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Legislation: Human Rights Compatibility

Volume 592: debated on Thursday 30 July 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Williams of Mostyn on 20 July

(WA 72), whether there is any reason why, as a matter of good public administration, as distinct from legal duty, they will not undertake that a Minister of the Crown in charge of a Bill in either House of Parliament will, before Second Reading of the Bill:

  • (a) make a statement to the effect that in his or her view the provisions of the Bill are compatible with the rights in the European Convention on Human Rights; or
  • (b) make a statement to the effect that, although he or she is unable to make a statement of compatibility, the Government nevertheless wish the House to proceed with the Bill. [HL2974]
  • Such an undertaking, although different in form, would be identical in its effects to Clause 19 of the Human Rights Bill [H.L.]. We believe that the best course is to await final parliamentary approval of this and other provisions of the Bill and then to decide when they should be brought into force.