HC Deb 17 April 1970 vol 799 cc1744-5

Question, proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.

Mr. Edward Lyons

This Clause deals with rules to be made by the Lord Chancellor. I would be gateful for enlightenment on the sort of rules which it is envisaged might be made in pursuance of the Clause.

Mr. Peter Archer

Again, it is only right that I should repeat that I am not authorised to indicate the nature of the rules which the Lord Chancellor might see fit to make, but, as indicated in the Clause, they are really to deal with technical difficulties which might arise and which were dealt with in the Report of the Law Commission, in Appendix II.

The first is the fact that a writ issued against a person who is dead, although that fact may not be known to the plaintiff, appears almost certainly to be a nullity. Even at the time the Law Commission produced its report there was a substantial doubt about that, but it appears to be confirmed by a recent decision in Canada, in the case of Gonzalez v. Reid. The proposal is to provide, in that situation, that a writ isued against a person who is dead will no longer be a nullity.

The second difficulty with which the rules are intended to deal was raised by my hon. Friend himself, when he dealt with a situation where the normal limitation period is elapsing and there is no one against whom the writ can be issued because representation has not issued. In that situation, it is proposed that it should be open to the potential plaintiff to apply to the court to appoint someone against whom the writ can be issued.

Those are broadly the intentions. It was felt better to proceed by way of rules of court than by embodying it in legislation, so that there would be certain flexibility, of advantage to all concerned.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Back to
Forward to