This Kat is officially off-blog for a couple of days while he attends to various pressing commitments, but sometimes things happen which send him flying back to the blogosphere for whole minutes at a time. This is one such episode.
Arty and Louise explain:
"The position, as we understand it is as follows:Blockbuster Court? Readers are invited to offer their own suggestions.
* The Crime & Courts Bill will merge all the County Courts (which are currently regarded as separate courts) into one legal entity, which will be known as the County Court (Schedule 9 of the Bill).
* In relation to specialist County Courts, there are a number of amendments which repeal existing provisions providing for specific county courts with specialist jurisdictions. These specialist jurisdictions will instead be conferred on the single County Court. Unfortunately, there is no specific mention of the PCC.
The Bill doesn’t contain any references to abolishing the PCC. However, one of our sources at the PCC (not Judge Birss QC) has confirmed that the PCC is going to be re-constituted as part of the Chancery Division of the High Court. Further, the Bill proposes that all references to the PCC are removed from existing IP legislation and the meaning of ‘court’ contained in IP legislation will be amended to refer to the High Court only. What this will mean in practice is unclear. We understand that the change is likely to take effect in October 2013".
'PCC' has other meanings too ...
Merpel notes that Judge Birss's position is a slightly curious one, in that he seems to be hovering somewhere between the Patents County Court and the bit of the High Court which we know and love as the Patents Court. She thinks he'll jolly well have to be promoted, thus providing not only a reward for user-friendly competence but also an incentive to whoever takes over at the ex-PCC that, even if a leopard can't change its spots, a County Court judge can gain promotion to the High Court.