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Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 25:



"JURISDICTION OF COURTS
(1) Subordinate legislation to which this section applies—
(a) may make provision for a judge of the Supreme Court of Gibraltar to be appointed as an additional judge (with the two judges acting under section 123 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (c. 2) as applied for the purposes of European Parliamentary elections) for the trial of an election petition relating to the election of MEPs in the combined region; and
(b) may, for the purposes of such an election petition—
(i) confer the powers, jurisdiction and authority of a judge of the High Court on any Gibraltar judge who is so appointed; and
(ii) make any other provision necessary to secure that a Gibraltar judge so appointed is treated as if he were a judge of the High Court.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the power under which it is made, subordinate legislation to which this section applies may—
(a) confer jurisdiction over any matter connected with the election of MEPs in the combined region on an election court constituted under section 123 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (c. 2) (as applied for the purposes of European Parliamentary elections);
(b) confer jurisdiction over any such matter (not being a matter within the jurisdiction of the election court) on—
(i) one or more courts in the United Kingdom;
(ii) one or more courts in Gibraltar (whether specified in the regulations or left to be determined by or under the law of Gibraltar); or
(iii) one or more courts in the United Kingdom and one or more courts in Gibraltar.
(3) This section applies to—
(a) an order under section 11;
(b) regulation under section 16; and
(c) regulations under section 7 of the 2002 Act."

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On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 26:


    After Clause 21, insert the following new clause—


"EFFECT OF STATUTORY POWERS ON CAPACITY OF GIBRALTAR LEGISLATURE
(1) The capacity (apart from this Act) of the Gibraltar legislature to make law for Gibraltar is not affected by the existence of a power under this Part or the 2002 Act to make subordinate legislation extending to Gibraltar.
(2) Subsection (1) does not affect the operation of the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865 (c. 63) in relation to subordinate legislation made under such a power."

The noble Baroness said: The new clause proposed in the amendment is intended to confirm expressly that the Gibraltar legislature can play a role in making legislation that relates to the European parliamentary elections provided for under the Bill. How that might be done was discussed in some detail in Committee in another place, and my honourable friend the Parliamentary Secretary undertook to consider whether there was a way in which we could achieve that on the face of the Bill.

Generally speaking, the law relating to European parliamentary elections should operate throughout the United Kingdom and Gibraltar on the same basis so far as possible. Only the United Kingdom is able to make law for both parts. That means that Gibraltar's scope for legislation is unavoidably limited to consequential and supplemental measures. However, we want the Government of Gibraltar to play a role and, as we prepare secondary legislation, we shall work with them to identify areas where that will be possible.

We have already considered some areas and how both Westminster and Gibraltar might be able to play a part in making the further legislation. For example, if we look at Clause 11, there are likely to be issues that could be addressed by the Gibraltar legislature, such as those relating to the regulation of political broadcasting in Gibraltar. However, equally, much of the UK law at issue under the clause, such as that relating to the registration of political parties, will need to be amended by further UK law or applied as part of the coherent and uniform system provided for by the Bill extending to both the United Kingdom and Gibraltar. Such matters will need to be dealt with by the Lord Chancellor under the powers in the Bill.

The new clause clarifies the basis for the making of secondary legislation by both the United Kingdom and Gibraltar and it forms a sound basis for future decisions. It does not affect the Lord Chancellor's powers to make provision in exercise of his powers under the Bill, but it confirms that those powers in themselves do not remove the capacity of Gibraltar to legislate in areas where it would otherwise be able to do so. I commend the amendment to the Committee. I beg to move.

Baroness Rawlings: It is entirely right that the legislature of Gibraltar should play a part in ensuring

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that electoral law is applied in its own territory. However, I should be interested to know what are the practical implications of this drafting. Would it not be possible for the Bill to make explicit provision about the mechanics of the electoral regime to be legislated for in Gibraltar? Could a situation exist in which the Government of Gibraltar replicate some provisions in a Gibraltar ordinance, whereas others would remain solely in UK statute? I should be interested to hear how the mechanics of this welcome amendment will work out.

