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I am asking the Minister a complex question; I fully understand if she does not feel able to answer it now, and I am perfectly happy to get a letter later on. I am asking her to assure us that, as part of Montenegro's
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Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead: I thank the noble Lord very much for that, and I will take the offer that he gave me to write a letter, because it is a complex aspect of this process, and I understand that the point that he makes is a serious one that should be addressed.
That the Grand Committee do report to the House that it has considered the Legal Services Act 2007 (Functions of an Approved Regulator) Order 2009.
Noble Lords who have followed the reform of legal services regulation will be aware that it has long been the Government's intention to see the new Legal Services Act 2007 regulatory regime go live at the beginning of 2010. The sixth Legal Services Act commencement order, which we intend to bring into force in January 2010, will see the Legal Services Board assume its full regulatory powers and approved regulators authorising individuals and bodies to carry on reserved legal activities. Provisions relating to the Office for Legal Complaints and alternative business structures will be commenced at a later stage.
The 2007 Act contains provisions needed for the new regulatory regime to be effective, such as the repeal of current mechanisms for authorising legal professionals, transitional arrangements for those currently authorised, and consequential amendments to primary legislation which ensure that references in primary legislation to the authorisation of legal professionals take account of the new regime.
The 2007 Act also provides powers to make subsequent amendments to primary and secondary legislation to accommodate the changes being brought about by the Act. These two orders use those powers to make amendments to existing legislation to ensure that it will be compatible with the changes being commenced in the sixth commencement order.
I turn first to the Legal Services Act 2007 (Consequential Amendments) Order 2009. This order is made principally under Sections 208(2) and (3) of
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As I mentioned in my introduction, one of the key elements of the new regulatory regime is the requirement for persons to be authorised by approved regulators if they are to carry on reserved legal activities. This will replace a number of existing provisions that allow persons to carry on legal activities by virtue of their professional titles or by definitions such as "authorised advocates" and "legal representatives". Schedule 21 to the 2007 Act amends references in primary legislation so that they refer to the new authorisation regime, once commenced in early 2010.
However, Schedule 21 does not include changes needed to secondary legislation, such as references to "authorised advocates" and "appropriate officers" in the Coroners Rules 1984 and the definitions of "legal representatives" and "professional legal advisers" in the Family Proceedings Rules 1991. This order amends such references in secondary legislation to ensure that they refer to the authorisation regime established under the 2007 Act.
The order similarly amends references to "legal representatives" in the Court of Protection Rules 2007 and the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales Rules 2008. As these rules were made after the Session in which the 2007 Act was passed, the amendments could not be made using the Section 208 powers and had to be made instead using the powers in the original enabling Acts for those rules-Section 78 of the Mental Health Act 1983 and Section 51 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. The necessary statutory consultation process, with the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council, the Lord Chief Justice and the Judicial Appointments Commission, was followed for the amendments to these rules.
The order also updates the definition of "qualified lawyers", specifically in relation to compromise agreements. This ensures that fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives may continue to advise on compromise agreements if they become managers of legal disciplinary practices, a possibility introduced by changes made to the regulation of solicitors' practices by the 2007 Act in March 2009.
The order also makes minor consequential and technical amendments to primary and secondary intellectual property legislation when the responsibility for the registers of patent attorneys and trade-mark attorneys passes from the Intellectual Property Office to the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys respectively. For example, references to "agent" will be replaced by "attorney" and references to "individual" will be replaced by "person", recognising that entities as well as individuals can apply for registration.
Finally, the order amends a number of outdated references to "taxation", "taxing officers" and "taxed" in the Charities Act 1993. The Legal Services Act replaces most outdated references to "taxation" in
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As the order amends a range of existing legislation, it was important to consult other government departments and key stakeholders, such as the Law Society and other professional bodies, at an early stage and gain their approval. The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the Judicial Appointments Commission and the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council also gave their approval to the amendments.
I turn now to the Legal Services Act 2007 (Functions of an Approved Regulator) Order 2009. Again, this order is necessary as a consequence of changes that will be introduced with the sixth Legal Services Act commencement order. The order amends an inadvertent drafting error in the 2007 Act which, if left uncorrected, would result in the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys being unable to regulate trade-mark attorney work undertaken outside the UK when it becomes an approved regulator at go-live. Correcting the error will also ensure that the scope of regulation applying to trade-mark attorneys mirrors the scope of regulation applying to patent attorneys.
New Section 83A of the Trade Marks Act 1994, as inserted by Section 184 of the 2007 Act, replicates a drafting discrepancy between the two statutory instruments which govern the registration of patent attorneys and of trade-mark attorneys. Unlike the instrument relating to patent attorneys, the definition in the trade-mark order of trade-mark attorney work does not include "or elsewhere". The result is that the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys would not be able to regulate trade-mark attorney work undertaken outside the UK, while its counterpart, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, is able to regulate patent work outside the UK. It is not the policy intention of the 2007 Act to make such a distinction, so the order corrects the oversight and ensures parity between the regulation of patent and trade-mark work.
