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Matrimonial Causes (Reforms)

Volume 463: debated on Monday 21 March 1949

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asked the Attorney-General whether the Government intend to implement the recommendations of the Denning Report.

I do not know what recommendations the hon. Member has in mind. The recommendation contained in the First Interim Report of the Denning Committee with regard to the reduction of the period between decree nisi and decree absolute has long since been put into effect. So have the recommendations in the Second Report about the trial of matrimonial causes by county court judges sitting as Special Commissioners. The Second Report and the Final Report contained further recommendations, some of which could be implemented by administrative action or by Rules of Court, while others would require legislation. The reforms which could be carried out by Rules of Court have been carefully considered by the Supreme Court Rule Committee and effect has been given, by the Matrimonial Causes Rules 1947 and 1948, to the greater part of these recommendations. Many other reforms have been effected by administrative action. It is not at present possible for the Government to introduce legislation to deal with the recommendations for which this would be required.