HEREFORD MARKETS BILL
57. Clause 4 of this Bill would allow the District
Council to relocate any market within its district after consulting
those who would be affected, including market traders. The consent
of traders operating in the proposed new locality for a market
would be required, but the consent of traders operating in the
market to be relocated would not be necessary. We reported earlier
that, in our view, the Bill did not give rise to a significant
risk of incompatibility with Convention rights.
In accordance with Standing Orders, the Government has now examined
the human rights assessment prepared by the promoters of the Bill
in support of their statement that the Bill, in their view, is
compatible with Convention rights. The Government takes the view
that the assessment is defective.
We have therefore given further consideration to the Bill's human
58. We understand that the Government takes the view
that the promoters' assessment gave inadequate consideration to
the rights of the traders in a market which is proposed for relocation
pursuant to clause 4 of the Bill. We note that the Government's
role, under Standing Orders, is only to express a view as to the
adequacy of the promoters' assessment, and the Government's statement
is expressly limited to that. It does not go any further than
that. In particular, the Government has not considered whether
clause 4 is likely to give rise to an incompatibility with Convention
rights. Unlike the Government, we have not seen the promoters'
human rights assessment, and so cannot express a view about it.
On the other hand, we are in a position to consider the human
rights implications of the Bill itself. A decision to relocate
a market would affect the ability of existing traders in the market
to earn their livings by continuing their economic activities.
This would engage the right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions
under P1/1. But the council would have a duty under clause 4 to
consult before deciding to relocate a market, and would act unlawfully
(by virtue of section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998) in relocating
a market if doing so violated the rights of traders under P1/1
(or other Convention rights). That being so, we consider that
clause 4 of the Hereford Markets Bill would permit the council
to strike a fair balance between the rights of traders and the
general interest, as required under Article 1 of Protocol 1, and
would therefore be unlikely to give rise to a significant risk
of incompatibility with Convention rights.
45 First Report of Session 2002-03, Scrutiny of
Bills: Progress Report, HL Paper 24/HC 191, p. 27, para. 95 Back
The Government's statement is reproduced as an appendix to this
Report, Ev 22 Back