In its meeting yesterday, the Scottish Parliament’s Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee (DPLR) scrutinised the draft Statutory Instrument (The International Organisations (Immunities and Privileges) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Order 2017) which will confer certain devolved privileges and immunities on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and its Judges, Registrar and other staff. The draft Order was laid before the Scottish Parliament on 31 August 2017 and is subject to the affirmative procedure, under which scrutiny by the DPLR is the first step. The DPLR must decide whether Parliament’s attention should be drawn to the draft Order on any legal or technical grounds (rather than any relating to its substance or policy), e.g. lack of clarity, apparent defective drafting, apparent unusual use of powers conferred by the parent statute, or that it raises a devolution issue. The minutes of yesterday’s DPLR meeting report that it was decided there were no such grounds. Therefore, the next step is for the Justice Committee (the ‘lead’ committee) to consider the draft Order and make a recommendation by 29 October whether or not the draft Order be approved.
Another draft Statutory Instrument (The Unified Patent Court (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2017) is currently before the UK Parliament (laid on 26 June 2017, reported here) and is awaiting debate in the House of Commons (which is currently in recess, returning on 9 October). The two Orders will together give effect to the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the UPC and allow the UK to ratify this Protocol and also the UPC Agreement.