JCHR Press Notice 03-04 No. 15

Session 2003-04                                                10 March 2004

Forthcoming Publication

Scrutiny of Bills: Third Progress Report

The Eighth Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights of Session 2003-04, Scrutiny of Bills: Third Progress Report will be published on Monday 15 March 2004, as House of Lords Paper 49/House of Commons Paper 427.

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 which bind the UK.

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 third 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 one Government Bill on which it has not previously commented, the Housing Bill, and four Government Bills which have been discussed in earlier reports: the Civil Contingencies Bill, the Employment Relations Bill, the European Parliamentary and Local Elections (Pilots) Bill and the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill. It also considers the responses it has received to questions it raised with the Promoters of two Private Bills: the Ipswich Market Bill and the Medway Council Bill.

It also lists a number of Government and Private Members' Bills and the Draft Disability Discrimination Bill 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.

The Report will be available on the internet at the address below from approximately 3pm on the day of publication.