JCHR Press Notice 03-04 No. 22

Session 2003-04                                    17 May 2004

Forthcoming Publication

Scrutiny of Bills: Fifth Progress Report

The Twelfth Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights of Session 2003-04, Scrutiny of Bills: Fifth Progress Report will be published on Thursday 20 May 2004 as House of Lords Paper 93/House of Commons Paper 603.

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 signatory.

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 fifth 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 and two Private Members' Bills.  The Government Bills are the Children Bill, the Finance Bill, and the Gender Recognition Bill.  It has previously commented on the last Bill.  The Private Members' Bills are the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill (the Committee previously reported on a similar  Bill, the  Patient (Assisted Dying) Bill [HL],  during the 2002-03 session) and the Promotion of Volunteering Bill.