The Private International Law (Implementation of Agreements) Bill was introduced in the House of Lords on 27 February 2020.
Private International Law (PIL) consists of the principles and rules for dealing with certain cross-border legal disputes. Countries may enter into international PIL agreements, for example to:
- ensure reciprocal treatment;
- avoid parallel legal proceedings and conflicting decisions for private litigants; and
- streamline cross-border cooperation
The UK has entered into PIL agreements in its own right in the past, but in recent decades has also done so through its membership of the European Union. The EU’s PIL framework will continue to apply to the UK during the transition period, but the arrangements that will apply after this are yet to be determined.
The Bill has two key functions relating to PIL:
- to implement in domestic law certain “vital” conventions to which the Government wishes the UK to continue to be bound after the end of the transition period. These are the 1996, 2005 and 2007 Hague conventions; and
- to provide a mechanism for the implementation in domestic law of future PIL agreements to which the UK will be a party in its own right. This would be via secondary legislation.
Any SPICe briefings produced regarding this Bill will appear here once published.
Legislative Consent Memorandum
The UK Government has sought legislative consent from the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Government published a Legislative Consent Memorandum on 30 March 2020, which includes a draft motion to consent to the Bill.