§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (LORD GARDINER)
My Lords, I beg to move the first Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper. In moving this and the following Motion which stands in my name on the Order Paper, I should like to offer the House a very brief word of explanation on these two Motions, although it is not such an interesting subject as railway closures.
The purpose of these two Motions is to set up the two Judicial Committees of the House, the one (the Appellate Committee) to hear appeals; the other (the Appeal Committee) to consider petitions for leave to appeal and other incidental matters. The Motions are in standard form, except that in the case of the second Motion there has been a change of practice consequent upon the passing of the Administration of Justice Act, 1960. This Act provides, among other things, that the House may, by order, direct the Appeal Committee to take decisions and give directions on behalf of the House in criminal matters. In other words the decisions of the Committee can, if the House has so ordered, enter into immediate effect without waiting for the formality of a Report to the House. This is the reason why the second Motion is in slightly different form from the first.
§ Moved, That this House, in discharge of its constitutional duty to act as the 42 ultimate tribunal in appeals from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, orders that two Committees, each of which shall include all Lords qualified under section 5 of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876, as amended by any subsequent enactment, be appointed to hear, during the present Session, such appeals as may be referred to them in order to secure the due expedition of public and judicial business; and that the Committees have leave to report to the House from time to time.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to, and ordered accordingly.