HC Deb 14 December 1854 vol 136 cc299-300

moved for leave to bring in a Bill to consolidate and simplify the laws relating to jurors and juries in Ireland. The Bill was mainly founded on the recommendations of the Committee which sat in 1852. It was proposed to have one jury list both for civil and criminal cases. The list would contain the names of all persons who were rated to the poor law valuation at not less than 20l. It was considered that in all the counties of Ireland that would include a sufficient number of jurors to satisfy the requirements of justice and to secure respectable and well-qualified persons to act as jurors in that country. It was proposed that special juries should be selected from those persons who possessed a qualification to the amount of 50l. With respect to the city of Dublin, it was proposed that all persons who resided within seven miles of the city and were rated at 20l. should be liable to serve on juries within the city. After stating some other provisions of the Bill, the right hon. Gentleman expressed his belief that the Bill, if passed, would not in any degree interfere with the administration of justice, or diminish the respect due to the law.


rejoiced that a measure of this kind had been introduced, and hoped that those Gentlemen who objected to the Bill which he had brought in last Session had listened attentively to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman. The Bill which ho (Mr. Whiteside) introduced last Session was carried as far as the second reading, but opposed by the very Gentleman who bad now spoken, and who had just moved for leave to bring in the same identical Bill, with this distinction, that he proposed to make the amount of qualification not 30l., but 20l. The proposal of the right hon. Gentleman that there should be but one jury panel was already the law, and therefore a Bill for that object was superfluous. As he understood a Bill was to be brought in by the Attorney General, he hoped care would be taken to assimilate the law in the two countries, so as to render future legislation for that purpose unnecessary.


said, it was very true that many of the clauses in the hon. and learned Gentleman's Bill were contained in the present Bill; but the hon. and learned Gentleman's Bill was a consolidation Bill, into which thirty-two or thirty-three clauses were introduced from the old statutes. The Bill proposed to be introduced by his right hon. Friend was also a consolidation Bill, and consequently he was obliged to copy those clauses; but he did not copy the clauses from the hon. and learned Gentleman's Bill, but from the original Acts of Parliament from which the hon. and learned Gentleman had himself taken them. If the hon. and learned Gentleman would refer to the Bill, he would find that the objections which had been raised to his Bill were not applicable to the present measure. Hon. Gentlemen would have an opportunity of considering the clauses of it, and he was sure they would give satisfaction to both sides of the House.

Motion agreed to.

Bill ordered to be brought in by Sir JOHN YOUNG and Mr. SOLICITOR GENERAL for Ireland.

Afterwards Bill presented, and read 1°.