§ [No. 28]
§ Clause 39, page 27, line 34, leave out from "had" to "as" in line 35 and insert "such period of time for deliberation".
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 28, which is of slightly more substance than the ones with which I have been dealing. This Amendment was first moved by the Opposition in Standing Committee and it was accepted by the Government. Its effect is to remove the requirement in Clause 39(3) of the Bill, that a jury must have had at least two hours for deliberation before bringing in a majority verdict in civil proceedings, and to leave it to the court to decide what period is reasonable. The requirement of a two-hour period was inserted in the Bill following the precedent in the Criminal Justice Act 1967, which provides the requirement for criminal proceedings.
The Government have accepted that different considerations may apply in civil proceedings, where the burden of proof is not so heavy and the issues, though important, are not so vital as those involved in criminal proceedings which may result in imprisonment. I understand that the noble and learned Lords, Lord Parker of Waddington and the Master of the Rolls, were consulted at the time and were in favour of the Amendment. In these circumstances, I feel happy to recommend it to the House. I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendment
§ Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.