The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee has today considered 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 Committee passed a motion (with ten members voting in favour and one against) that it recommend to the Parliament that the draft be approved. Before doing so, the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs (Annabelle Ewing) gave a brief summary and explanation of the draft legislation and the Committee had the opportunity to raise questions. One question was whether any of the Court’s premises would be located in Scotland. The Minister replied that the current position was that there would be no local division sited in Scotland but that she had secured from the UK government an undertaking that the matter would be under review and looked at in terms of future demand. (The UK will initially be hosting only one local division of the Court, and this will be in Aldgate Tower, London, which will also be the location of the Court’s central division dealing with chemistry, life science and pharmaceutical cases.)

The next step regarding this draft legislation is for the Justice Committee to report to the Scottish Parliament on the draft, setting out its recommendation that it be approved. The deadline for this is 29 October 2017. The Parliamentary Bureau will then by motion propose that the Parliament agrees to approve the draft legislation.