HC Deb 06 November 2001 vol 374 c98
25 Mr. Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh, North and Leith)

What recent discussions she has had on the interrelationship between the Scotland Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998. [10335]

The Advocate-General for Scotland

The inter-relationship of those two important Acts was discussed in the recent case of Kenneth Mills, in which I appeared personally. Questions had arisen as to whether an issue under the Human Rights Act could now be raised directly without raising a devolution issue, even though the question might relate to the powers of the Lord Advocate. My argument, which the court accepted, was that such a matter is a devolution issue under the Scotland Act and must therefore be intimated to me as Advocate-General.

Mr. Lazarowicz

Do my hon. and learned Friend's discussions indicate that there have been any problems in the operation of the Scotland Act since the Human Rights Act came into force?

The Advocate-General

The case of Mills was one solution to a problem that had arisen, but my impression is that the legal profession in Scotland is doing well and is well informed about that important legislation, and citizens are not slow to take advantage of the new rights and remedies that the Government have provided. Through his writings and his expertise in that area, my hon. Friend has done much to raise debate about such matters.