Government launches consultation on reforming courts after Brexit

PUBLISHED: 08:56 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 08:56 03 July 2020

Boris Johnson departs 10 Downing Street, in Westminster. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Boris Johnson departs 10 Downing Street, in Westminster. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The government has launched a consultation on plans for UK courts to have the final say on legal disputes after Brexit.

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Officials are asking the judiciary, lawyers and business to comment on the reforms which will decide which British courts have the power to depart from EU case law.

At present, only the UK Supreme Court and the High Court of Justiciary in Scotland will have this power from December 31.

Under proposals set out by the justice secretary Robert Buckland, the government argues the reforms will allow courts and judges in the country to reconsider cases on matters like borders, taxes and fisheries and make the final decision.

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They say this will allow cases to progress quicker.

Buckland said: “Since leaving the EU we are no longer bound by European laws, and it is absolutely right that British courts have the final say on legal disputes.

“We will work with judges and the legal sector to decide exactly which courts should have the power to depart from retained EU case law and will set out our plan in due course.”

The Ministry of Justice is considering extending powers to: The Court of Appeal of England and Wales, the Inner Court of Session in Scotland, the Court of Appeal Northern Ireland and equivalent level courts throughout the UK; or those courts and the High Court of England and Wales, the Outer House of the Court of Session in Scotland, The Sheriff Appeal Court in Scotland, the High Court of Justiciary, and the High Court in Northern Ireland.

Any changes would need to be put into law first.

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