Digital Economy Bill: Draft Clause 18

March 30, 2010

SCL members and other visitors to this site will recall that, at Report Stage in the House of Lords, a new clause 17 (now 18) was inserted into the Bill. At Third Reading, the Government committed to bring forward a replacement clause that ultimately achieves the same effect, while addressing the concerns expressed regarding the current clause.

The Government has now published its draft replacement clause. Lord Mandelson has written to Jeremy Hunt and Don Foster, the Conservative and Liberal Democrat shadow ministers responsible, setting out Government’s concerns with the current clause and explaining the draft amendment.

The Government proposes to introduce this amendment immediately after Second Reading in the House of Commons. The Government believes that the amendment delivers the effect that the House of Lords wanted to achieve when it voted clause 18 into the Bill, but in a way that takes account of the legal and other concerns to which the clause gives rise.

The draft can be accessed here.

The Bill is due for its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 6 April. 

The letters to the shadow ministers act as a useful summary of the Government position and can be accessed here