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We want to apply the measure in a very limited set of circumstances to clear up the ambiguity in the civil

14 Dec 2006 : Column GC138

procedure rules. We also want to pick up the Law Commission’s recommendations and ensure that we define the measure as appropriate within the legislation. The noble Baroness, Lady Butler-Sloss, who has had to leave, asked me to say how much she supports what the Government are doing in this regard. I hope that the noble Lord does not mind my doing that. We believe that we have the balance right here. I hope that the noble Lord will reflect on it. If I can give him any further information, I shall do so.

Lord Kingsland: I am most grateful for that clarification. I take it that when the noble Baroness refers to the existing position, she is referring to the existing position as set out in the civil procedure rules.

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: Apparently, it is the existing position in the Supreme Court Act.

Lord Kingsland: As I recall, that Act was passed in 1981. Is it true that since 1981 it has been possible for the High Court to substitute its own decision for the decision of another court? That has not been my impression.

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: The noble Lord is absolutely right; that is not the case. I shall write to the noble Lord setting the matter out properly, but new subsection (5)(a) simply contains the wording that will be inserted in the Supreme Court Act 1981. New subsection (5)(b) amends it, as it were.

Lord Kingsland: I am most grateful. We can probably clear this matter up on Report. In the circumstances I shall not seek to divide the Committee on Clause 132.

Clause 132 agreed to.

Clauses 133 to 135 agreed to.

Clause 136 [Power to make supplementary or other provision]:

[Amendment No. 133 not moved.]

Clause 136 agreed to.

Clause 137 agreed to.

Schedule 23 agreed to.

Clauses 138 to 140 agreed to.

Bill reported with amendments.


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