Commercial Court (Resources)

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd December 1984.

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Photo of Richard Ottaway Richard Ottaway , Nottingham North 12:00 am, 3rd December 1984

asked the Attorney-General if the Lord Chancellor has any plans to increase resources in the commercial court, Royal Courts of Justice.

Photo of Sir Patrick Mayhew Sir Patrick Mayhew , Tunbridge Wells

The level of business in the commercial court has increased significantly in recent years, and is being kept under review, but there are no immediate plans for an increase in resources.

Photo of Richard Ottaway Richard Ottaway , Nottingham North

Does my hon. and learned Friend agree that in view of the delays—in some cases up to two years — there is a case for increasing the number of judges and courts to deal with commercial cases, especially as he has said that this is an expanding area of the law which is tantamount to an invisible export?

Photo of Sir Patrick Mayhew Sir Patrick Mayhew , Tunbridge Wells

My hon. Friend is right in his reference to the invisible export capacity of the commercial court. Delays have increased because the number of cases tried in the commercial list has greatly increased in recent years. In some ways, it is a victim of its own success. It is for the Lord Chief Justice to determine how many judges at any one time should be engaged on commercial work, but the Lord Chancellor is concerned to examine whether time savings can be made by any changes in the procedural rules.