Friday, July 29, 2011

Rising to the challenge

This morning Adoption Action announced that it was challenging the Adoption Act before the Human Rights Review Tribunal. Now it looks like Labour is rising to the challenge, with a Member's Bill to force the Law Commission to review the law.

Its a good idea. Adoption is a complex issue which needs serious policy work to get right. The Law Commission is the best body to do that work. The government could of course just announce a review - but they've said clearly that its just not a priority for them. So its left to the Opposition, who can only do such things by clunky legislation.

(This does actually suggest that in an MMP environment we need a less clunky method of gaining such reviews. Something involving a motion of the House would be ideal; it still needs majority support, but doesn't have the hassle of passing a full law through all three stages just to get a government body to obey the legislature).

Obviously, the bill will not be heard, let alone passed, in this term of Parliament. But that's not really the point. Instead, its there as an invitation for the government to act - and a signal that if they won't, Labour will.