Presented to the Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission were set up by the Law Commissions Act 1965 for the purpose of promoting the reform of the law.
The Law Commissioners are:
The Honourable Mr Justice Toulson, Chairman
Professor Hugh Beale QC, FBA
Dr Jeremy Horder
Kenneth Parker QC
The Chief Executive of the Law Commission is Mr Steve Humphreys and its offices are at Conquest House, 37-38 John Street, Theobalds Road, London, WC1N 2BQ.
The Scottish Law Commissioners are:
The Honourable Lord Eassie, Chairman
Professor Gerry Maher QC
Professor Joseph Thomson
Mr Colin Tyre QC
Professor George Gretton
The Chief Executive of the Scottish Law Commission is Mr Michael Lugton and its offices are at 140 Causewayside, Edinburgh, EH9 1PR.
The text of this report is available on the Internet at:
To the Right Honourable the Lord Falconer of Thoroton,
Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain,
and the Right Honourable Douglas Alexander M.P.,
Secretary of State for Scotland.
The Bill which is the subject of this Report consolidates the legislation about the costs relating to Parliamentary proceedings on private Bills. The Bill extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In order to produce a satisfactory consolidation it is necessary to make the recommendations which are set out in Appendix 1 to this Report.
All three recommendations affect the law of Scotland (as well as that of England and Wales and of Northern Ireland) and are therefore recommendations of both the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission.
The bodies and persons listed in Appendix 2 to this Report have been consulted in connection with the recommendations and do not object to any of them.
Chairman, Law Commission
RONALD D. MACKAY
Chairman, Scottish Law Commission
June 2006APPENDIX 1
Section 1 of the Parliamentary Costs Act 1865: meaning of "unanimous"
But Erskine May (23rd edition, pp.1039-40) says that the Act is complied with if "all the members of the committee present at the hearing of the case, provided that they form a quorum, have unanimously reported in the manner prescribed for entitling parties to recover costs."
It cites as authority for that proposition the minutes of the Police and Sanitary Committee (consisting of nine members, with a quorum of five) on the Lancaster Corporation Bill 1888 (see footnote 1 on page 1040).
We recommend that, in reproducing sections 1 and 2 of the 1865 Act, the Bill should make express provision to the effect that "unanimously" has the same meaning in the consolidation as it has been taken to have in practice.
Effect is given to this recommendation in clause 9(5) of the Bill.
Section 1 of the Parliamentary Costs Act 1865: committee's report
We recommend that, in reproducing section 1 of the 1865 Act, the Bill should make express provision to the effect that, on reporting a private Bill to the House, the committee must specify what costs are recoverable, who must pay them and who may recover them.
Effect is given to this recommendation in clause 10(3) of the Bill.
Section 1 of the House of Commons Costs Taxation Act 1879: public and general Bills
The authorities of the House of Commons advise that there are no procedures for matters relating to a public Bill, other than a hybrid Bill, to which an assessment by the taxing officer of that House could be relevant. And, on that basis, they advise that the reference to a public and general Bill should be to a hybrid Bill only.
We recommend that, in giving effect to section 1 of the 1879 Act, the reference to any public and general Bill should be limited to any hybrid Bill.
Effect is given to that recommendation in clause 15(1)(b) of the Bill.
Berwin Leighton PaisnerGovernment departments
Bircham Dyson Bell
Lee Bolton & Lee
Rees & Freres
Department for Culture, Media and SportOrganisations
Ministry of Defence
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
Department of Health
Department of Trade and Industry
Department for Transport
Department for Work and Pensions
The Scottish Executive
National Assembly for Wales
Northern Ireland Courts Service
The British Ports AssociationIndividuals
Civil Aviation Authority
Confederation of British Industry
The Energy Institute
Institute of Directors
The Law Society
Local Government Association
Strategic Rail Authority
Trades Union Congress
Welsh Local Government Association