(335)  SUPREME COURT: SPECIAL COMMITTEE DEAL

The Government has agreed to the House of Lords establishing a special committee under the chairmanship of Lord Richard to consider the Constitutional Reform Bill (under which a Supreme Court would be introduced to replace the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords and the devolution issues jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council).  The committee will be asked to report back to the House by 24 June.  The House is also to be asked on 22 March to agree to the Bill being carried over to the next parliamentary session if it has not completed all its stages by the end of the current session.  The Government has also agreed not to legislate for the time being to remove the last remaining hereditary peers from the legislative chamber of the House of Lords.  Lord Falconer the Lord Chancellor has promised that the Government will return to the matter in its manifesto for the next general election, expected to be held in May 2005.

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