asked the Attorney-General what steps the Government have taken further to improve the county courts small claims arbitration procedure; whether the conference of registrars which he referred to in his answer to the right hon. and learned Member for Surrey, East (Sir G. Howe) on 19th December 1974 has now been held; and what were its conclusions.
In September 1974 the County Court Rules were amended to allow the registrar, where appropriate, to dispense with the pretrial review and order arbitration forthwith, so saving the parties an attendance at court. The registrar's jurisdiction was increased from £75 to £100. The conference to which the hon. Member refers was held on 11th February and concluded that the scheme was working well and had benefited many people. A number of relatively minor amendments were suggested and will be submitted to the County Court Rule Committee for its consideration in due course.