Clause 17 - Appeals committees

Part of Human Tissue Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 3rd February 2004.

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Photo of Evan Harris Evan Harris Liberal Democrat, Oxford West and Abingdon 11:15 am, 3rd February 2004

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for raising the setting up of appeals committees because it arose under the issue of appeals to professional regulatory bodies. I understand that the General Dental Council recently changed its regulations to ensure that they were compliant with the Human Rights Act 1998 and that members of the appeals committee are not members of the GDC. The appeals committee is therefore made up of people appointed for the purposes of appeals by the main authority—in this case, the GDC.

That has been set up as a model for other regulatory authorities. I know that that had to be done in response to questions about Human Rights Act compliance and fair trial. The suggestion made by the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire may not go far enough. I should be grateful if the Under-Secretary

could reassure us that there is legal support for leaving the Bill as it stands or for taking on board the hon. Gentleman's suggestion.