Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A breathtaking Bill of which even Henry VIII would have been proud - No. 2

On 5th November, Law and Lawyers looked at the Public Bodies Bill and the enormous powers - (so called Henry VIII clauses) - which it would hand to Ministers - see Law and Lawyers 5th November.   The Bill is now receiving rather a hard time in the House of Lords which is reluctant to empower Ministers in this way.  It has been recognised that the Bill would threaten the true independence of many of the remaining public bodies which would be performing their duties whilst looking over their shoulders knowing that a Minister might just sweep them away.  See Joshua Rozenberg writing in The Guardian 24th November and the UK Human Rights Blog 24th November 2010.  There is probably little doubt that the Bill will survive the parliamentary process but the House of Lords is demonstrating very well its role as a "revising chamber" and the powers eventually granted to Ministers will be circumscribed by greater safeguards.

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