Oral Answers to Questions — Devolution Issues

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3 April 2001.

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Photo of John McFall John McFall Labour/Co-operative, Dumbarton 12:00, 3 April 2001

In what proportion of the devolution issue cases referred to her she has intervened to date. [155197]

Photo of Dr Lynda Clark Dr Lynda Clark Advocate General for Scotland, Department for Constitutional Affairs, Advocate General for Scotland

Of the 1,237 devolution issues cases intimated up to 22 March of this year, I have intervened in 19, or approximately 1.5 per cent. Many cases involving devolution issues raise similar points and are dealt with satisfactorily by the lower courts. Generally, I intervene at appeal or Privy Council level where the case raises important issues for the UK as a whole. I examine every devolution issue intimated to me before determining whether or not to intervene.

Photo of John McFall John McFall Labour/Co-operative, Dumbarton

Does my hon. and learned Friend agree that that illustrates that the relationship between the Scottish Executive and Westminster is working, and that it confounds the critics of all parties who are sceptical and do not want the arrangement to work? Does she also agree that their criticism has been thrown back in their faces, and that the relationship is healthy, vibrant and dynamic?

The Advocate-General:

I am pleased to confirm that there is a high level of discussion and co-operation in the legal offices, as there is across the board, in relation to policy matters. The devolution settlement is working, and I hope that I will be able to play a small part in helping it to continue to work.