The amendment is being made under Section 69 of the Legal Services Act, which provides for the Lord Chancellor, by order, to modify or make other provision relating to the functions of an approved regulator or any other body. As required by Section 69, the order is being made on the recommendation of the Legal Services Board. The board is obliged to consult whenever it recommends a statutory instrument to the Lord Chancellor under these provisions. Accordingly, a consultation paper, together with a draft order and draft impact assessment, was circulated to consumer organisations, regulatory bodies, other professional representative bodies and other key stakeholders during the summer. Six responses were received, which either provided no comment on or approved the proposed amendment.
These orders are required to reflect the changes introduced by the 2007 Act and to ensure consistency of terminology across different pieces of legislation.
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Lord Henley: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Tunnicliffe, for that lengthy explanation of the two orders, and assure him that I will be considerably briefer; I want to make only two or three points. He dealt with the instruments in inverse order, so I will follow him and start with the Legal Services Act 2007 (Consequential Amendments) Order 2009. I was not involved with that Act-I think Lord Kingsland dealt with it-but I remember its passage. As the Minister made clear, the purpose of the instrument is to amend both primary and secondary legislation. It is obviously appropriate that secondary legislation be amended by secondary legislation but, in the main, we regret Henry VIII powers-they are obviously used here-that allow the amending of primary legislation. I say "in the main"; having looked at what the consequential amendments order tries to do, I think that it is probably right that the powers were there and were used. On this occasion, we are content with the order and what it is seeking to do. We think it is right to ensure, as the noble Lord put it, that members of bodies such as ILEX who are managers of legal disciplinary practices are able to continue to advise on compromise agreements as set out in the order. I have no further comment to make about that.
The second order regarding the functions of an approved regulator appears at first sight to be innocuous. The Minister made clear that it amends an inadvertent drafting error in the Legal Services Act 2007. He ought to think long and hard about those words, "inadvertent drafting error", and remember the remarks of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Woolf, on the second day of the Queen's Speech debate when he referred to the torrent of legislation emanating from departments, particularly the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office. If there had not been quite such a torrent of legislation and the Government had confined themselves to properly drafted Bills dealing with single subjects-for which I commend the Bribery Bill, which we are dealing with next week, and which was also commended by the noble and learned Lord-we might not have had those inadvertent errors that have involved the Government having to come back with obscure orders of this sort later on. Those are my only comments on this and I hope that the Minister will take them on board, particularly with regard to future orders that he might want to put before us.
With regard to the Legal Services Act 2007 (Consequential Amendments) Order, I am rather sorry to see the loss of the word "taxation" from the Charities
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Lord Tunnicliffe: My Lords, I thank noble Lords for their comments. I think all Members of the House have a natural concern about Henry VIII powers, and I thank the noble Lord, Lord Henley, for his scrutiny and his acceptance that they are appropriate in this case.
I apologise on behalf of the Government for the drafting errors. I do my best to ensure that we make no errors, but I am afraid that we do. However, I am not going to apologise for the "torrent of legislation", as it has been put. In the past Session I have been involved in a good amount of legislation, and one of its intentions has been to make things more appropriate, simpler and more straightforward. The 2007 Act is such a piece of legislation, as are the Acts that we will be coming on to.
I am sorry that the noble Lord, Lord Thomas, has lost the word "taxation" in the consequential amendments order, but the world moves on. I think we are right to present the order that causes its loss.
That the Grand Committee do report to the House that it has considered the Legal Services Act 2007 (Consequential Amendments) Order 2009.
That the Grand Committee do report to the House that it has considered the Transfer of Functions of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal Order 2009.
The orders transfer the jurisdictions of the gambling appeals tribunal, claims management services tribunal, information tribunal, immigration services tribunal, adjudication panel for England, financial services and markets tribunal, pensions regulator tribunal, family health services appeal authority and the asylum and immigration tribunal into the unified tribunal structure created by the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007-the 2007 Act.
As noble Lords will recall, Sir Andrew Leggatt's review, Tribunals for Users: One System, One Service, led to the creation by the Government of the Tribunals Service in 2006, and this was followed by the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. The 2007 Act provided for the first-tier tribunal and upper tribunal, creating a unified appeal structure.
These orders form a further part of a series of tribunal transfers into the unified appeal structure under the 2007 Act, which commenced in November 2008. This has since been followed by subsequent transfer orders in 2009.
I shall deal, first, with the draft Transfer of Tribunal Functions Order 2009. It provides for the transfer of the gambling appeals tribunal, adjudication panel for England, claims management services tribunal and immigration services tribunal into the general regulatory chamber of the first-tier tribunal. This chamber commenced work on 1 September 2009 and the functions of these tribunals are already allocated under the existing chambers order.
