§ 11.34 a.m.
§ The Lord Chancellor
My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time. This is a statute law revision measure which applies only to the Isle of Man. It stems from an initiative by the Isle of Man Government to modernise their law.
The purpose of the Bill is to remove an anomaly whereby a large body of obsolete Westminster statutes continue to form part of the law of the Isle of Man although they have been repealed for the United Kingdom. As the explanatory memorandum makes clear, the anomaly arose for technical reasons connected with the form of statute law revision Acts before 1973. Most of the earlier Acts of this type contained an express provision excluding the repeals from having effect in the Isle of Man or in any other part of Her Majesty's dominions outside the United Kingdom. The later Acts were silent on the point but the effect was the same.
In both cases no machinery was provided for extending the repeals to the island following local consultation. The practice since 1973 has been to provide such machinery. Accordingly the Bill simply extends the relevant pre-1973 repeals to the Isle of Man. It also takes the opportunity to repeal for the island the 30 or so statutes listed in Schedule 2 which are also obsolete there, although they are not caught by Schedule 1.
It is therefore a technical measure and the details will fall to be considered by the Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills when the Bill is referred to it. Detailed notes have been prepared identifying the statutes proposed for repeal and the grounds on which they are obsolete. Those will be considered by the committee which will report back to the House in due course.
I should perhaps add that the Bill has been prepared and drafted at the Law Commission in conjunction with the Isle of Man authorities. I take this opportunity to thank all those involved for their painstaking work in producing the Bill. I commend the Bill to the House.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read a second time.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ 11.36 a.m.
§ Lord Mishcon
My Lords, in joining with the thanks expressed by the noble and learned Lord to others, may we also thank him for his lucid explanation of the Bill.
I wonder whether your Lordships and the citizens of the Isle of Man realise that until the noble and learned Lord took an interest in this matter and brought the Bill before the House, the following Acts had been binding upon the Isle of Man and its citizens: the first fruits and one-tenths Act passed in the twenty-sixth year of the reign of Henry VIII; more insidiously, the Marriage Act of 1540, which was in the thirty-second year of the reign of Henry VIII; the Crossbows-and-Handguns Act, which was brought 1865 upon the statute book in the thirty-third year of the reign of that worthy monarch; the Jesuits, Seminary Priests, Recusants &c. Act which was passed in the first year of the reign of James I; the Observance of 5th November Act which was enacted in the third year of the reign of James I, and finally the corn duties Act which was passed in the fifth and sixth year of the reign of the good Queen Victoria.
I am sure that the citizens of the Isle of Man will be relieved to know that we are about to lift from them those rather burdensome enactments of which I am sure they have been completely unaware certainly in this century.
§ Lord Renton
My Lords, may I say that I believe there is reason to rejoice that the historic and unusual constitution of the Isle of Man will be unaffected by this measure.
§ The Lord Chancellor
My Lords, I join in the rejoicing both in respect of the matter mentioned by my noble friend Lord Renton and also in respect of the variety of matters mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Mishcon. I commend the Bill to the House.
§ On Question, Bill read a second time and referred to the Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills.