§ 2.52 p.m.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (LORD GARDINER)
My Lords, I beg to move the first Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper. Perhaps your Lordships will allow me to speak to the second Motion as well, since they both deal with the same matter. In the Administration of Justice Act last Session, your Lordships may remember that provision was made in rare and selected cases for appeals direct from the High Court to your Lordships' House particularly where, for example, it was a revenue case and both the taxpayer and the Inland Revenue were determined from the start to obtain a decision from your Lordships' House, whereas they must now have, first, a hearing before the Commissioners; secondly, an appeal to a Judge of the High Court, and thirdly, an appeal to the Court of Appeal before, fourthly, they can get to your Lordships' House.
The new Standing Order directs that the application to bring an appeal from the High Court must be lodged within one month of the certificate granted by the trial judge, certifying that the matter of the appeal comes within the conditions laid down in the Act for those cases where an appeal is proper to be brought direct to this House. The new Standing Order further directs that the application shall be referred to an Appeal Committee for their consideration and report. The Act also allows the House to extend the time in which an application must be made, and the Standing Order directs that the Appeal Committee shall consider such application for extension of time.
The proposed Amendments to the Standing Orders are necessary for two reasons. The first Amendment makes clear that Standing Order No. II is concerned only with petitions for leave to appeal from the Appellate Courts of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and so distinguishes it from the new Standing Order which I am asking the House to make. The last two Amendments fill a loophole which has been found in relation to certain petitions for leave to appeal from the Court of Session in Scotland. Until recently statutory 814 leave to appeal to this House was required only in relation to appeals from the Court of Appeal in England and the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland. It is now clear that some Acts of Parliament make it necessary to have leave to appeal from certain decisions of the Court of Session. The amendments to Standing Orders II and III mean that in these cases petitions for leave to appeal will be governed in the same way as those from the English and Northern Irish courts. I beg to move.
Moved, That, in the Standing Orders regulating Judicial Business, the following new Standing Order be inserted after Standing Order II: —
("That in all cases where application is made for leave for an appeal to be brought direct to the House from the High Court of Justice in England and Wales or from the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland—
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.