Skip to main content

Electronic Commerce: EC Law

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the Answer of 3 February 2009, Official Report, column 1171W, on homophobia, what compliance issues with the EU e-commerce Directive remain to be resolved. (257415)

The E-commerce Directive requires us to apply the offence to domestically established electronic service providers when they provide their services in other European economic area states.

In order to do this, we intend to make regulations under the European Communities Act 1972. But, as the offence relating to hatred on grounds of sexual orientation carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment, we need powers to create penalties greater than those permitted by section 2(2) of that Act. Clause 123 of the Coroners and Justice Bill will amend the 1972 Act to allow us to do this.