Clause 18 - Procedure on reconsideration

Human Tissue Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 3rd February 2004.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Stephen Ladyman Stephen Ladyman Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health

Earlier, the hon. Members for Oxford, West and Abingdon (Dr. Harris) and for South Cambridgeshire (Mr. Lansley) asked about the compatibility of the group of clauses on licensing with the European convention on human rights, particularly article 6 and the right to a fair trial. Therefore, I thought that it might be helpful if I spelled out why we believe that the Bill is compatible with article 6, and gave the Committee the opportunity to debate the matter before we proceed.

Paragraph 11 of schedule 3 sets out the procedure for licensing decisions. The Human Tissue Authority, through the relevant inspectorate, will give prior notification of proposed decisions to the applicant, licence holder or designated individual, together with reasons, and the person to whom notice is given may make representations to the authority about the proposed decision. Under clause 16, the appellant may then require the authority to reconsider the decision. That reconsideration will be undertaken by an appeals committee of the authority, one or more of which it is required to maintain by clause 17 to carry out its obligations under clause 16 to reconsider decisions. The committee will consist of members of the authority—not fewer than five and with a quorum of three. To answer the point made by the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire, it is to be expected that those members will not have been involved in the original decision.

The Human Tissue Authority, as a public authority, must act compatibly with the convention when carrying out its functions. The procedure on reconsideration is set out in clause 18. The appellant or his representative may attend before and be heard by the appeals committee. Under clause 19, a person aggrieved by a decision on reconsideration may appeal to the High Court on a point of law. I hope that that will satisfy the hon. Gentlemen who raised the issues.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 18 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 19 to 22 ordered to stand part of the Bill.