§ Lord Lester of Herne Hill
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Why the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions is unable to make a statement under Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 that in his view the provisions of the Local Government Bill are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights; and [HL1701]
In what respects they consider the Local Government Bill, in its current form, to be incompatible with particular European Convention Human Rights; and [HL1750]
Whether, in view of the opinion obtained by Justice from David Pannick QC and Helen Mountfield, dated 17 February, they consider that Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 breaches the rights of parents, pupils and teachers in maintained schools under Articles 8,10 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 2 of the First Protocol to the Convention. [HL1751]
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty)
The Government are aware of the legal opinion obtained by Justice from David Pannick QC and Helen Mountfield. We believe that there are considerable doubts whether Section 2A of the Local Government Act 1986 (otherwise known as Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988) is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Clause 91 of the Local Government Bill amends, but also reaffirms, the provisions of Section 2A. By extension, this amendment makes it doubtful whether the Bill is compatible with the ECHR.
The Government have already said that they intend to remove Clause 91 of the Bill and in its place provide for the repeal of Section 2A of the 1986 Act. In our view, the Bill will then be compatible with the ECHR.