HL Deb 02 June 1998 vol 590 cc25-6WA
Lord Alton of Liverpool

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the definition of a public authority under Clause 6 of the Human Rights Bill. [HL1970]

Lord Williams of Mostyn

Clause 6 provides for a non-exhaustive definition of "public authority" for the purposes of the Human Rights Bill. The term includes (i) organisations, such as central government and the police, which are so obviously public authorities that it is not necessary expressly to define them as such; (ii) a court or tribunal; and (iii) any person certain of whose functions are functions of a public nature, except where the nature of the act is private. The definition specifically excludes either House of Parliament or a person exercising functions in connection with proceedings in Parliament. Although the Bill was amended so that the definitions in (ii) and (iii) above are currently qualified by clauses 6(5) and 6(6) respectively, we are inviting another place to remove those two subsections.

It will be for a court or tribunal to decide in individual cases which come before it whether a person falls within the above definition.