Courts and Tribunals (Judiciary and Functions of Staff) Bill: Lords third reading

14 November 2018

The Courts and Tribunals (Judiciary and Functions of Staff) Bill had its third reading, a chance to 'tidy up' the bill and make changes, in the Lords on Tuesday 13 November.

No changes were suggested to the bill ahead of third reading.

Members discussed the progress of the bill at the conclusion of its Lords stages, regarding to the bill's lack of provision to prohibit the cross-examination of domestic violence victims in the family courts.

Following the completion of third reading, the bill will now go to the Commons for its consideration.

Lords report stage: Tuesday 16 October

Members discussed subjects including the delegation of legal advice and judicial functions to authorised staff and the right to judicial reconsideration of decisions.

There was one division (vote) on proposed changes (amendments) to the bill.

Members discussed a change which would enable any judicial decision made an by authorised person to be reconsidered, through a written application made within fourteen days, by a judge of the relevant court.

146 members were in favour of this amendment, with 236 against, and so the change was not made.

Lords committee stage: Tuesday 10 July

Members discussed a range of topics, including:

  • government reporting on the availability of judicial training
  • the impact of an increased flexibility in the deployment of judges on the diversity of the judiciary
  • the right of judges to reconsider a decision made by an authorised person exercising a relevant judicial function

Lords second reading: Wednesday 20 June

Lord Keen of Elie (Conservative), Lords government spokesperson in the Ministry of Justice, responded on behalf of the government.

Courts and Tribunals (Judiciary and Functions of Staff) Bill summary

This bill will aim to:

  • provide more flexibility in the use of judicial resources
  • amend the title of the 'Chief Bankruptcy Registrar' to 'Chief Insolvency and Companies Court Judge'
  • extend the Lord Chancellor's power to amend certain other titles
  • authorise court and tribunal staff to exercise judicial functions and give legal advice
  • empower the relevant procedure rules committee to determine which functions staff may or may not exercise
  • apply statutory independence and immunities to all authorised court or tribunal staff when exercising judicial functions
  • remove the post of justices’ clerk from statute

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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