HL Deb 27 October 1982 vol 435 cc570-1

31 After Clause 57, insert the following clause:

'Official referees' business

Official referees' business.

(1) In subsection (1)(a) of section 68 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 (by virtue of which the Lord Chancellor may nominate Circuit' judges to deal with official referees' business) for the words "of the Circuit judges" there shall be substituted the words "Circuit judges, deputy Circuit judges or Recorders".

(2) Accordingly— (a) the word "persons" shall be substituted— (i) for the words "Circuit judges" in subsections (5) and (6) of that section; and (ii) for the words "judges", in the second place where it occurs in subsection (6): and (b) the word "person" shall be substituted for the words "Circuit judge" in subsection (7).

(3) In subsection (4) of section 24 of the Courts Act 1971 (deputy Circuit judges and assistant Records) for the words "as regards any" there shall be substituted the words "in the case of a deputy Circuit judge, as regards".'.

The Lord Chancellor

My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their amendment. This amendment has as its purpose to enlarge the group of persons who may be nominated to deal with official referees' business. The persons are nominated in the amendment, and therefore I need not enumerate them. However, I think that it is an improvement. I beg to move.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said amendment—(The Lord Chancellor.)

Lord Mishcon

My Lords, I merely want to say that the official referees' business becomes more and more prolific, and with building disputes and matters of that kind, which are normally referred to the official referee still remaining numerous in spite of the depression in the building industry, it is obviously useful that there should be an addition to those who are able to sit as official referees. One therefore regards this as a most useful amendment.

On Question, Motion agreed to.