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Clause 1

Part of Law Commission Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 8th July 2009.

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Photo of David Howarth David Howarth Shadow Secretary of State for Justice 10:00 am, 8th July 2009

It is a great pleasure, Dr. McCrea, to serve under your chairmanship for the first time.

I fully support the Bill for all the reasons that the hon. Lady said. I support clause 1 too, about which I have one question. Subsection (5) says:

“If a decision not to implement a Law Commission proposal (in whole or in part) has been taken before the first reporting year”— which means before the Bill comes into force—

“subsection (1)(b) does not require any report to deal with the proposal so far as it is covered by that decision.”

That means that if the Government say that they do not want to implement a Law Commission proposal, they only have to say so once; they do not have to keep saying so in report after report—that is obviously sensible. However, the problem is that I do not think there is an  existing requirement on the Government to say out loud that they are not going to implement a Law Commission proposal. How do we know which are the proposals that the Government have already, at that point in time, decided not to implement and, therefore, which proposals subsection (5) applies to?