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Private Bills And Human Rights Legislation

Volume 622: debated on Thursday 15 February 2001

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asked Her Majesty's Government:How they plan to inform the House of the compatibility of Private Bills with the European Convention on Human Rights. [HL817]

Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 does not apply to Private Bills. However, like all legislation, any Act resulting from the passage of such a Bill can be judged in the courts, either in the UK or in Strasbourg, for its compatibility with the ECHR. As my right honourable friend the President of the Council announced in another place on 11 January 2001, in future when Private Bills are deposited promoters will be asked to undertake a full assessment of the compatibility of their proposals with the ECHR and to make a statement setting out their conclusion as to whether the Bill is compatible or not. A Minister in the government department within whose policy responsibilities the subject matter of the Bill falls will make a formal statement saying that he believes that the promoters have undertaken a full assessment and that he does not (or, if necessary, that he does) see any need to dispute their conclusions.