Julian Raises Delay in Vital Missing Persons Legislation
March 27, 2014
Today Julian asked for a statement on the Presumption of Death Act, which is important to the relatives of those who have gone missing and has been delayed in being implemented.
Julian raised his concerns on behalf of the family of Claudia Lawrence, who went missing in York over five years ago. He asked “Can we have a statement on the delayed Presumption of Death Act? This month marks the fifth anniversary of Claudia Lawrence’s disappearance and it is encouraging following the Crimewatch appeal last week that further information has come forward.” But Mr Deputy Speaker, the legislation is of the utmost importance to the families of those whose loved ones have gone missing and the delay only serves to compound the anguish felt by those loved ones.”
In response to Julian’s question, the Leader of the House, Andrew Lansley, replied by saying “I am sure that Members across the House will be aware to some of the cases that have given rise to considerable distress and which gave rise, rightly, to the House’s approval for the Presumption of Death Act.
Mr Lansley went on to give an undertaking to pursue the matter further. He said “I will, if I may, talk to my honourable friends at the Ministry of Justice and see what steps are being taken to bring the Act into force.”
Following discussion in Parliament, the local Conservative MP welcomed the Leader of the House’s involvement. He said “I am pleased to be able to raise such an important local issue on behalf of my constituents. I was on the Public Bill Committee for this important piece of legislation, which will introduce a new court based procedure for the families left behind.
“Currently it is difficult if not impossible for such families to make decisions about the missing person’s estate, and I hope the common sense proposals will be implemented soon to make the lives of grieving relatives that little bit easier. I have written to the Justice Minister in order to impress upon him the importance of this Act for the families of those who have gone missing and I am pleased to have the Leader of the House’s support on this important issue.”