New Clause 5 - Consultation by the National Assembly for Wales

Part of Children's Commissioner for Wales Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:54 pm on 30th January 2001.

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Photo of Robert Walter Robert Walter Conservative, North Dorset 5:54 pm, 30th January 2001

I do not wish to be pedantic, but just for the record I should say that the name of my constituency is North Dorset. I was disappointed that the Minister told us that the Government did intend to implement the Hague convention, which was signed in 1993. The Adoption (Intercountry Aspects) Act received Royal Assent on 27 July 1999, and still it has not been implemented. It is a matter of some concern that that is still the case. Part of my reason for tabling these amendments was to make the Children's Commissioner a champion of children's rights so that he can intervene for victims of inter-country adoptions that are carried out through dubious processes.

I do not necessarily accept everything the Minister said, particularly with regard to new clause 6 and putting the Commissioner into a consultation role rather than an executive role. I would have thought it appropriate for the commissioner to be the consultee for Wales. It would enhance, not only the commissioner but, the National Assembly, if the commissioner's role was established in legislation with regard to inter-country aspects when the Assembly was acting as the central authority. It seems that the Minister is not minded to accept my new clauses, despite the sympathy that I sensed from him and from his hon. Friend Member for Ogmore (Sir R. Powell). I beg to ask leave to withdraw the motion.

Motion and clause, by leave, withdrawn.

Schedule agreed to.