Results 1–20 of 291 for speaker:Leo Docherty

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Schedule 19 - Charges for single use plastic items (19 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: On a point of order, Sir George. Would it be helpful to suggest to the shadow Minister that we debate the current amendment, but that he does not press the subsequent amendments to a Division?

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 35 - Environmental review (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his contribution. We support his intention of ensuring that the court has powers to grant appropriate remedies in environmental reviews. With regard to amendment 121, it is also important to recognise that in some cases the granting of remedies by the court could substantially affect the rights of innocent third parties who have acted in good faith in reliance...

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 36 - Judicial review: powers to apply to prevent serious damage and to intervene (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: I beg to move amendment 217, in clause 36, page 22, line 11, at end insert “, and (b) the urgency condition is met.” This amendment provides that the OEP may only bring a judicial review under clause 36, rather than proceeding by way of information notice, decision notice and environmental review, in urgent cases. Amendments 218 and 219 define what is meant by urgent.

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 36 - Judicial review: powers to apply to prevent serious damage and to intervene (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: We have created the OEP’s bespoke core enforcement mechanism of notices and environmental review to identify and resolve breaches of environmental law while only resorting to litigation in court as a last resort. Clause 36 ensures that the OEP can apply directly for judicial review, but that power has always been intended to supplement the OEP’s core enforcement mechanism. It is expected...

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 35 - Environmental review (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: I thank the hon. Member for his contribution on this matter. First, I reassure him that the court may already review relevant facts or evidence in coming to its judgments. I fully expect that the court will give the OEP’s decision notices appropriate weight as part of any environmental review, and that its judgments will contribute to the integrity of environmental law. While I support the...

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 35 - Environmental review (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: I thank the hon. Member for the amendments. The Government agree that it is important for the general public and interested parties to be able to challenge alleged breaches of environmental law, which is why we are ensuring that anybody can make a complaint to the OEP, free of charge, about a public authority’s alleged failure to comply with environmental law, which is in addition to...

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 33 - Decision Notices (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: It is, of course, important that the OEP’s enforcement framework is robust. However, we do not consider that binding notices would be an effective or appropriate means of achieving that. Decision notices are an important part of the OEP’s enforcement framework. They allow the OEP to set out the nature of a failure and recommend the remedial steps that a public authority should take in...

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 35 - Environmental review (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: I beg to move amendment 207, in clause 35, page 20, line 40, leave out “Upper Tribunal” and insert “court”. This amendment replaces a reference to the Upper Tribunal with a reference to the court, which means either the High Court or the Court of Session. Similar changes are made by Amendments 210, 211, 212, 214 and 216.

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 35 - Environmental review (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: This group of amendments will move the environmental review process from the upper tribunal to the High Court. Having reflected further on how that process will fit within the wider landscape of environmental mitigation, we have identified a risk that hearing environmental reviews in the upper tribunal could introduce unnecessary complexity and, potentially, inconsistency. This change is...

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 32 - Information notices (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: I understand the hon. Gentleman’s desire to ensure that all failures are addressed by the OEP. However, the amendment may in fact limit the OEP’s ability to resolve failures quickly and efficiently. The OEP’s enforcement function has been designed as a framework. An escalating series of measures is available for it to use to resolve failures as quickly as possible in the interests of...

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 32 - Information notices (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: I beg to move amendment 205, in clause 32, page 19, line 2, at end insert— “(aa) explains why the OEP considers that the alleged failure, if it occurred, would be serious, and”. Under clause 32 the OEP may give a public authority an information notice if it has reasonable grounds to suspect that the authority has failed to comply with environmental law, and it considers that the...

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 32 - Information notices (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: Amendment 205 is a technical amendment that serves to clarify that an information notice issued by the OEP must explain why the OEP considers that the alleged failure would be serious. Together with the corresponding change proposed in Government amendment 206 to clause 33, concerning decision notices, it will ensure that all the OEP’s notices are clear and transparent, and it will provide...

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 30 - Investigations (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his contribution and agree that it is extremely important that the OEP should operate as transparently as possible. However, it is also important that it should be allowed the discretion it needs to operate effectively. Investigation reports prepared under the clause will play an important role in ensuring that the OEP’s enforcement activities are transparent...

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 30 - Investigations (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: It is only a matter of time.

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 28 - Failure of public authorities to comply with environmental law (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: I thank hon. Members for their contributions. I agree that it is of great importance that the OEP should be able to hold public authorities to account, and that all parties should have certainty about its remit. I assure hon. Members, however, that the provisions in the Bill are sufficient to ensure both those things. Regarding amendment 117, we have deliberately taken a broad approach to...

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 29 - Complaints (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: I thank the hon. Lady for tabling her amendment. It is of course important that the OEP be aware of potential breaches of environmental law, and the power to receive complaints is an important element of that. However, it would not be appropriate for one public authority to be able to submit a complaint to the OEP about another public authority; it would amount to one part of the government...

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 27 - Advising on changes to environmental law etc (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: The Bill provides the OEP with statutory functions that enable it to provide advice on any proposed changes to environmental law. It can also provide advice, at the request of a Minister, on any other matter relating to the natural environment. The clause provides the Minister with a discretionary power to lay the OEP’s advice and any response they wish to make to it before Parliament. In...

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 27 - Advising on changes to environmental law etc (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: I take the hon. Gentleman’s point, but the key word here is “flexibility”. It is important that flexibility be retained in the relationship so that the Government can interact with the OEP and other public bodies with ease. That is the important principle at stake here. The OEP is required to act transparently, and any advice that it provides, either on its own initiative or at the...

Public Bill Committee: Environment Bill: Clause 24 - Co-operation duties of public authorities and the OEP (5 Nov 2020)

Leo Docherty: I thank the hon. Member for her contribution. I would like to reassure her that the Bill respects all the devolution settlements, including the Scotland Act. Therefore, the duty to co-operate does not apply to Scottish Ministers, the Scottish Parliament or any person carrying out devolved functions, and the public authorities listed in the amendment are already excluded from the duty to...


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