HC Deb 13 February 1871 vol 204 cc169-70

asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether his attention has been drawn to the difficulties which will arise at the approaching Assizes in respect of the payment of Jurors under the provisions of the Jury Act passed last Session, and the insufficiency of the funds available for such payments; and whether it is the intention of the Government to adopt any means to obviate such difficulties; and, whether the Government propose to introduce a measure for the amendment of the Jury system?


, in reply, said, that the measure to which the Question of the hon. and learned Member referred had been under the consideration of Her Majesty's Government, and, although he believed the measure, on the whole, to be a good one, great objection had undoubtedly been raised to one of its clauses which related to the payment of jurors. It was questionable, indeed, whether that particular clause was sound in principle, and he had himself some doubt whether parties ought to be taxed for the payment of jurors, because it was a question whether if jurors were to be paid they ought not to be paid by the State. The clause in question had given rise to considerable difficulty in Westminster Hall, and would in all probability occasion still greater inconvenience on the circuit. Under these circumstances, he proposed to introduce a short Bill to repeal this particular clause in the Act, and it would be a question whether some better machinery could not be devised in its place.