Clause 95 - Appeals

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 12:15 pm ar 4 Rhagfyr 2001.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 12:15, 4 Rhagfyr 2001

I wanted to raise a quick point with the Parliamentary Secretary. The clause is short, deals with appeals and needs only a little elucidation. I return to the problems of differential welfare tests. By tagging the Adoption and Children Bill on to the Children Act 1989 for the purposes of appeals in the magistrates court, there could be confusion about which welfare test should be applied unless it is clearly spelled out or the tests are identical.

I refer the Committee to section 22 of the 1989 Act, where it sets out the checklist. We may call it a checklist in the absence of the Minister of State, who was irritated whenever the word was used and then proceeded to use it several times herself. The checklist in the 1989 Act is different from that set out in clause 1. In an earlier deliberation on clause 1, I raised the fact that when arguing appeals, clever lawyers—it is their job to be clever and, I fear, earn their living expensively in many cases—could draw a distinction between the welfare checklist in the 1989 Act and that set out in the Bill. Will the Parliamentary Secretary briefly address that point and tell the Committee whether she envisages the problems that I have raised both now and earlier?