§ LORD GARDINER
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is preventing them bringing into force:—
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
- (a) Part III of the Family Law Reform Act 1969, which empowers courts to order blood tests in cases of disputed paternity, will be brought into operation as soon as my right honourable friend the Home Secretary has prepared the necessary regulations under section 22. This has proved a substantial task, involving a combination of legal, medical and administrative factors. It will also be necessary to make rules of procedure for the Magistrates' Courts, County Courts and High Court. However, I expect to be able to bring Part III of the 1969 Act into operation some time this year.
- (b) The provisions of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 which are not at present in force deal with the reorganisation of the High Court (Part I, sections 1 and 4), the enforcement of debt (Part II), discovery and related procedures (Part III) and the recovery of costs, compensation, fines and legal aid contributions in
53 criminal cases (Part V, sections 41–43). All these provisions will be brought into operation as soon as the necessary rules have been made and the administrative arrangements completed. This is a considerable task and I thought it desirable to give priority to Part II of the Act. Good progress has been made in drafting the relevant Rules of the Supreme Court, County Court Rules, Administration Order Rules and Magistrates' Courts Rules and in preparing a revised explanatory booklet for employers about attachment of earnings. I hope therefore to be able to bring Part II into operation in the summer, together with sections 41 to 43. Work has also been started on rules for the purposes of Parts I and III and I hope to bring them into force later in the year.