Bar Council backs Justice Committee Brexit report

22 March 2017

The Bar Council has backed recommendations made by the Justice Select Committee Brexit report published today, including to ensure continued co-operation on EU criminal justice and the mutual enforcement of judgments.

The report reflects many of the issues raised by the Bar Council, both in evidence to the Committee and in The Brexit Papers: Second Edition, and calls on the Government to reduce the uncertainty for the legal services sector as Brexit negotiations get underway.

A spokespersons said:"The Justice Committee have reached some sensible conclusions in their report. Effective cross-border arrangements to ensure continued co-operation with the EU on criminal justice need to be maintained. Likewise in civil justice, choice of jurisdiction together with mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments (as well as equivalent arrangements in family law) are in the UK's interest as well as in the EU's interest post-Brexit. They are recommendations for which the Bar Council, the Family Law Bar Association, and the Criminal Bar Association have been arguing.

"The Justice Committee recognise that the annual contribution of the UK legal services sector of £25.7 billion to UK GDP is valuable and is valued by small businesses and large corporations as well as by individuals. The importance of the City of London as a leading global centre of international dispute resolution is also key to the continued success of the financial and many other service sectors. The contribution of legal services to the UK's future prosperity needs to recognised and protected during the coming negotiations with the EU.

"The report recognises that the inevitable period of uncertainty during the Brexit negotiations could damage the UK legal services sector, especially in the commercial field. The Bar Council welcomes the Committee's call on the Government to provide more information to reduce the level of uncertainty in the sector without compromising the UK's negotiating position.

"We also support Justice Committee's conclusion that the Government should ensure, as a matter of priority, that transitional arrangements are agreed for criminal, civil and family law co-operation with the EU, to come into effect when Brexit occurs.  

"We look forward to the Government's response to the Justice Committee's report. "   



Notes to Editors


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