The Marine and Coastal Access Bill is, at present, incompatible with the right to a fair hearing (under the Common Law and Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights) according to a report by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights.
In its report, published today, the committee recommends that the coastal access part of the Bill should be amended to provide landowners with a right of appeal to an independent body. However, the committee noted that an amendment which would insert such a right of appeal into the Bill has already been proposed in the House of Lords by Lord Taylor of Holbeach and Earl Cathcart. It says that this amendment should therefore be accepted by the government.
BASC’s policy development manager, Dr Conor O’Gorman, said: “Landowners and occupiers are the local experts on coastal access. If a local expert believes that a proposal for a coastal footpath is inappropriate then a right to appeal to an independent body allows the opportunity to consider that opinion, balanced against public interest.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Joint Committee on Human Rights is appointed by the House of Lords and the House of Commons to consider matters relating to human rights in the UK. The legislative scrutiny report can be downloaded here: www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200809/jtselect/jtrights/69/69.pdf.