[holding answer 31 January 2007]: The Serious Crime Bill was introduced into the House of Lords on the 16 January 2007. A Section 19(1)(a) statement of compatibility with the Human Rights Act, signed by my colleague the right hon. Baroness Scotland of Asthal, was presented to the House Authorities to accompany the Bill. This statement of compatibility confirms that the Minister believes that the provisions within the Serious Crime Bill are compatible with convention rights. The explanatory notes for the Bill also include analysis of the provisions with reference to the European Convention on Human Rights.
The majority of measures within the Bill were included in a recent Home Office consultation paper ‘New Powers Against Organised and Financial Crime’. The public consultation period ran from July 2006 to October 2006. The Department received more than 110 responses during that period from a range of individuals and organisations including law enforcement agencies, non-Governmental organisations, the judiciary, representatives of the banking and financial sectors and local authorities.