HC Deb 25 May 1857 vol 145 cc833-4

asked the Attorney General, whether Her Majesty's Government have any intention during the present Session, to introduce a measure founded on the Report of the Commission issued to inquire into the subject of Legal Education.


said, that two years ago a Royal Commission was issued to inquire into the state of the Inns of Court, especially with reference to the facilities for legal study, the revenues appropriate for the purpose, and the means likely to secure a systematic education for students in the law. The Commissioners made a Report, recommending a course which they thought would tend to effect that object. Her Majesty's Government had expected that the Inns of Court would have voluntarily adopted the treasures thus recommended by the Commission for securing the great object of providing for the effectual education of students for the bar. To provide such an education was one of the trusts imposed upon those societies, and they had large revenues at their disposal to discharge that trust. He was sorry, however, to say, that there was a division between the different Inns of Court upon the subject. The Inner and Middle Temple were desirous of carrying out the plan proposed by the Commissioners, but Lincoln's Inn and Gray's Inn were opposed to such a course, a resolution to that effect having been passed by a majority of one vote. If that state of things should continue, it would be the duty of Government to introduce a Bill upon the subject; but the subject having been under the consideration of the societies, and the Government believing that they were actuated by good intentions, it was not intended to bring any measure in this Session.