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I hear, too, what the noble Lord, Lord Kingsland, said about the wonders of the American approach to litigation. I was surprised and interested to hear him say that, particularly in relation to fraud. The comments that come quickly to mind relate to our recent debates on the American system, particularly as it relates to fraud, and the likely treatment of British litigants in America if subjected to fraud trials. I very much welcome the transformation—the Damascene conversion—that appears to have happened. I can attribute it only to the presence of the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of York, who, we know, is capable of bringing about the most profound conversions among his flock.

Lord Kingsland: My Lords, that was an uncharacteristic sleight of hand by the noble Baroness for which I forgive her. I think that she was referring to our debate on extradition. The points at

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issue there had nothing to do with the American system; they had everything to do with the disproportionality of obligations between the United States and Britain with respect to the evidence that has to be advanced to get somebody extradited.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I hear what the noble Lord says, and will savour with pleasure the comments none the less.

The noble Lord, Lord Laird, and the noble Baroness, Lady Harris of Richmond, made comments on Northern Ireland. I say to the noble Lord that I will ensure that those issues are raised with the appropriate Ministers at the Northern Ireland Office, and I am sure that they will wish to respond in proper form. I say to the noble Baroness, in similar terms, that I know the passion with which she properly addresses domestic violence—not only in Northern Ireland, but here—and shall make endeavours on that.

I hope that the House will forgive me if I spend a moment or two answering the question raised by my noble friend Lord Lofthouse. He has committed a huge amount of time and attention to the issue and raised his proper concerns about the way in which the solicitors, and particularly the Law Society, have responded. I assure him that every effort is being made to make sure that those who have acted with impropriety should be brought to book. I very much welcome the trenchant support that he gives to the Legal Services Bill, on which this House will be able better to consider some of those issues.

I am conscious that I have spoken for 21 minutes and that the House has had a very long day, but I am also conscious that this debate bodes well for the Session, because I am sure that we will have an insightful, exciting time when there will be much cut and thrust—but in the end, I hope, consensus.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, on behalf of my noble and learned friend Lord Falconer of Thoroton, I beg to move that the debate be now adjourned until Monday next.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to, and debate adjourned accordingly until Monday next.


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