The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #55964   Message #873172
Posted By: McGrath of Harlow
23-Jan-03 - 04:20 PM
Thread Name: PELs Government v MU & lawyers
Subject: RE: PELs Government v MU & lawyers
As Shambles points out, what really matters is the wording of the Bill when it becomes an Act, not the PR exercises like that.

But there is one other important thing which seems to have been generally overlooked - the Secretary of State has the authority to amend the definitions and the exemptions and so forth, once the Act is in place.

Section 1, Part 1, 4:

Power to amend Schedule
4)The Secretary of State may by order amend this Schedule for the purpose of modifying—
(a) the descriptions of entertainment specified in paragraph 2, or
(b) the descriptions of entertainment specified in paragraph 3, and for this purpose "modify" includes adding, varying or removing any

This could be crucial. While obviously it would be far better if the Act itself contained something which enshrined our rights, on the assumption that this does not happen, it's likely to be a very long time before a reformed Act can be achieved. But we don't have to wait for that - all that is needed is a Secretary of State who is willing to use a bit of common sense, and potentially get himself or herself some favourable publicity.

And remember, there will undoubtedly be an effort to get the whole thing taken to the courts at the highest level, on the grounds that it offends against over-riding Human Rights legislation in a way that cannot be justified. That "modifying" power of the Secretary of State could be a way of avoiding political embarrassment.