HL Deb 08 March 1993 vol 543 cc50-2WA
Lord Morris

asked the Lord Chancellor:

Whether additional judges will be appointed to reduce delays in the High Court.

The Lord Chancellor

I have considered with the Lord Chief Justice the advice of the group of judges and officials chaired by Lord Justice Kennedy. This is contained in the group's report on High Court Judges' work, deployment and numbers, copies of which will be made available to the Libraries of both Houses.

As a result of that advice, I have decided to seek parliamentary and Privy Council approval in the near future to increase the statutory maximum number of judges.

Subject to that approval, I intend as soon as possible to recommend the appointment of 10 additional High Court Judges, and I have agreed with the Lord Chief Justice and the Vice-Chancellor that the additional judges will be deployed in such a way as to reduce delays and backlogs in the Chancery Division, the Court of Appeal Criminal Division, the Crown Office List, the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Commercial Court.

I think it important to be able to respond properly to future changes in the pressures on the High Court. I will therefore give a high priority to the introduction of a management information system, so that decisions about the number and deployment of High Court Judges can in future be based on fuller information about working patterns and workload.