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Disability Rights Commission Act 1999

Section 9: Codes of practice

At present the Secretary of State and the NDC share the task of preparing and issuing codes of practice. This section inserts a new section 53A in the DDA 1995 to replace sections 51 to 54 of that Act. The result is that the Secretary of State will no longer have the power to issue or revise codes of practice containing practical guidance in the field of employment or to ask the NDC to prepare proposals for a code on any matter. Instead the DRC will be able to replace codes issued under the old section 51 or 53 with its own codes.

Section 53A(1) and (6) enable the DRC to issue and revise codes of practice in the fields of employment and access to goods, facilities, services and premises and Section 53A(2) requires the DRC to do so when asked by the Secretary of State. The codes of practice can give practical guidance upon the provisions contained in Part II and Part III of the DDA 1995. Section 53A(8) requires a court or tribunal to take into account any provision of a code which appears to it to be relevant to the question in hand but makes it clear that failure to observe any provision of a code does not of itself make a person liable to any proceedings.

Section 53A(3) requires the DRC to publish for consultation proposals for any code of practice. Where the Commission is revising part of an existing code, it need not consult about parts which are not being revised (Section 53A(7)).

Section 53A(4) prevents the DRC from issuing a code of practice unless it has been approved first by the Secretary of State and then laid before Parliament.

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