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Local Government Act 2003

European Convention on Human Rights

373.The Local Government Act 2003 is considered to be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. In summary:

  • Parts 4 and 5 - the Convention could be relevant to the Business Improvement Districts and business rates provisions in the Act, but there are grounds for considering each of these objectively and reasonably justified.

  • Part 6 - all tax proposals touch on property rights protected under the Convention. Provisions giving authorities discretion over council tax discounts in their areas could mean persons in otherwise similar circumstances but living in different areas paying different amounts (possibly discrimination within Article 14). However, the proposals are justified in the public interest and proportionate to policy aims.

  • Part 6 – section 85 allowing council tax data sharing for empty homes purposes, touches on the right to respect for family and private life. However, it is not considered to constitute an interference with that right and even if it does, it is justified and proportionate to policy aims relating to the economic well-being of the country.

  • Part 8 – the Convention touches on the provisions for charging and trading. These are considered to be proportionate and justified in the wider public interest because they will enable authorities to make better use of their assets and improve the delivery of public services.

  • Part 8 – if Valuation Tribunals are held to determine civil rights, the provisions in the Act that make the administrative support systems independent of Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will improve the compatibility of the Valuation Tribunals with Article 6 of the Convention.

The following sets out the dates and Hansard references for each stage of this Act’s passage through Parliament.

StageDateHansard Reference
House of Commons
Introduction25 November 2002Col 46
Second Reading7 January 2003Vol 397 Col 45 – 141
Committee

21 + 23 January 2003

28 +30 January 2003

4 + 6 February 2003

11 + 13 February 2003

Hansard Standing Committee A
Report and Third Reading5 + 10 March 2003

Vol 400 Col 821 – 930

Vol 401 Col 40 – 130

House of Lords
Introduction11 March 2003Vol 645 col 1291
Second Reading3 April 2003Vol 646 Col 1515 - 1559
Grand Committee

2 + 4 June 2003

10 +11 June 2003

16 + 17 June 2003

23 + 24 June 2003

Vol 648 Col GC 55 116

Vol 648 Col GC 181 –248

Vol 649 Col GC 47 – 112

Vol 649 Col GC 113 – 178

Vol 649 Col GC 179 – 222

Vol 649 Col GC 223 – 286

Vol 650 Col GC 1 – 58

Vol 658 Col GC59 – 112

Report10 + 16 + 17 July 2003

Vol 651 Col 478 – 547

Vol 651 Col 892 – 964

Vol 651 Col 976 –1009

Third Reading10 September 2003Vol 652 Col 300 – 395
House of Commons
Commons Consideration of Lords Amendments15 September 2003Vol 410 Col 594 – 692
House of Lords
Lords Consideration of Commons Reasons and Amendments17 September 2003Vol 652 Col 917 – 937
House of Commons
Commons Consideration of Lords Amendment17 September 2003Vol 418 Col 1021 - 1039
House of Lords
Lords Consideration of Commons Reason18 September 2003Vol 652 Col 1078 -1081
Royal Assent – 18 September 2003House of Lords Hansard Vol 652 Col 1139
House of Commons Hansard Vol 410 Col 1122

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