Letter from the Legislation Clerk of the Home
Office to the Clerk of the Committee
Thank you for your letter of 4 November in which
you seek clarification of the undertaking which Lord Williams
(cols. 737-738) gave about statements of ECHR compatibility for
I am happy to confirm that the Government has decided
that, from the beginning of the forthcoming Session, a Minister
inviting Parliament to approve a draft statutory instrument or
statutory instrument subject to affirmative resolution should
always volunteer his or her view regarding its compatibility with
the Convention rights. The Minister's view should also always
be given regarding the incompatibility of any secondary legislation
to the extent that it amends primary legislation; and that statement
should be made in writing where the secondary legislation which
amends primary legislation is not subject to affirmative resolution.
The written statement should be made in whatever form seems appropriate,
for example in a letter to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.
I hope that this clarifies matters, but please let
me know if you have any further questions.
10 November 1999