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Commons Amendment

Volume 413: debated on Tuesday 21 October 1980

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8 After Clause 18, insert the following new clause:

"Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal.

.In the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980—

( a) in section 53 (powers of Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal)—

  • (i) in subsection (2)(c) for the words "£250" there shall be substituted the words "£2,500"; and
  • (ii) at the end there shall be added the following subsection—
  • "(8) The Secretary of State may, by order made by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament, amend paragraph (c) of subsection (2) by substituting for the amount for the time being specified in that paragraph such other amount as appears to him to be justified by a change in the value of money.";

    ( b) in Schedule 4, Part I (constitution of the tribunal)—

  • (i) in paragraph 1(a), for "5" and "7" there shall be substituted, respectively, "10" and "14";
  • (ii)in paragraph 1(b), for the word "two" there shall be substituted "4"; and
  • (iii)in paragraph 2, for the words "on the recommendation of the Council shall be eligible for reappointment" there shall be substituted the words "in the case—
  • (a)of a lay member, may be re-appointed by the Lord President; and
  • (b)of a solicitor member, may be so re-appointed on the recommendation of the Council".".
  • 7.52 p.m.

    My Lords, this clause increases the maximum fine which may be imposed by the Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal from £250 to £2,500. Secondly, it enables the Secretary of State to change by statutory instrument, subject to the Negative Resolution procedure, the amount of the maximum fine which may be imposed. Thirdly, it increases the membership of the tribunal so as to facilitate it sitting in two divisions; and, fourthly, it enables the Lord President of the Court of Session to reappoint lay members of the tribunal in the same way as he appoints them in the first place. I beg to move.

    Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said amendment.—( The Earl of Mansfield.)

    My Lords, there is one point on which I would welcome the assistance of the noble Earl. I see from the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 that it received the Royal Assent on 1st August 1980, and this amendment is brought forward before the end of this year. I wonder if he could assist us by explaining to us why it was found necessary to amend an Act which had received the Royal Assent within the past few months?

    My Lords, I think the noble and learned Lord will have heard the word thrown over the Dispatch Box by the other noble and learned Lord. It is a matter of consolidation, I am advised. In that case it may appear to make sense to the noble and learned Lord, Lord McCluskey.

    My Lords, I do agree; if it is consolidation it does make perfect sense.

    On Question, Motion agreed to.