Clause 78 - Appeal on a point of law

Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 16th March 2004.

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Photo of Nigel Waterson Nigel Waterson Conservative, Eastbourne 11:15 am, 16th March 2004

I beg to move amendment No. 243, in

clause 78, page 50, line 24, leave out 'with permission.'.

Photo of Mr Win Griffiths Mr Win Griffiths Labour, Bridgend

With this we may discuss amendment No. 244, in

clause 78, page 50, line 29, leave out subsection (2).

Photo of Nigel Waterson Nigel Waterson Conservative, Eastbourne

This morning's proceedings show that the Opposition were sensible to suggest that we did not need an extra sitting to discuss the regulator under this part of the Bill. The amendments are designed merely to remove the need for permission to appeal: there should be an automatic right of appeal. I

hope that that proposal commends itself to the Government.

Photo of Malcolm Wicks Malcolm Wicks Minister for pensions, Department for Work and Pensions

The amendments would remove the provision whereby a directly affected party can appeal to the Court of Appeal or, in Scotland, the Court of Session only with the permission of the tribunal, the Court of Appeal or the Court of Session. I assure hon. Members that there is nothing unusual about that provision. Only in certain cases is permission to appeal not required—for example, if the appeal is against a committal order, a refusal to grant habeas corpus, or a secure accommodation order. The requirement for permission to appeal reflects the rules of most other tribunals and proceedings in county courts and the High Court.

If the tribunal refuses permission to appeal, directly affected parties may apply to the Court of Appeal or the Court of Session for permission. Permission to appeal will be given only if the court considers that the appeal would have a real prospect of success or there is some other compelling reason why the appeal should be heard. There is then a further right of appeal to the House of Lords.

Photo of Nigel Waterson Nigel Waterson Conservative, Eastbourne

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment made: No. 233, in

clause 78, page 51, line 3, leave out

'The Lord Chancellor may by rules'

and insert

'Rules made under section 76 may'.—[Malcolm Wicks.]

Clause 78, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.