HC Deb 08 February 1895 vol 30 cc291-2

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether it is the duty of any official in the Scottish Office to examine all Bills brought into Parliament, to ascertain whether they are applicable to Scotland, and when the terminology of the legal system of England, and the reference to English Courts and procedure indicates they are not, to see that the scope of their operation is clearly defined, so as to prevent litigation consequent on doubts whether they do not extend to Scotland; and, whether an arrangement can be made for the examination of Bills, so that clauses relating to Scotland may be expressed in Scottish legal phraseology when the terminology of the English and Scottish systems is different?

THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. B. BALFOUR,) Clackmannan and Kinross

All public Bills brought into Parliament are examined in the Lord Advocate's Department with a view to ascertaining whether they are, or should be, made applicable to Scotland; and where it appears that they are intended to apply, or that they should be made to apply, to Scotland, Amendments are, when necessary, moved upon their reaching the Committee stage, to secure that the application shall be properly effected in phraseology appropriate to the Scottish Legal System. Government Bills, when intended to apply to Scotland, are adapted to Scottish Law before being introduced.

*SIR H. E. MAXWELL (Wigton)

May I ask whether the attention of the right hon. Gentleman has been called to a Circular emanating from the Society of Procurators in Glasgow?


Yes, I have seen it.


Are the statements in the Circular well founded?


I cannot say. I did not observe any reference to any Bill having passed through Parliament without being properly adapted to Scotland, if it was intended to apply to that country, during the time I was in office.