HC Deb 30 November 1983 vol 49 c879
36. Mr. McTaggart

asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland when he expects Crown Office staff to be operating in the new sheriff court house in Glasgow.

The Solicitor-General for Scotland (Mr. Peter Fraser)

I understand that the new sheriff court house in Glasgow is scheduled to be completed and ready for occupation by September 1986. A small number of the staff of the procurator fiscal Glasgow will be accommodated in the new sheriff court building.

Mr. McTaggart

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman satisfied that when the sheriff court building is open it will be adequate for the purposes for which it was built, given that in addition to the Crown case work with which it will have to deal it will presumably have to deal with civil case work when the new Scottish divorce laws come into operation in the not-too-distant future?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

The present accommodation in Glasgow for the considerable volume of work handled is completely inadequate and it is hoped that what is now to be provided in the new sheriff court building will be adequate. The hon. Gentleman should appreciate that much of the divorce work that will be done at the new sheriff court building will not require the appearance of the witnesses or the parties in court.

Mr. Dewar

I appreciate that point and the fact that the Minister is confident that the new building will accommodate both the Crown Office staff and any new impact of divorce jurisdiction going to the sheriff court. Can he say what will be the impact on the civil side of the divorce law changes? When will there be a decision on the Scottish Law Commission report on financial settlements on divorce, as the hon. and learned Gentleman has been copiously reported in the Scottish press recently as suggesting that there will not be an early decision, although the English are already legislating on the subject?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

I have sought to show that this is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. Hon. Members will appreciate that there is at present no proposal before the House to deal with this matter. There is, though, the Scottish Law Commission report and if the hon. Gentleman wishes to spend his time sensibly by reading the Conservative party manifesto, he will find reference to that matter there.

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