HC Deb 11 June 1874 vol 219 c1403

asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether the New Rules under the Judicature Act could be laid before Parliament previous to the middle of July, as three weeks are not sufficient for Parliament to consider them; and, if not, what course will be pursued for their due consideration by Parliament; and, whether the rules regarding pleading have been considered by the Judges?


Sir, in answering the first Question of the hon. and learned Member, I must not be understood as assenting to the affirmative proposition upon which it is founded—namely, that three weeks would not be sufficient for Parliament to consider the new Rules under the Judicature Act. As regards the Question itself, I have to state that, though every reasonable exertion has been, and will be made to lay the Rules before Parliament at as early a period as possible, I think that I should be misleading the House were I to suggest that it is probable that that could be done before the time named by me on Monday last, that is—the middle of July. I must remind my hon. and learned Friend that there is nothing in the Judicature Act of 1873 which requires the new Rules to be laid before Parliament during the present Session. The Act clearly contemplated the possibility of their coming into operation before they had been submitted to the House. And, in answer to the second Question of my hon. and learned Friend—namely, "what course will be pursued for the due consideration of the Rules by Parliament?" I can only state that the course pointed out by the Act of last Session will be adhered to. In reply to the third Question, "whether the Rules regarding pleading have been considered by the Judges?" I must refer my hon. and learned Friend to the very full explanation upon the subject which I gave on Monday last, and which I feel I should not be justified in occupying the time of the House by repeating.