Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1956

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1956 c. 68


Restrictive Trade Practices Act , 1956

(4 & 5 Eliz. 2) 68

An Act to provide for the registration and judicial investigation of certain restrictive trading agreements, and for the prohibition of such agreements when found contrary to the public interest; to prohibit the collective enforcement of conditions regulating the resale price of goods, and to make further provision for the individual enforcement of such conditions by legal proceedings; to amend the Monopolies and Restrictive Practices Acts, 1948 and 1953; to provide for the appointment of additional judges of the High Court and of the Court of Session; and for other purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

B E it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Registration and Judicial Investigation of Restrictive Trading Agreements

Part I

Trading AgreementsRegistration and Judicial Investigation of Restrictive

Establishment of Registrar and Restrictive Practices Court

Establishment of Registrar and Restrictive Practices Court

S-1 Appointment and functions of Registrar.

1 Appointment and functions of Registrar.

(1) For the purposes of this Part of this Act, Her Majesty may appoint an officer to be known as the Registrar of Restrictive Trading Agreements (in this Act referred to as ‘the Registrar’), who shall hold office during Her Majesty's pleasure.

(2) The Registrar shall be charged with the duty of preparing, compiling and maintaining a register of agreements which are subject to registration under this Part of this Act, and of taking proceedings before the Court (subject to such directions as may be given by the Board of Trade with respect to the order in which such proceedings are to be taken) in respect of the agreements of which particulars are from time to time entered or filed in the register.

(3) The Registrar may consult the Law Officers of the Crown through the Treasury Solicitor on any appropriate matter of doubt or difficulty arising in the execution of his duties.

(4) The Registrar may appoint such assistant registrars and such other officers and servants as he may, with the consent of the Treasury as to numbers and conditions of service, determine.

(5) The Registrar shall have an official seal for the authentication of documents required for purposes of this Part of this Act; and the Documentary Evidence Act, 1868, shall have effect as if the Registrar were included in the first column of the Schedule to that Act, as if the Registrar and any assistant registrar or other officer authorised to act on behalf of the Registrar were mentioned in the second column of that Schedule, and as if the regulations referred to in that Act included any document issued by the Registrar.

(6) There shall be paid to any person holding the office of Registrar such salary or other emoluments as may be determined by the Treasury.

(7) In the case of any such holder of the office of Registrar as may be determined by the Treasury, there shall be paid such pension, allowance or gratuity to or in respect of him on his retirement or death, or such contributions or other payments towards provision for such a pension, allowance or gratuity, as may be so determined

(8) As soon as may be after the making of any determination under the last foregoing subsection, the Treasury shall lay before each House of Parliament a statement of the amount of the pension, allowance or gratuity or contributions or other payments towards pension, allowance or gratuity, as the case may be, payable in pursuance of the determination.

S-2 Establishment of Restrictive Practices Court.

2 Establishment of Restrictive Practices Court.

(1) For the purposes of this Part of this Act there shall be established a Court to be known as the Restrictive Practices Court (in this Part of this Act referred to as ‘the Court’).

(2) Subject to any order in force under section five of this Act, the Court shall consist of five judges nominated under section three of this Act, of whom one, to be selected by the Lord Chancellor, shall be President of the Court, and not more than ten other members appointed under section four of this Act.

(3) The Court shall be a superior court of record and have an official seal which shall be judicially noticed.

(4) The supplementary provisions set out in the Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to the proceedings of the Court.

(5) The Lord Chancellor may appoint such officers and servants of the Court as he may, with the approval of the Treasury as to numbers and conditions of service, determine; and the Superannuation Acts, 1834 to 1950, shall have effect as if service as an officer or servant of the Court were service in an established capacity in the permanent civil service of the State in an appointment held directly from the Crown.

S-3 Nomination of judges as members of Court.

3 Nomination of judges as members of Court.

(1) Subject to any order in force under section five of this Act, the following judges shall be members of the Court, that is to say:—

(a ) three puisne judges of the High Court nominated from time to time by the Lord Chancellor;

(b ) one judge of the Court of Session nominated from time to time by the Lord President of that Court;

(c ) one judge of the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland nominated from time to time by the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland.

(2) A judge of any court who is nominated under this section shall not be required to sit in any place outside the jurisdiction of that court, and shall be required to perform his duties as a judge of that court only when his attendance on the Restrictive Practices Court is not required.

(3) In the case of the temporary absence or inability to act of a judge nominated under this section, the Lord Chancellor, the Lord President of the Court of Session, or the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, as the case may be, may nominate another judge of the same court to act temporarily in his place, and a judge so nominated shall, when so acting, have all the functions of the judge in whose place he acts.

(4) No judge shall be nominated under this section except with his consent.

S-4 Appointment of other members of Court.

4 Appointment of other members of Court.

(1) The members of the Court other than judges nominated under the last foregoing section may be appointed by Her Majesty on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor, and any person recommended for appointment as such a member shall be a person appearing to the Lord Chancellor to be qualified by virtue of his knowledge of or experience in industry, commerce or public affairs.

(2) A member of the Court appointed under the foregoing subsection (in this section referred to as an appointed member) shall hold office for such period not less than three years as may be determined at the time of his appointment, and shall be eligible for reappointment:

Provided that—

(a ) an appointed member may at any time by notice in writing to the Lord Chancellor resign his office;

(b ) the Lord Chancellor may, if he thinks fit, remove any appointed member for inability or misbehaviour, or on the ground of any employment or interest which appears to the Lord Chancellor incompatible with the functions of a member of the Court.

(3) In the case of the temporary absence or inability to act of an appointed member, the Lord Chancellor may appoint a temporary member, being a person appearing to him to be qualified as provided in subsection (1) of this section, to act in place of that member; and a temporary member shall, when so acting, have all the functions of an appointed member.

(4) There may be paid to the appointed members and to any temporary member such remuneration as the Lord Chancellor may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine.

(5) Subsections (7) and (8) of section one of this Act shall apply in relation to the office of appointed member as they apply in relation to the office of Registrar, but as if for references to the Treasury there were substituted references, in the said subsection (7) to the Lord Chancellor acting with the approval of the Treasury, and in the said subsection (8) to the Lord Chancellor.

S-5 Provision for increasing number of members of Court.

5 Provision for increasing number of members of Court.

(1) The Lord Chancellor may—

(a ) after consultation with the Lord President of the Court of Session and the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, by order increase the number of judges of the High Court, the Court of Session or the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland to be nominated under section three of this Act as members of the Court;

(b ) with the approval of the Treasury, by order increase the maximum number of members of the Court to be appointed under section four of this Act.

(2) The power of the Lord Chancellor to make orders under this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument; and an order under this section shall be of no effect until it is approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

Registration of Agreements

Registration of Agreements

S-6 Agreements to which Part I applies.

6 Agreements to which Part I applies.

(1) Subject to the provisions of the two next following sections, this Part of this Act applies to any agreement between two or more persons carrying on business within the United Kingdom in the production or supply of goods, or in the application to goods of any process of manufacture, whether with or without other parties, being an agreement under which restrictions...

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