Devolution

Oral Answers to Questions — Advocate-General – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 6th November 2001.

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Photo of Dr Lynda Clark Dr Lynda Clark Advocate General for Scotland, Department for Constitutional Affairs, Advocate General for Scotland

The inter-relationship of those two important Acts was discussed in the recent case of Kenneth Mills, in which I appeared personally. Questions had arisen as to whether an issue under the Human Rights Act could now be raised directly without raising a devolution issue, even though the question might relate to the powers of the Lord Advocate. My argument, which the court accepted, was that such a matter is a devolution issue under the Scotland Act and must therefore be intimated to me as Advocate-General.

Photo of Mark Lazarowicz Mark Lazarowicz Labour/Co-operative, Edinburgh North and Leith

Do my hon. and learned Friend's discussions indicate that there have been any problems in the operation of the Scotland Act since the Human Rights Act came into force?

Photo of Dr Lynda Clark Dr Lynda Clark Advocate General for Scotland, Department for Constitutional Affairs, Advocate General for Scotland

The case of Mills was one solution to a problem that had arisen, but my impression is that the legal profession in Scotland is doing well and is well informed about that important legislation, and citizens are not slow to take advantage of the new rights and remedies that the Government have provided. Through his writings and his expertise in that area, my hon. Friend has done much to raise debate about such matters.