Lord Goodhart: Some concern arises in my mind in relation to Clause 20 and this new clause. There is a division between matters which are and are not broadly for Gibraltar law, although it is obviously desirable that, as nearly as possible, they should be in the same form as UK law—in particular, with regard to the qualification for registration and voting. However, there are other aspects in which it seems clear that United Kingdom law must control the matter to the exclusion of Gibraltar, particularly with regard to the disqualification of candidates. Obviously one cannot have a candidate who is disqualified in relation to Gibraltar but not in relation to the rest of the region to which Gibraltar is attached. Does the noble Baroness envisage any problems with the proposed new clause as regards that type of issue?

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: I do not see a problem about that. Of course, there will be a need to consider UK law and Gibraltarian law and ensure that they mirror each other appropriately. That is what I alluded to earlier in connection with the consultation on the issue. As to whether Gibraltar can duplicate, that would usually not be an appropriate course legally, as it might provide for confusion of laws. The amendment will clarify the position and make it easier.

I believe that I answered the noble Baroness's general question when I outlined how the law will work. As I hope that I said earlier, generally speaking, the law relating to European parliamentary elections should operate throughout the United Kingdom and Gibraltar on the same basis, so far as possible. As the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart said, only the United Kingdom can make law for both.

Unfortunately, that means that the scope of Gibraltarian legislation is unavoidably limited, particularly in the case of provision in exercise of the powers which are part of the electoral process itself, such as the franchise and conduct of the election. Provisions in that respect will have to be made by the Lord Chancellor. As I told the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, I believe, if I may say it colloquially, that we are all right on that one.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 22 [Financial provisions]:

Baroness Rawlings moved Amendment No. 27:


    Page 11, line 16, leave out subsection (3).

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The noble Baroness said: In moving Amendment No. 27, I welcome yet another government amendment. As the Bill stands, it is wholly inappropriate and constitutionally retrograde for the UK Government to influence directly Gibraltar's Consolidated Fund. I am told that no legislative instrument has deployed or committed Gibraltar's public funds since well before the first modern constitution in 1964. We are relieved to see that the Government have made changes which will allow all expenses to be covered equitably, while permitting the Government of Gibraltar full decision-making powers.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: I very much welcome the support of the noble Baroness on the matter. The Committee will know that Amendment No. 27 would exclude the provision that allows other order and regulation-making powers under the Bill also to include financial provisions. I took that in the spirit which the noble Baroness has now explained—that is, as a probing amendment.

In Committee in another place, my honourable friend the Parliamentary Secretary explained that Clause 22 enabled provision to be made for expenditure in relation to the holding of EP elections in Gibraltar. The full details of the financial arrangements were yet to be worked out, and she made clear that there would be further discussion with Gibraltar on the matter.

Amendment No. 28 is the fruit of that discussion. The basic intention was, and remains, that the UK Consolidated Fund would pay for the Gibraltarian returning officer's expenses—the bulk of expenditure at an election—and that Gibraltar would pay for the local registration officer. Neither we nor the Government of Gibraltar have any problem with that. Clause 22 contained a certain amount of flexibility, including provisions for money to be paid into or out of the Gibraltar Consolidated Fund.

Our further exploration of the issue with the Government of Gibraltar has helped to clarify exactly how the expenditure will be accounted for. We find that it is unnecessary to make such provisions in Clause 22. Instead, Gibraltar will use its own legislation to enable it to pay for the Gibraltar registration officer's expenses out of the Gibraltar Consolidated Fund. As a result of leaving it to Gibraltar to make their own legislation on the matter, in consequence it has also been possible not to include expressly the provisions in Clause 22(3)(a). With that, I hope that the noble Baroness has received the reassurance that she seeks.


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