Courts and Tribunals (Judiciary and Functions of Staff) Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:11 pm on 27th November 2018.

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Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill Chair, Justice Committee 2:11 pm, 27th November 2018

I understand what the hon. Lady is saying, and I am not unsympathetic to her point, but, in fairness to the senior judiciary, is it not worth pointing out what was said by the two noble lords who spoke on this matter? Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, the recently retired President of the Supreme Court, counselled that it would be unsatisfactory to reduce the flexibility of these proposals, pointing out that there will be many decisions where requisite experience is required, but others where less experience is necessary. Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the previous Lord Chief Justice, pointed out that the procedure rule committee had practitioners on it who acted independently. He said:

“Experience has shown that detailed restrictions on procedures are a very real fetter on the administration of justice.”—[Official Report, House of Lords, 20 June 2018;
Vol. 791, c. 2039.]

Those are very serious counsels by two very distinguished recently retired judges.