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The Minister may recall that, during the passing of the Bill, I spoke in favour of these proposals and said I did not believe there should ever be a ceiling for legal executives. There should be no doors closed, and no ceiling, but at the same time there have to be standards. It is important that we remember, at all times, the principles for judicial appointments: independence of the judiciary, appointment on merit, equality, openness, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness. The judiciary, very properly, have high standards because they serve the public, who have to have confidence at the levels of both district judges and first-tier tribunals, which is how these proposals are now framed.

I am grateful to the Minister for his explanation and support fully the aim of the order. I look forward to seeing many people, from all sorts of diverse backgrounds—people who have, in the past, been prevented from giving their talents to the service of the public—coming on board the judiciary and playing an important part in the legal life of this country.

Lord Bach: My Lords, I thank all noble Lords who have spoken for their support for this statutory instrument. It is a real compliment to the department that the noble Lord, Lord Norton of Louth, with his expert eye on these matters, should have picked out this Explanatory Memorandum for praise, which I will ensure is passed back to the department. Sometimes,

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this House quite rightly criticises, which I am sure gets back to the department; but, equally, when there is praise that should get back there too. I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Henley, for supporting that view of the memorandum in this case.

The noble Lord, Lord Norton of Louth, referred to the lack of public interest in the consultation. He will know that consultation papers were set out on a website and we would be very interested to know if he has some thoughts about how better and more widely we can give information about such an important consultation in future. Perhaps the noble Lord would be good enough to let us know. It is a matter of some interest. He will know also that a wide group of bodies was consulted. He can imagine who they were and I have a copy of them here. We are grateful for the noble Lord’s comments.

I am grateful also to the noble Lord, Lord Henley, for his support and his comments. He mentioned the concerns of the CBI. Concerns were expressed by the CBI and the TUC that fellows of ILEX would not possess the necessary skills and experience to act as judges in employment tribunals. There was some lengthy

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consideration and negotiation with all those involved and with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, which has responsibility for policy on employment tribunals. It was decided that employment tribunals should remain on the list.

Finally, but not least, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Thomas of Gresford, who has for many years been a keen supporter of the widening of eligibility for judicial appointments. He should be pleased and proud that what he has supported for many years is now happening. I do not have as much experience of legal executives as he does, but I have quite a bit. Speaking personally, as well as a member of the Government, I am delighted that this Act of Parliament and the regulations that arise from it are being put into effect.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Climate Change Bill [HL]

The Bill was returned from the Commons with amendments and with a privilege amendment. It was ordered that the Commons amendments be printed.

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