All previous writing about Civil Defence has focused on a number of important legal Acts, such as the Civil Defence Act 1948. Even after the millennium over 50 years on, this Act had never been amended. With the introduction of the new Civil Contingencies Act (CCA) 2004, many of the war type Acts have been repealed. These include:
This Act is of crucial importance therefore to the protection of the United Kingdom. It is understandable, that our readers may not want to read the new Act, and we have therefore sought to pick out the key themes that may be of interest.
The act is split into main parts - that of Civil protection and Emergency Powers.
An emergency is designated as one of a number of possible things, including national security (war or terrorism), damage to its environment (includes chemical/biological attack) or damage to society (disruption to communications, food, water (and interestingly), fuel).
The government decides who should make emergency plans, but there are 2 key types - called either 'category 1' or 'category 2' responders. Category 1 planners have a number of key duties. These include:
These plans are only to be made if an emergency would cause serious problems for the organisation. Ministers may make regulations regarding extent of duties that category 1 responders have, such as situations when they (cat 1) should/should not perform certain duties. These plans are different to those later on, in that they related to planning duties, and what the responders must do. These regulations must be approved by government. If there is a sense of urgency, and this order must be passed written or orally, then the order will expire after 21 days. The plans could also force local councils to carry out duties.
Category 1 planners (listed below) can be forced to act to prevent an emergency or to reduce its effects, through issued legislation or orders.
These orders would have exactly the same impact as an officially released piece of legislation. Examples of this, could well include the grounding of the BA223 flights to the US. However airlines are listed as a category 2 planner - unless emergency law issued, moved them to category 1. This could be done under section 13,1,a to enable him to add an entry to the Act.
The law is interesting here, as it now includes 'region' in its definition of emergency. Part A was,
There are only 3 types of people who can make emergency regulations. These are, the PM, the cabinet, or the commissioners of her Majesties treasury. Regulations have to include,
Conditions for emergency laws:
The laws made can cover ANYTHING to deal with the emergency at hand. There is a very long list of these, so I am only including a few interesting points. To protect or restore:
The regulations may make provision for:
Emergency regulations cannot however:
In each emergency regulation, a person must be appointed called an emergency co-ordinator in the UK parts, or a 'regional nominated co-ordinator' for the regions where the regulations have effect. The regulations will include the co-ordinators terms of appointment, conditions of service and their functions. Their key role is to facilitate the emergency response. They will comply with the directions of a Senior minister and have regard for guidance issued by them. However interestingly, they are not regarded as servants of the crown.
Emergency tribunals can be established through emergency regulations but the minister must have consulted the council. This however does not need to be done, if there is a sense of urgency. The key issue with this law, is that urgency means much can be passed quickly without much consultation.
Emergency regulations can only last for 30 days, but new regulations could be made afterwards to cover this.comments powered by Disqus