Justice Questions House of Commons


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Justice Questions

Questions in the House of Commons to Justice Secretary David Lidington and his ministerial team, from Tuesday 5 December.


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Questions to the Secretary of State

for Justice. Mr Damien Moore. I'll

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take questions one and 17 together.

The government has made it a top

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priority to make it a smooth legal

transmission.

Could I ask what steps

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will his department take to ensure a

review and possible reversal of ECJ

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rulings that affected our citizens

once we have left the EU?

We are

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taking back control over our laws,

that's what the EU withdrawal bill

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does. The Supreme Court should have

the last word on the law of the land

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and from that point we can retain,

revise and repeal any pieces of law

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as we see fit in the national

interest.

The Minister may have seen

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the city UK report that underlined

the importance of the legal sectors.

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Could they answered the principal

concerns over whether contracts can

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continue to be enforced and

respected across the EU as we leave.

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We have made clear in our position

paper that we want to make sure we

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maintain that win- win position that

support businesses and individuals

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on all sides.

With the minister get

out and meet more people. I've been

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talking to judges, barristers,

campaigners, they all are terrified

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about what is going to happen if we

leave the European union to our

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justice system. Who is he talking to

and why doesn't he broaden his

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circle?

Can I suggest that he

doesn't engage in that kind of

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scaremongering. I have been talking

to practices, judiciary, and through

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the withdrawal bill, I will make

sure we have a smooth legal

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transition.

Will the Minister

confirm to the house that it is his

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policy that the European Court of

Human Rights will have jurisdiction

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over Britain after we leave the EU?

The honourable member will no

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because it has been in our manifesto

we have no plans to withdraw.

With

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the Minister agree with me that we

have a very effectively consistent

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before we joined the EU and we will

have one for many years after we

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leave.

My honourable friend is

right. I do take very seriously the

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concerns of those who think we need

to mitigate the risk, that's what

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the negotiations and the withdrawal

Bill will do. We should grasp the

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opportunities as well as managing

the risks.

Last month, just two

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weeks ago, well this house was

debating the EU withdrawal Bill, the

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Prime Minister's spokesman said that

they expect the European court's

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role to remain unchanged during the

process. Is that mean that many

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parts of the withdrawal at will not

be brought into force until after

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the intermediary period.

She will

know from committee stage debates we

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have made it clear that we're not

going to pre-empt or prejudge the

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outcome of the negotiation on eve of

the withdrawal Bill or the

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fermentation period.

Last week Sky

News reported that after Brexit, the

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government wishes to stay in the EU

safety body and accept that this

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will mean remaining under the

jurisdiction of the EU court of

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justice, the ultimate arbiter of

those rulings. Will the Minister

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confirm that the Prime Minister's

red line that there is no European

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Court of Justice jurisdiction is

untenable.

The honourable lady is

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relying on second-hand reports. We

are not going to pre-empt the

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negotiations and I hope she will

support is in getting the very best

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deal.

The honourable member for

Clacton has an exactly similar

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question. He wasn't standing so I

didn't call him.

Can the Minister

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confirm that elements of civil and

criminal law go back to Magna Carta

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in 1215 and earlier and our legal

system is is far more long as

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established than any EU legal system

and we have one of the most

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respected legal systems in the world

and regs it holds no fear as far as

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future laws are concerned.

We have

actually got rather different system

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through our common law system and we

should have the courage of our

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convictions and courage in our

democracy and who want to see the UK

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Supreme Court have the last word on

the laws of the land.

Question

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number two please.

The government

has published a post-legislative

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memorandum and we have launched a

review of the act which will be

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thorough and will report by the

summer recess.

Recently I visited

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whole chamber of, is and a solicitor

there was explaining how the cuts in

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legal aid actually costed the court

so much more money because in hole

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so many people are trying to

represent themselves. The president

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of the Supreme Court said that the

legal aid reforms are false economy.

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Does the Minister agree that

restoring early legal advice would

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not only help solve legal problems

but save taxpayers money?

I

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understand the point the honourable

lady is try to make in a

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constructive way. I'm not sure that

the evidence is there to back up the

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assertion she has made. We have made

available a wide range of legal

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help, for example in family

situations, that involves practical

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support and telephone helplines.

There is also online tools to make

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clear when legal aid is available.

There are other sources of legal

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advice available to them as well.

When changes to legal aid in family

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matters were made it was anticipated

that they want be a considerable

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growth in mediation, in fact, it has

dropped considerably. That is

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because early legal advice is a

gateway into mediation and reduces

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the burden of litigation in the

courts. Isn't it time to look at

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that again?

We need to be

encouraging more alternative dispute

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resolution and there is an agreement

that we want to incentivise cases to

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be settled not through the courts

because of the costs and the trauma

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for those involved. I don't think

the answer is a exclusively going to

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be around money. It is also going to

be the positive incentives we put in

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place.

Providing early legal help in

family court cases would cost less

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than £14 million because as the

honourable gentleman has said many

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cases would be resolved before

getting to court. Why does the

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Minister continue to insist that

this is not a cost-effective way of

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dealing with cases? Does he actually

know how many cases are proceeding

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with litigants in person and how

much it is costing the court system?

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There is a range of support as I've

already detailed, £100 million of

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support in terms of early legal help

that can be online telephones and

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representation, in terms of in

purpose. There is a range of support

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available. We can look at that in

the review.

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