JCHR Press Notice 05-06 No. 15

No. 15 of Session 2005-06                          14 December 2005

Forthcoming Publications on Legislative Scrutiny

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 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 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. From time to time the Committee also publishes separate reports on individual Bills.

Legislative Scrutiny: Equality Bill

The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) publishes its Fourth Report of Session 2005-06, Legislative Scrutiny:  Equality Bill, on Monday 19 December at 10.00 am as House of Lords Paper 89, House of Commons Paper 766.

The main purpose of the Equality Bill is the establishment of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) to provide institutional support for human rights in the UK. The previous Committee published four Reports in the last Parliament on the issues surrounding the establishment of a Commission.  Most recently it reported on the Equality Bill as introduced in Session 2004-05.  This Report considers the Bill as introduced in the House of Commons, examining the provisions which set out the functions, powers and structure of the Commission relating to human rights, as well as conducting the human rights compatibility examination which the Committee applies to all bills.

Legislative Scrutiny: Second Progress Report

The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) publishes its Fifth Report of Session 2005-06, Legislative Scrutiny: Second Progress Report, on Monday 19 December at 10.00 am as House of Lords Paper 90, House of Commons Paper 767.

In this report the Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to three Government Bills: the Children and Adoption Bill, the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill and the Violent Crime Reduction Bill. The Committee has not previously reported its preliminary views on these three Bills, but it has put a number of questions to Ministers about them in correspondence. In the Appendices to the Report the Committee publishes that correspondence and submissions it has received from others on the Bills' human rights implications.   In the case of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill this Report does not deal with new clauses added to the Bill at Commons Standing Committee as part of the Government's counter-terrorism measures: these provisions were dealt with in the Committee's Third Report of this Session.