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

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:05 pm on 27th November 2018.

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Photo of John Howell John Howell Conservative, Henley 3:05 pm, 27th November 2018

It is a great pleasure to follow Thangam Debbonaire, not least because, like her, I am not a lawyer. I think the more non-lawyers who speak in this debate, the better it will be, because we bring common sense to such a debate, which I am afraid from time to time legally qualified Members do not.

I was, however, completely entranced by the description of justices’ clerks given by my hon. Friend Robert Neill. I thought that my opportunity had now come, because these were non-legally qualified people who had a role to play, and I thought, “This is an opportunity for me when I finish here”. Sadly, however, even that has been taken away from me.

If I may, I will just pick up on one of the things that the hon. Member for Bristol West mentioned when she talked about other things distracting us from our examination of this area. I think this is just the sort of Bill that we need to concentrate on. I do not think we should be distracted by other things, because the Bill is crucial to the management of justice and of our courts.