HC Deb 23 March 1826 vol 15 c86
Mr. Secretary Peel

next brought in his bill "for improving the administration of Criminal Justice in England," and requested he might be allowed to take the same course with this as he had done with the preceding measure. This bill differed only in one respect from the statement which he had made when he obtained leave to bring it in, and that alteration was made on the suggestion of one of the highest judicial authorities this country had ever produced—an authority whose opinions were reverenced in every part of the world where a love of justice and equity prevailed—he alluded to lord Stowell, the venerable judge of the Admiralty Court. That noble lord proposed to extend the principle of the bill, so far as it related to prosecutions for misdemeanour at the quarter sessions, to offences tried in the Admiralty Court. At present, when persons were tried for offences committed on the high seas, even of the most atrocious character, the court had no power by law to award any indemnification to the persons supporting the prosecution; and the object of the alteration was, to give to the court of Admiralty a discretionary power of indemnifying individuals who came forward as prosecutors. On the common principle of justice it was only, fair that the expense should be borne by the public.

The bill was then read a first and second time, and committed.