HC Deb 02 July 1986 vol 100 cc527-8W
Mr. Foulkes

asked the Prime Minister if she will list the occasions since June 1979 when the United Kingdom has been found guilty in a case before (a) the European Court of Human Rights and (b) the European Court of Justice; and what was the subsequent action taken by the United Kingdom in each case.

The Prime Minister

[pursuant to her reply, 27 June 1986, c. 327]: The information requested by the hon. Member is as follows: (a) Since June 1979 the European Court of Human Rights has found against the United Kingdom on eight occasions. New primary legislation, or amendments to existing regulations or administrative practice, have been introduced consequent upon seven of these judgments. The cases, together with the date of the judgment and the subsequent action taken by the Government are as follows: Young, James and Webster (13 August 1981): Employment Act 1980, effective 15 August 1980, re-enacted and strengthened by Employment Act 1982 — effective 1 December 1982; Dudgeon (22 October 1981): Homosexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 1982 — effective 9 December 1982; X" (5 November 1981): Mental Health Act 1983—effective September 1983; Silver and others (25 March 1983): Control of prisoners' correspondence. Amendment to Prison Regulations — effective in England and Wales 1 December 1981, Scotland 1 August 1983 and Northern Ireland 1 February 1985; Campbell and Fell (28 June 1984): Changes in the practice relating to Prison disciplinary tribunals— by means of a letter of 12 July 1984 to Chairmen of Boards of Visitors copied to Prison Governors; Malone (2 August 1984): Interception of Communications Act 1985 — effective 10 April 1986; Abdulaziz, Cabales and Balkandali (27 May 1985): Changes to Immigration Rules on admission of husbands and wives—effective 26 August 1985; As regards action on the one remaining case, Campbell and Cosans (25 February 1982), the hon. Member will be aware that the possibility of legislation relating to corporal punishment in schools is the subject of discussion in Committee on the Education Bill. (b) Since June 1979, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has found against the United Kingdom in 11 cases brought by the European Commission under article 169 of the EEC treaty, and in one case brought by another member state (France) under article 170 of the treaty. Details, including follow-up action, are as follows:

ECJ case number Subject Follow-up action
141/78† Fisheries conservation legislation Subordinate legislation amended.
170/78 170A/78-* Wine and Beer: Tax arrangements Legislation amended by the Finance Act 1984.
32/79 804/79 Sea Fisheries: Conservation Measures Community regime introduced in September 1980. Revised national arrangements introduced for control of herring fishing in the Irish Sea.
61/81 Equal pay for men and women Legislation amended by the Equal Pay (Amendment) Regulations 1983 (SI H83 No. 1794).
124/81 Imports of UHT Milk Legislation amended by the Importation of Milk Act 1983 and regulations thereunder.
40/82 40A/82* Newcastle disease in Poultry Administrative changes made.
165/82 Equal Treatment for men and women Amending legislation before Parliament in the Sex Discrimination Bill (HL).
207/83 Origin-Marking of retail goods Legislation amended by the Trades Description (Origin Marking) (Miscellaneous Goods) (Revocation) Order 1986(1986/193).
100/84 Anglo/Polish Fishing Administrative changes made.
* The notification "A" is used to denote two judgments given in each case.
† Proceedings under article 170 of the EEC treaty.

In addition, under article 177 of the EEC treaty national courts may ask the European Court of Justice to give preliminary rulings in order to clarify questions of Community law. Once the European Court of Justice has answered the questions of the national court the matter returns to that court for decisions. Some preliminary European Court of Justice rulings in cases referred to it by United Kingdom courts have a bearing on United Kingdom law, which may on occasions require amendment as a result. Recent examples are the court's judgments in 152/84 Marshall v. S W Hampshire Area Health Authority, and 150/85 Drake v. Chief Adjudication Officer.