Second Reading

Part of Law Commission Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 1:35 pm on 24th April 2009.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Goodhart Lord Goodhart Liberal Democrat 1:35 pm, 24th April 2009

My Lords, I have very little to add to what the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, has said. I have been an admirer of the Law Commission ever since it was set up in 1964, but it has been handicapped to a considerable extent over the years by the delays in giving effect to its recommendations, even when they have been accepted in principle by the Government. The present Government are taking some steps to help to overcome the problems of delays, and this Bill is one of those steps. It is plain from the circumstances that, although it is being nominally moved as a Private Member's Bill, it is supported by the Government and will therefore, no doubt, get through.

Another very welcome step is the one proposing new procedures to deal with implementing reports, which it is hoped will take up less time in the House and will therefore enable more recommendations to be dealt with, because the problems of parliamentary time has always been acute. That is being tried out next week, with the Perpetuities and Accumulations Bill. I have to say that I probably know more about perpetuities and accumulations than any other Member of your Lordships' House, as I spend rather a long time in my practice dealing with trusts in which they play a fairly important part.

I agree with all the tributes that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd, has paid to Sir Terence Etherton for his work. I would also add a tribute to the former Leader of the House, the noble Baroness, Lady Ashton of Upholland, for the considerable amount of work that she put into getting agreement on the new procedure.