Fourth Report Contents

Fourth Report

Proposed Negative Statutory Instruments under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018

Instruments recommended for upgrade to the affirmative procedure

Mutual Recognition of Protection Measures in Civil Matters (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018

Laid: 22 October 2018

Sifting period ends: 6 November 2018

1.A “protection measure” is a court order which imposes restrictions on an individual who has caused a threat to, and on whom obligations have been imposed in respect of, another individual: for example, an order for a stalker to keep away from the protected person. In a “no deal” situation, these Regulations provide that courts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will continue to recognise and enforce protection measures ordered in EU Member States without further procedure. However, the Regulations would repeal the legislation that sets out how UK courts can issue equivalent orders, as EU courts would not be obliged to recognise and enforce them. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) states that this is so protected persons are not misled about the effectiveness of such a UK order if they go to an EU Member State and put themselves at risk. MOJ also states that use of these protection measures is minimal.

2.These Regulations appear to create an uneven playing field where there may be a burden on UK courts and policing to enforce EU orders but no reciprocal benefit to UK citizens seeking enforcement in EU Member States. The Committee was also concerned that the MOJ had been unable to provide better figures on the number of such cases, thereby making it difficult to assess the degree of imbalance. In its 37th Report,1 the SLSC stated that it would be paying close attention to the principle of reciprocity in legislation. For this reason, given the apparently one-sided nature of the arrangements provided for by these Regulations, we recommend that the instrument should be upgraded to the affirmative procedure.

Proposed Negative Statutory Instruments about which no recommendation to upgrade is made

1 37th Report, Session 2017–19 (HL Paper 174).

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