HC Deb 07 January 2003 vol 397 c11
19. Mr. Alan Reid (Argyll and Bute)

What human rights issues she has dealt with since 26 November 2002. [89154]

The Advocate-General

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer that I gave a few moments ago to the hon. Member for Vale of York (Miss McIntosh). All of the devolution cases to which I referred in that answer involved human rights issues.

Mr. Reid

I thank the Advocate-General for that answer. May I draw her attention to some of the recent actions of the state-owned Caledonian MacBrayne shipping company, which have deprived many people with disabilities of their human rights? For example, the catamaran that runs between Gourock and Dunoon is not accessible to people with disabilities. The ticketing arrangements on some vessels also discriminate against disabled people. What actions can the Government take to prevent Caledonian MacBrayne from depriving disabled people of their human rights?

The Advocate-General

As far as my responsibility is concerned, the Government have given citizens a right of challenge if they think that their human rights under the European convention have been breached. Clearly, hon. Members would have to advise constituents as to whether legal advice was appropriate in any given case to determine whether that right of challenge should be invoked. The more general policy issue is not my responsibility, but the Government have a good record in respect of introducing protection and rights for members of the public who are disabled.