HL Deb 08 June 2004 vol 662 c153

3 Schedule 1, page 15, line 33, at end insert—

"Council on Tribunals

8A In Schedule 1 to the Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1992 (c. 53) (tribunals under supervision of Council on Tribunals), before paragraph 22 insert—

"Gender Recognition 21AA. Gender Recognition Panels constituted under Schedule 1 to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (c. 00).""

Lord Filkin

My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 3.

During proceedings of the Standing Committee in another place there was discussion of an amendment, the effect of which would have been to require the president of a gender recognition panel to make an annual report to Parliament.

At that time my colleague, David Lammy, gave the assurance that the panels will report annually as part of the tribunals service. He went on to say that the Council on Tribunals will also undertake a supervisory role, reviewing the work of the panels from time to time and investigating any matters referred to it. I gave a similar assurance in correspondence back in February to the noble Lord, Lord Norton, and to members of the Select Committee on Constitutional Affairs.

As many noble Lords know, the Council on Tribunals plays a valuable role in supervising judicial panels. These powers are set out in the Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1992. The Council on Tribunals reports annually to Parliament through the Lord Chancellor. By conferring this supervisory role in respect of a gender recognition panel, the president of the panel will be able to take advantage of the council's specialist knowledge in the good governance of judicial panels.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 3.—(Lord Filkin.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

An amendment (privilege) made.

Lord Filkin

My Lords, as this is the conclusion of our interesting discussions on the Bill, I should like to pay tribute to the Bill team, to Peter Thompson and to all the officials who have worked well, and particularly for the way in which they have engaged positively with both those who disagreed and those who agreed with us outside the Chamber. That was exactly what I wanted. I compliment them on that.