§ 15 Clause 2, page 5, line 18, leave out subsection (10).
§ The Commons disagreed to this Amendment for the following Reason:
§ 16 Because it is undesirable that the duties imposed by or by virtue of Clause 2 should be the subject of legal proceedings.
§ Lord MELCHETT
My Lords, I beg to move That this House doth not insist on their Amendment No. 15 to which the Commons have disagreed for the Reason numbered 16. It is the Govern- 1146 ment's clear view that the courts should not have to adjudicate on industrial democracy. Therefore when we decided that it was important to underline our commitment to industrial democracy by imposing on the Corporation a positive duty to promote, we had to ensure that this duty was not enforceable by proceedings before a court of law. We therefore inserted in the Bill the subsection which your Lordships' Amendment removed. The subsection applies to all the duties imposed by Clause 2, and not just to the duty to promote industrial democracy because we wished to follow the precedent of the Iron and Steel Act 1949, as revived by the Iron and Steel Act 1967.
However, some concern was expressed by your Lordships about this subsection's effect on such questions as patent law and the rights of inventors. My noble friend Lord Winterbottom and I have already given your Lordships an assurance that the subsection does not in any way touch on any duty or liability which a Corporation may have by reason of anything else in the Bill; by reason of anything in any other enactment; by reason of anything in any other branch of law; or by reason of anything in any agreement to which it may be a party. If a person has a claim against a Corporation arising, for example, out of the law relating to patents or out of the law relating to confidential information, that person will not be able to rely on anything in Clause 2. But, equally, nothing in Clause 2 will get in his or her way.
For those reasons I urge noble Lords not to insist on Amendment No. 15 which in the Government's view would impose an improper burden on the courts.
§ Moved, That this House doth not insist on the said Amendment, to which the Commons have disagreed for the Reason numbered 16.℄(Lord Melchett.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.