
Fax: 020 7219 0277