Justice minister Sir Oliver Heald will be asked next week to set out how the government’s plans for Brexit will affect civil justice. Heald will be questioned at the final evidence session of the EU justice sub committee’s inquiry into the consequences of Britain leaving the European Union.
The committee seeks answers on how the UK will maintain civil justice cooperation without the oversight of the Court of Justice of the EU.
It will also examine the importance of the Brussels regime of regulations to the operation of the UK-EU legal system, asking which aspects of the current regime would be the biggest loss.
Heald, due to appear on Tuesday, will have to explain if common law will be an adequate replacement for the Brussels regime, and whether current rules will be incorporated in the vaunted Great Repeal Bill.
The minister will also clarify what alternatives exist to the Court of Justice of the EU and how the UK will cooperate with remaining EU member states.
During justice questions in the House of Commons earlier this week, justice secretary Liz Truss outlined her determination to use opportunities presented by Brexit to enhance the UK legal services sector.
‘My department is leading the work on future co-operation with the EU on civil, commercial and family law and, together with the Home Office, on criminal justice,’ she said.
‘This is a vital issue for our fantastic legal services profession—four of the top 10 international law firms are headed in the UK. I said this week at a joint meeting with the Lord Chief Justice and members of the legal profession that mutual enforcement of judgments will be a key part of our Brexit negotiations. ‘
Meanwhile, there is speculation in the media that prime minister Theresa May is preparing to abandon plans for a British Bill of Rights. The Telegraph says plans for the bill have been shelved, and could be dumped altogether if it is considered Brexit has significantly strengthened the sovereignty of UK courts.