HC Deb 26 January 1977 vol 924 c693W
Mr. Pavitt

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he proposes to take to validate the Children Act 1975 and to correct the error to which the hon. Member for Hornsey (Mr. Rossi) drew attention on 10th January 1977.

Mr. Moyle

I am advised that an Act of Parliament is duly enacted once Royal Assent to it has been communicated to Parliament and, as the recent case of British Railways Boardv. Pickin [1974] AC 765 shows, the courts will not inquire into what happened before Royal Assent. The validity of the Children Act 1975 is not, therefore, in issue. Whether amending legislation is necessary to amend a provision which was the subject of a procedural error during the passage of a Bill depends upon the nature of the defect if any resulting from the error. The effect of the error in Section 29 referred to by the hon. Member for Hornsey (Mr. Rossi) means that Section 34A(3) of the Adoption Act 1958 is slightly less flexible than it would have been but for the error. But the section is workable and will cover most of the very few cases in which it is likely to be invoked. I do not therefore think it necessary to propose early amending legislation.

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