HC Deb 25 January 1978 vol 942 cc606-7W
Mr. Spearing

asked the Attorney-General what consultations he has had in respect of the proposals that United Kingdom courts should enforce judgments made in courts of other members of the EEC in each of the areas covered by the draft Convention; and if he will place the replies in the Library.

The Attorney-General

I take it that my hon. Friend's Question relates to the United Kingdom's undertaking to accede to the Brussels Convention of 27th September 1968 on the Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters.

In the preparation of the negotiations on the United Kingdom's accession to that Convention the Lord Chancellor, the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Lord Advocate were advised by a committee under the chairmanship of Lord Kilbrandon which included Law Commissioners, solicitors, experts in insurance and banking matters and Government lawyers. A Scottish sub-committee under the chairmanship of Professor Anton included a similar range of expert members in Scotland.

In addition to consulting members of the judiciary and Government Departments in all parts of the United Kingdom the committee or its sub-committees consulted experts in international law and invited views from the following bodies:

  • General Council of the Bar of England and Wales
  • The Law Society
  • Faculty of Advocates
  • The Law Society of Scotland
  • General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland
  • Incorporated Law Society of Northern Ireland
  • Association of British Chambers of Commerce
  • Confederation of British Industry
  • British Insurers' European Committee
  • Equipment Leasing Association
  • Finance Houses Association
  • Hire Purchase Trade Association
  • Issueing Houses Association
  • London Discount Market Association
  • Committee of the London Clearing Bankers
  • Committee of Scottish Clearing Bankers
  • National Association of Moneylenders
  • Lancashire and Cheshire Moneylenders Association
  • British Maritime Law Association
  • Stock Exchange

In the course of the negotiations Ministers have been advised by a group of experts under the chairmanship of a High Court judge. The advice and views have been received by the Lord Chancellor for the purpose of briefing the United Kingdom negotiators in negotiations which are not yet finally concluded.

The answer to my hon. Friend's final question is "No".

Mr. Spearing

asked the Attorney-General if he will list any binding Treaty obligations of the United Kingdom in respect of the EEC Council Documents R/2962/76 and R/2963/76 in respect of the EEC Jurisdiction Convention of 27th September 1968.

The Attorney-General

The United Kingdom's Treaty obligation to accede to the Convention, the English text of which is contained in EEC Council Document R /2963 /76, is Article 3(2) of the Act concerning the Conditions of Accession and the Adjustments to the Treaties annexed to the Treaty of Accession to the European Communities (Cmnd. 5179). The draft Convention in Council Document R/2962/76 is a draft of the instrument by which this obligation would be fulfilled.