HC Deb 07 February 1842 vol 60 cc102-3
Mr. Charles Buller

inquired whether it was the intention of her Majesty's Government to introduce a bill in the present Session, for regulating the judicial committee of the Privy Council, and more particularly whether it were their intention to appoint a new judicial officer as the head?

Sir Robert Peel

begged to say, that the report which the hon. Gentleman might have seen with respect to the appointment of a new judicial officer, was altogether without foundation. Great efforts had been made in reducing the arrears of appeals during the past year, and results had been produced more satisfactory, he believed, than in any year since 1830; and, in fact, at the present time there was an arrear of only fifteen cases, which were ready for hearing. Before any attempt was made to amend the appellate jurisdiction of the Privy Conned, therefore, it would he seen how far its present position might not prove satisfactory for the discharge of the important duties imposed upon it. It was to be observed, that the judicial committee had been greatly strengthened during the last year, by the appointment of two Vice- Chancellors, and the addition of other judges, who, having retired from the bench, were able to devote the whole, or a great portion of their time to the transactions of the business of this particular court. The appointment of the two new Vice-Chancellors had had a most important effect upon the list of causes in Chancery, for the arrear of 500 causes had been already reduced to 200; and although, of course, this circumstance could have no effect on the business of the judicial committee of the Privy Council, yet, as it was possible that the Vice-Chancellors might have some leisure at their disposal, and might take a more active part in the proceedings of the judicial committee of the Privy Council, it was thought that any measure for the alteration of the condition of this court might be altogether postponed. Having received notice from the hon. and learned Member of his intention to ask this question, he thought it a fitting opportunity to add the explanation which he had given.

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