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Draft Legislation

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what draft Bills have been produced by her Department since October 2005; how many were (a) examined and (b) are planned to be examined by (i) a departmental Select Committee and (ii) a Joint Committee; what draft Bills are still to be produced by her Department; when each is expected to be published; how many clauses each has; and if she will make a statement. (81263)

My Department has published two draft Bills since October 2005, the Legal Services Bill and the Coroners Bill.

The draft Legal Services Bill is undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny before the Joint Committee on the Draft Legal Services Bill, which aims to report by 25 July. The Coroners Bill is undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny before the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee.

A further draft bill may be published this session, the Courts and Tribunals Bill. As yet no Select Committee has expressed an interest in conducting pre-legislative scrutiny nor are there any plans to put together a Joint Committee.

Announcements on future legislation and future draft legislation will be subject to pre-legislative scrutiny, which will be indicated in the Queen's Speech.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what her practice is regarding meeting, discussing and taking into account the views and opinions of (a) private individuals and (b) representatives of organisations, when drawing up and framing legislation to be introduced by her Department; and if she will make a statement. (81264)

The Department always seeks a full range of views when drawing up and framing legislation. In this regard, consultation is an essential part of the policy-making process, both informal and formal.

The Department's formal consultations, which abide by the code of conduct on consultation, are all available on the Department's website and they are also generally available in hard copy. The DCA website has a "what's new" section on its home page which lists new additions to the website, including new consultations, making them easier to find. Those who access the site can also make use of the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed to be alerted when new content, including consultations, has been added to the Department's website.

Following consultation exercises, response papers are normally produced in accordance with the code on consultation to give feedback on the responses received and on how the consultation process influenced the further development of the policy.