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Court Proceedings (Documentary Evidence)

Volume 113: debated on Wednesday 1 April 1987

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asked the Attorney-General what representations he has received on proposals to give the judiciary a complete discretion to decide whether documents given in evidence in court should remain confidential; and if he will make a statement.

By the close of the consultation period on 20 March the Lord Chancellor had received 27 replies to his consultation paper proposing amendments to the "Rules of the Supreme Court" to give effect to the friendly settlement reached in the case brought by the hon. Member for Peckham (Ms. Harman) against the United Kingdom. Six of those replies express the view that the amendments give too much discretion to the judges. Changes will be considered in the light of the comments received, but it is an express term of the settlement that it will continue to be possible for a document to be subject to an order preventing its disclosure otherwise than to the parties to the action.