Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments (2019 Hague Convention etc.) Regulations 2024 Debate

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Department: Ministry of Justice
Friday 24th May 2024

(1 month, 3 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Hope of Craighead Portrait Lord Hope of Craighead (CB)
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My Lords, I too very much welcome this measure for various reasons, which are set out very well in the Explanatory Memorandum. Some of the features which are set out in it are the care that has been taken to consult at various stages, the response to the consultation, and working together across the various jurisdictions within the United Kingdom to achieve harmony in the way we respond to the challenge that this convention has presented us with. The result is a happy one, and I am very happy to offer my support for this measure.

I join with the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, in his remarks about the Arbitration Bill. For the reasons he has given, it is extremely important that this Bill be brought back at the earliest possible opportunity and with the least possible complication. I know that there are procedures that always have to be gone through for Law Commission Bills, but it was very thoroughly debated at all its stages. It was really ready to go and it is a great disappointment that it has been lost because of the calling of the election. I hope that all those involved can move quickly to bring the Bill back, so that we can get the benefits the noble and learned Lord has identified.

Lastly, I join with him in expressing great appreciation for all that the noble and learned Lord the Minister has done in his position on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. It has been a pleasure to work with him and we wish him well for the future.

Lord Hacking Portrait Lord Hacking (Lab)
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My Lords, I do not know whether my noble friend Lord Ponsonby is going to intervene, but I would just like to endorse entirely what the noble and learned Lords, Lord Thomas and Lord Hope, have just said. I speak as a member of the Public Bills Committee, which was so well chaired by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas, and I hope my side of the House or the Minister’s side of the House will quickly bring back the Arbitration Bill, for all the reasons given by the two noble and learned Lords.

Lord Sandhurst Portrait Lord Sandhurst (Con)
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My Lords, I too welcome this measure, but I want to take this opportunity to echo the very generous words of praise from my noble and learned friend Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd. My noble and learned friend Lord Bellamy has been a tremendous Minister. He has worked absolutely tirelessly under great pressure and it is no fault of his that we are losing the Arbitration Bill, which really is important. I think it is important that this point is made and it is very important that whoever wins the election understands that this Bill is important for the City of London which, whatever one’s political views, brings enormous sums of money into this county and generates a lot of tax.

In the same breath, I am also very sorry that the litigation funders Bill, which I think was effectively uncontested—although it could probably do with a minor tweak—has also been lost. I very much hope that that is brought back and sent through quickly in the autumn. That Bill is also very important for the London legal market. I am not talking about small sums here and cases in the Competition Tribunal and so on could be taken elsewhere. It is really important that they stay in the United Kingdom and that we keep our top legal services.