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House Of Lords (Appellate Jurisdiction)

Volume 527: debated on Tuesday 18 May 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will consider introducing legislation to abolish the appellate jurisdiction of the House of Lords over cases from Scotland.

Since the answer is an emphatic "No," can the Joint Undersecretary say by what statute the Appellate Court overturned a decision of the Lord President of the Court of Session, who had based his decision on the generally accepted dictum that once a disposition of land has been made it cannot in any way be altered at a later date?

As I have already tried to get this information by other means than a Question in the House, as I usually do, and as I have been told that a decision taken in the House of Lords is almost sacred and that nothing can be done to alter it, I hope that the Joint Under-Secretary will give me this information as soon as possible.

Does the Minister realise that the present system involves litigants in delay, uncertainty and expense, which could easily be obviated by making the Scottish Supreme Court supreme in Scotland? Will he consult the Lord Advocate with a view to adopting this course?

I remind the hon. and learned Member and the hon. Lady that both the Faculty of Advocates and the Law Society of Scotland made it clear in their published evidence to the Royal Commission on Scottish Affairs that they were against this proposal.

What legal appeal does not cost a great deal, whether in Scotland or in England?