HC Deb 10 December 1975 vol 902 cc456-7
41. Mr. Reid

asked the Lord Advocate whether he will pay an official visit to the Court of Justice of the European Communities.

The Lord Advocate

I had the pleasure in January of this year of paying an interesting and, I hope, useful visit to the Court of Justice of the European Communities. Although I hope to make further visits to the court, I have no immediate plans to do so.

Mr. Reid

Does the Lord Advocate remember a phrase in Scots law solvitur ambulando to the effect that one will bumble through in the end? Since some of this work will foul up Scottish law, will the Lord Advocate make the situation clear to his co-jurists at the European Court of Justice?

The Lord Advocate

I think the hon. Gentleman is not aware that the sole British judge in the European Court is Scottish. The maxim he mentioned may be no more impressive to that Scottish judge than it is to the hon. Gentleman. As for the quality of law administered by the Court of Justice, even the most cursory examination of its decisions shows that it takes account in the fullest sense of decisions in the various nations of the Community, and no criticism about judicial quality can be levelled against it.

Mr. Fairgrieve

In the light of the SNP's recent conversion to Europe, if not yet to Britain, will the Lord Advocate impress on his Cabinet colleagues the importance of the earliest implementation of Article 138(3) of the Treaty of Rome, which calls for direct elections to the European Assembly, so that we in Scotland may elect our members directly instead of having them selected for us by the Westminster Parliament?

The Lord Advocate

The Government have already made their position clear on that matter, and the hon. Member has added his voice to it.