HC Deb 06 August 1866 vol 184 cc2095-6

said, in the absence of his hon. Friend (Mr. Graves), he would beg to ask Mr. Attorney General, Whether it is the intention of the Government to take into consideration the necessity for increasing the number of Judges, and the re-arrangement of the jurisdiction of the Courts?


in reply, said, the subject to which his hon. Friend referred was one undoubtedly of the very greatest importance. With regard to the Courts of Common Law, the Judges at present transacted a much greater amount of business than they had ever before transacted; and yet, notwithstanding the extent of the business so transacted, the difficulty of overtaking the business of the Common Law Courts was seriously injurious to the interests of the public. Liverpool felt that difficulty as much as any other place in the Kingdom, although there were three Circuits of which Liverpool took advantage. Although the Nisi Prius Court there had very prolonged sittings, there was still a considerable number of arrears left over, and many of the Liverpool cases had to be brought at great inconvenience to London. But, although the facts were palpable to every person, the remedy was by no means easy to devise. The questions connected themselves not merely with the business of the Courts of Common Law, but also with the arrangements of the Court of Admiralty, the Probate and Divorce Court, and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. He could only say it was impossible for the Government at the present moment to deal with the subject; but they had turned their attention to it. The subject was engaging the anxious attention of the Lord Chancellor, with the view of submitting to the Government, if possible, some arrangement to mitigate the evil so much felt.