HC Deb 15 March 1993 vol 221 c15
39. Mr. Ottaway

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what steps he is taking to reduce delays in the commercial court.

The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (Mr. John M. Taylor)

Plans to appoint 10 additional High Court judges were announced recently, together with plans to establish management information systems to enable long-term decisions on the size of the judiciary to be based on proper management information about workload and throughput and on consideration of other ways of handling the load.

The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice have agreed that some of the additional judge power will be available to address any continuing problems in the commercial court.

Mr. Ottaway

May I congratulate my hon. Friend on his response to the matter, which I first raised in my recent Adjournment debate? Will he accept the congratulations of the business community, which has been most concerned about delays in the commercial court? Does he agree that a further way of taking pressure off the judicial system would be to give some support to an alternative disputes resolution service, which, again, would be warmly welcomed by the business community?

Mr. Taylor

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his gracious remarks. The Lord Chancellor welcomes initiatives in alternative disputes resolution services in the widest sense. I have no doubt that some of my hon. Friend's professional connections will have helpful contributions to make, based on their considerable experience.