HC Deb 22 July 1839 vol 49 cc621-2
Sir E. Wilmot

had seen it stated in the public papers, that the highest judicial authority in this kingdom had declared it to be his opinion that county magistrates have no concurrent jurisdiction in any borough. Did the noble Lord recollect that the 111th section of the Municipal Corporation Act in its first part gave this concurrent jurisdiction to county magistrates in all boroughs which had no Quarter Sessions? The last portion of the clause exempted those boroughs which possessed Quarter Sessions. He wished to know whether Birmingham, which had no Court of Quarter Sessions, could therefore be considered as exempt from the concurrent jurisdiction of the county magistrates?

Lord J. Russell

expressed his regret that his hon. Friend the Attorney General was not in the House to answer this question, with the authority which belonged to his position and to his knowledge of the subject. He could state with confidence, however, that the opinion of that hon. and learned individual, as well as of his hon. and learned Friend near him, the Solicitor General, was, that the corporate magistrates and recorders of boroughs, where a Court of Quarter Sessions was held, were alone entitled to exclusive jurisdiction in the case where the Court of Quarter Sessions had existed previously to the passing of the Act; and that in the case of boroughs to which a grant of Quarter Sessions had since been made, and still more where no Court of Quarter Sessions existed in the borough, the county magistrates retained their jurisdiction concurrently with the local magistrates.

Sir E. Wilmot

expressed himself much satisfied with this answer, which was so distinctly opposed to the opinion given in another place.