The order also provides for the transfer of the information tribunal into the first-tier tribunal-general regulatory chamber-and the upper tribunal, with the question as to which one of them is to exercise the functions in a particular case being determined by or under the tribunal procedure rules. Appeals from all these jurisdictions will be heard in the administrative appeals chamber of the upper tribunal.
The jurisdiction of the family health services appeal authority is transferred to the first-tier tribunal-health, education and social care chamber. A separate order, which is subject to the negative resolution procedure, will amend the existing chambers order to assign the functions of this tribunal to the chamber.
The jurisdiction of the financial services and markets tribunal is transferred to the upper tribunal and the former tribunal is abolished. An amendment to the chambers order will provide for the former jurisdiction of the financial services and markets tribunal to be dealt with by the tax and chancery chamber of the upper tribunal.
The jurisdiction of the pensions regulator tribunal in Great Britain is transferred to the first-tier tribunal and the upper tribunal. Currently, that jurisdiction arises under the Pensions Act 2004, and amendments to that Act made by the order provide that those cases will be heard by default in the upper tribunal. An amendment to the chambers order will provide for those cases to be dealt with by the tax and chancery chamber of the upper tribunal.
The pensions regulator tribunal in Great Britain and the financial services and markets tribunal transfer into the unified structure with effect from 6 April 2010 to coincide with the start of the financial year. In all cases, the tribunals are abolished and the existing judges and members are transferred into the first-tier tribunal or upper tribunal as appropriate. This is essential for ensuring that a good service is maintained for users and existing specialist expertise is protected.
The amendment to Schedule 6 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 Order 2009 adds the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal to the list of tribunals that are transferable into the unified structure created by the 2007 Act. The transfer of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal was consulted on for 12 weeks from August 2008. The majority of consultation respondents were in favour of the transfer and, on 8 May 2009, it was announced that the tribunal would transfer as proposed.
The Transfer of Functions of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal Order 2009 provides for the transfer of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal into the first-tier tribunal. The transfer will take effect on 15 February 2010. Appeals from the immigration and asylum chamber of the first-tier tribunal will be heard in the upper tribunal. A separate order, which is subject to the negative resolution procedure, will amend the existing chambers order to establish an immigration and asylum chamber of the first-tier tribunal and an immigration and asylum chamber of the upper tribunal, and assign functions to the chambers as appropriate.
Again, in common with previous transfer orders, transitional provisions ensure that cases currently being heard by the transferring tribunals will not be adversely affected by the transfer. Directions and orders made by a transferring tribunal prior to each of these orders coming into force will continue in force as if they were directions or orders of the first-tier tribunal or upper tribunal as appropriate.
I turn to the detail of the orders. Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the draft Transfer of Tribunal Functions Order 2009 provides for the abolition and transfer of each tribunal into the unified structure on the dates outlined above. All the tribunals are transferring into chambers within the first-tier and upper tribunal that have already been created and are currently in operation. Article 4 of the order provides for existing judges and members of each tribunal to be transferred to hold offices in the first-tier tribunal and in the upper tribunal as appropriate. Article 5 provides for consequential amendments to, and repeals and revocations of, primary and secondary legislation, and transitional and saving provisions. These are set out in full in the schedules.
The Amendment to Schedule 6 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 Order 2009 amends Schedule 6 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 by adding the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal to the list of tribunals that are transferable into the unified structure as created by the 2007 Act. Following on from that order, Article 2 of the draft Transfer of Functions of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal Order 2009 transfers jurisdiction
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Article 3 of the order provides for immigration judges of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal to be transferred in as first-tier tribunal judges, and for designated immigration judges of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal to be transferred in as first-tier tribunal judges and deputy judges of the upper tribunal. Senior immigration judges and non-legal members are transferred in as judges and members of the upper tribunal respectively.
Article 4 of the order provides for the current Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005 and the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (Fast Track Procedure) Rules 2005 to transfer to the immigration and asylum chamber of the first-tier tribunal and to have effect as if they were tribunal procedure rules upon commencement, as mentioned earlier. I confirm that the power to make procedure rules for this chamber will in future lie with the Tribunal Procedure Committee.
The Tribunal Procedure Committee was created under the Act and is chaired by a Lord Justice of Appeal-currently Lord Justice Elias-and includes representatives from a number of organisations, including the Administrative Justice & Tribunals Council, the Bar Pro Bono Unit and the Free Representation Unit. Noble Lords may be aware that we had originally proposed that the procedure rules for immigration and asylum should continue to be made by, and under the ownership of, the Lord Chancellor. However, following consultation on this we have decided that it is appropriate that this power should rest with the Tribunal Procedure Committee.
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