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Administration of Justice

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 11th December 2018.

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Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Labour, Leicester East

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that access to justice is maintained after the implementation period of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The ability of individuals to resolve their legal problems is vital to the rule of law and the government will continue its commitment to maintain access to justice.

The Political Declaration establishes the parameters of an ambitious, broad and flexible future partnership between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU). This includes a commitment to explore options for a new agreement on family judicial cooperation. It also sets out the ambition for a future security partnership, which will provide for comprehensive, close, balanced and reciprocal law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

We have also reached agreement with the EU on how existing civil and criminal judicial cooperation cases will be brought to their conclusion in the event that we are unable to reach an agreement on a satisfactory future relationship at the end of the implementation period.

  • On civil, we have broadly agreed with the EU that if proceedings are started ahead of the end of the implementation period, they will be concluded under the existing EU rules and that subsequent judgments in those proceedings will also be enforced.
  • On criminal, any request for judicial cooperation before the end of the Implementation Period, under the EU measures that remain in force during the IP, will proceed until it is concluded under the applicable EU rules. This applies both to requests accepted by the UK and those requests made by the UK to remaining member states.

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