§ 3.11 p.m.
§ The Lord Chancellor
My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now resolve itself into Committee on Recommitment on this Bill.
§ Moved, that the House do now resolve itself into Committee on Recommitment.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly.
§ [The LORD ABERDARE in the Chair.]
§ Clause 2 [Rate of pension]:
The Earl of Mansfield moved the following Amendment:
Page 2, line 32, leave out subsection (4).
§ The noble Earl said: The purpose of the amendment is to confer on a judge of the Court of Session an entitlement to a pension. Under Section 1 of the Judges' Pensions (Scotland) Act 1808 the award of a pension to a judge of the Court of Session is discretionary, whereas all holders of high judicial office in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have, in accordance with paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 4 to the Administration of Justice Act 1973, an unqualified entitlement to their pension. This is an anomalous situation. The amendment, which implements Recommendation 2 of the joint Law Commissions' report will have the effect of putting a Scottish judge on an equal footing in terms of pension with his colleagues elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
§ Your Lordships might feel that an amendment to a consolidation Bill is a trifle unusual, and indeed it is. But it is by no means unprecedented. An example which no doubt will spring to your Lordships' mind 1046 is that of the Sea Fisheries (Shellfish) Act 1967 when the party opposite of course were in power. An amendment was moved to that Bill to remove the discrepancy between the maximum penalties for taking spawn-carrying crabs and for taking spawn-carrying lobsters. I trust therefore that your Lordships will agree that this is a desirable change. I beg to move.
§ Lord Elwyn-Jones
I view with alarm moving from seafish and shellfish about which we may hear a good deal in the Wildlife and Countryside Bill that follows. We covered a whole range of animal existence yesterday and it is interesting that we are now introduced to yet another field. To say that the purport of the amendment:Clause 2, page 2, line 32, leave out subsection (4)is apparent would be an exaggeration. But I take it that what the noble Earl is after is to see that there should be equality even among judges of the law; and if that is the purpose of his endeavour, I support it.
§ On Question, amendment agreed to.
§ Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.
§ Remaining clauses and schedules agreed to.
§ House resumed: Bill reported with an amendment.