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 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.

Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames Portrait Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames (LD)
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My Lords, I add the support of these Benches for everything that all noble Lords have said, particularly the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, who led the special committee on the Arbitration Bill. I agree with him and other noble Lords about the Hague convention regulations, but I also express considerable concern about the loss of the Arbitration Bill and the Litigation Funding Agreements (Enforceability) Bill.

With others, I pay tribute to the work of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Bellamy, generally, and to the noble Lord, Lord Roborough, and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Stewart of Dirleton. We had the three government Ministers involved in this House on a delegation yesterday to try to save those two Bills. We have not succeeded, which is a great shame. I hope that we can unite to bring some pressure on the powers that be to improve the wash-up procedure so that Bills of great importance to the British economy can be taken through during the wash-up where there is absolutely no controversy about them, as is the case with both these Bills. They both could have been dealt with last night and today before Prorogation and they have not been. That is going to cause a big delay and it is a great shame. I hope the delay will be kept as short as possible.