October 28, 2006

Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill back in the Lords

Posted in LRRA at 1:29 am by David Gould

You might better recognise LRRB as the Totalitarianism Bill or Abolition of Parliament Bill.  It sought to grant Ministers the ability to deny Parliamentary scrutiny of Bills and was thus a threat through the gradual erosion of our civil rights.

The Bill now says the Minister can do this if “he considers” it satisfies certain conditions. Here is Lord Bassam’s interpretation:

“it is well-established law that the Minister’s opinion can be quashed by the courts if it is found to be irrational”

One concern is who is going to go to which court to find out whether the Minister’s opinion is irrational or not.

The Govt have volunteered one amendment, that the Minister be satisfied the new measure is not of “constitutional significance”.

There are other dangerous holes in this enabling Bill. The Third Reading is next Thursday.

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