Speech also drew attention to the contribution of legal services to the UK economy
In a speech yesterday outlining his work in promoting the UK legal industry across the world, the Justice Secretary reiterated the Government’s opposition to the European Commission’s proposed system of European contract law:
“I have been following closely the European Commission’s proposals on contract law, which I continue to believe could be unnecessary, disproportionate and damaging if taken too far. There are 27 systems of contract law available for use in the single market. I have yet to see the evidence and am not yet persuaded that they are causing real difficulties for traders or consumers. But even if they were, it seems to me to be doubtful that the right solution can possibly be inventing a 28th.
I think of this as the Esperanto fallacy – a utopian belief that a perceived problem of diversity of languages can be solved by creating an extra one. The wrong EU contract regime is rather more likely to do damage then the linguistic hobby-horse of good Dr Zamenhof – not least in tying up the Commission when it could be doing useful work elsewhere, and prompting years of litigation as the new law gets tested.”
The Justice Secretary also drew attention to the contribution of UK legal services to the economy:
“It’s been said, but bears repeating, that the rule of law is one of our greatest exports. This reflects, in part, our national genius for legal services, which generated nearly 2% of UK GDP in 2009 – a rather healthy £23 billion. Exports of law firms totalled more than £3bn in the same year, nearly three times the total of a decade earlier.
Our competitive advantage reflects many things: our open market, the unrivalled quality of the UK legal profession, our record of judicial independence and the plain good sense of English common law, amongst others. People turn to us because they understand that a decision from a UK court carries a global guarantee of impartiality, integrity and enforceability.”
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