HC Deb 02 January 1894 vol 20 cc646-7
MR. PAUL (Edinburgh, S.)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether he was consulted, as the representative of Scottish legal interests, before the New Rules of Court affecting Scotland were made by the English Judges?


I was not consulted before these New Rules were made, but I am now in communication with the Lord Chancellor in regard to them.

DR. MACGREGOR (Inverness)

Is not this a deliberate attempt on the part of England to deprive Scotland of her rights?

[No answer was given.]

MR. R. T. REID&c.) (Dumfries,

I beg to ask the Solicitor General whether it is the case that the New Rules, made by the English Judges in November last, confer upon English Courts an entirely new power to cause their process to be served in Scotland upon domiciled Scotsmen in the following cases: originating summonses or notices thereof; summonses and notices of motion under the Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks Acts; summonses and notices in the winding up of companies and petitions; and whether these innovations will largely increase the liability of Scotsmen to be made involuntary parties to litigation in England?


My attention has been called to the New Rules made under the Judicature Act. It appears to me that new powers are given to serve process out of jurisdiction in the cases mentioned in the question. The powers extend to all persons wherever found out of jurisdiction, including domiciled Scotsmen in Scotland. The new powers will to some, though, I cannot say to what, extent increase the liability of Scotsmen to be made involuntary parties to litigation in England.

MR. SEXTON (Kerry, N.)

May I ask whether the New Rules have the same effect in Ireland; and, if so, whether the Irish Lord Chancellor or the Irish Judges were consulted in regard to them before they were made?


As I judge, the effect in Ireland will be precisely the same as in Scotland. Whether the Lord Chancellor of Ireland was consulted I cannot say. I have had absolutely nothing to do with the framing of the Rules, and never heard of them until they were framed.


Is it competent for the English Judges to make Rules affecting Ireland in this matter without consulting the Irish Judiciary?


It is not intended to make Rules affecting Ireland. As I understand the matter, the Rules are made simply to enable business to be carried on in England, and they apply to people in every part of the world. We do not assume any jurisdiction over Ireland any more than we assume jurisdiction over Franco or Germany in such a matter.


Is it not a fact that these New Rules alter the position of Irish litigants in actions where one of the parties is English?


Have the Rules the force of law outside England; also have they not been made by exclusively English Judges?


Is it not the case that these Rules are made pursuant to powers contained in the Judicature Act, which apply only to England, and is it within the power of the Judges to make Rules affecting domiciled Scotsmen or Irishmen resident outside England?


There is, it appears to me, no doubt that the Rules are made pursuant to the powers of the Judicature Act, which expressly provides that the Judges may make Rules for service out of the jurisdiction, and it seems to me—although I say that with some reserve, not having had time to fully consider the Rules—that there is no doubt they are within the powers of Her Majesty's Judges. But they have to be laid before Parliament, and are open to discussion.

MR. DARLING (Deptford)

Was not Mr. Justice Mathew among the Judges by whom the Rules were made?

[No answer was given.]