Courts and Tribunals Bill: Commons stages

12 December 2018

MPs debated the remaining stages of the Courts and Tribunals (Judiciary Functions of Staff) Bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday 12 December 2018.

Remaining stages

MPs debated the remaining stages of the Courts and Tribunals (Judiciary Functions of Staff) today in the House of Commons. Debate focused on amendments concerned with the minimum legal qualifications for court and tribunal staff and the statutory right to judicial reconsideration. 

The House divided on two amendments and the third reading.

Amendment 2, which would have would stipulated that the minimum legal qualifications for authorised persons should be three years’ experience post-qualification was defeated 308-246.

Amendment 5 which would have granted people subject to a decision made under delegated powers to a statutory right to judicial reconsideration was defeated 312 - 243.

The Courts and Tribunals (Judiciary and Functions of Staff) Bill passed its third reading, 302 to 233 and will now return to the Lords.

Previous Commons stages

Second reading: 27 November 2018

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke, opened the debate on behalf of the Government. Yasmin Qureshi, responded on behalf of the Opposition. 

The Bill was read a second time without a division. It was then submitted to a Public Bill Committee.

Second reading is an opportunity for MPs to debate the general principles of the Bill before voting on it. MPs cannot table amendments for this stage, and hold one vote after the debate determining if the Bill will progress or fall.

Public Bill Committee: 4 December 2018

The Bill was debated in Committee stage on 4 December 2018.

Courts and Tribunals Bill

Summary of the Bill

The Courts Bill as introduced is short, containing only four clauses and a Schedule. It makes three key changes:

  • It makes it possible to deploy certain judicial office-holders with more flexibility throughout the courts and tribunals system than is presently allowed.
  • It renames the "Chief Bankruptcy Registrar" as the "Chief Insolvency and Companies Court Judge" and makes it easier for similar judicial titles to be changed by delegated legislation.
  • Overhauls the regulatory underpinning for delegating court functions from judges to certain court staff, and extends the availability of this delegation to the Crown Court.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the Courts and Tribunals Bill and find out how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

House of Commons Library analysis

The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.

The Library has published a briefing paper for Second Reading.

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