§ (Mr. Attorney General.)
§ [Lords.] —[BILL 111.] COMMITTEE.
§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
THE ATTOENEY GENERAL
believed that the several clauses he now proposed in connection with this Bill had been carefully considered by hon. Members. One of them was in page 6, after line 5, to insert—(Amendment of the Supreme Court of Judicature Acts in relation to Her Majesty's Court of Appeal.)Whereas it is expedient to amend the constitution of Her Majesty's Court of Appeal in manner hereinafter mentioned: Be it Enacted, That there shall be repealed so much of the fourth section of 'The Supreme Court of Judicature Act, 1875,' as provides that the ordinary judges of Her Majesty's Court of Appeal (in this Act referred to as ' the Court of Appeal') shall not exceed three at any one time.In addition to the number of ordinary judges of the Court of Appeal authorised to be appointed by' The Supreme Court of Judicature Act, 1875,'Her Majesty may appoint three additional ordinary judges of that Court.The first three appointments of additional judges under this Act shall be made by such transfer to the Court of Appeal as is in this section mentioned of three judges of the High Court of Justice, and the vacancies so created in the High Court of Justice shall not be filled up, except in the event and to the extent hereinafter mentioned.Her Majesty may by writing, under her sign manual, either before or after the commencement of this Act, but so as not to take effect until the commencement thereof, transfer to the Court of Appeal from the following Divisions of the High Court of Justice, that is to say, the Queen's Bench Division, the Common Pleas Division, and the Exchequer Division, such of the judges of the said Divisions, not exceeding three in number, as to Her Majesty may seem meet, each of whom shall have been a judge of any one or more of such Divisions for not less than two years previously to his appointment, and shall not be an ex-officio judge of the Court of Appeal, and every judge so transferred shall be deemed an additional ordinary judge of the Court of Appeal in the same manner as if he had been appointed such judge by letters patent. No judge shall be so transferred without his own consent.Every additional ordinary judge of the said Court of Appeal appointed in pursuance of this Act shall be subject to the provisions of sections twenty-nine and thirty-seven of 'The Supreme Court of Judicature Act, 1873,' and shall be under an obligation to go circuits and to act as Commissioner under commissions of assize or 859 other commissions authorised to be issued in pursuance of the said Act, in the same manner in all respects as if he were a Judge of the High Court of Justice.There shall he paid to every additional ordinary judge appointed in pursuance of this Act, in addition to the salary which he would otherwise receive as an ordinary judge of the Court of Appeal, such sum on account of his expenses on circuit or under such commission as aforesaid, as may he approved by the Treasury upon the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor.Each of the judges of the High Court of Justice who is in pursuance of this Act transferred to the Court of Appeal, by writing under the sign manual of Her Majesty, shall retain such officers as are attached to his person as such judge, and are appointed and removeable by him at his pleasure, in pursuance of 'The Supreme Court of Judicature Act, 1873,' and the officers so attached shall have the same rank, and hold their offices by the same tenure, and upon the same terms and conditions, and receive the same salaries, and if entitled to pensions be entitled to the same pensions, and shall as nearly as may be perform the same duties as if the judges to "whom they are attached had not been transferred to the Court of Appeal.Subject as aforesaid, the provisions of the Supreme Court of Judicature Acts, 1873 and 1875, for the time being in force in relation to the appointment of ordinary judges of Her Majesty's Court of Appeal, and to their tenure of office, and to their precedence, and to their salaries and pensions, and to the officers to be attached to such judges, and all other provisions relating to such ordinary judges shall apply to the additional ordinary judges appointed in pursuance of this section in the same manner as they apply to the other ordinary judges of the said Court.For the purpose of a transfer to the Court of Appeal under this section service as a judge in a Court whose jurisdiction is transferred to the High Court shall be deemed to have been service as a judge in any one or more of such Divisions of the High Court as are in this section in that behalf mentioned, and for the purpose of the pension of any person appointed under this Act, an additional ordinary judge of appeal service in the High Court of Justice, or in any Court whose jurisdiction is transferred to the High Court of Justice or to the Court of Appeal, shall be deemed to have been service in the Court of Appeal.)The particular object of this clause was to materially strengthen the Appellate Jurisdiction of the Intermediate Court of Appeal.
§ Clause (Amendment of the Supreme Court of Judicature Acts in relation to Her Majesty's Court of Appeal),—(Mr. Attorney General), brought up, and read the first and second time.
§ MR. CHARLEY
moved to leave out, in lines 11, 12, and 13— 860and the vacancies so created in the High Court of Justice shall not be filled up, except in the event and to the extent hereinafter mentioned.Applications at Chambers had been, greatly increased in number under the new Acts, while there had been no corresponding increase in the number of Judges; and there was now almost as much difficulty in getting a case heard at the time appointed at Chambers as in getting a case heard at the time appointed in Court. On Circuit, owing to the paucity of Judges, Queen's Counsel sat and tried cases both at Nisi Prius and on the Crown side. To compel a prisoner to be tried before a Queen's Counsel, instead of one of the Judges of the land, amounted to something like a denial of justice. At quarter sessions Recorders and Chairmen sat, who had had much experience, to try minor offences; while on Circuit charges of the gravest importance were tried by Queen's Counsel, who had had no experience at all of criminal law. The inconvenience of appointing Queen's Counsel to try cases at Nisi Priuswas shown at the late Manchester Assizes, where an eminent Queen's Counsel having been appointed to try a case of compensation for injuries sustained on a railway, the counsel for the plaintiff refused to appear before him, the reason being that the commissioner was counsel himself for a railway company. He had no objection to the transfer of the three Judges, but he objected to transferring them without filling up the vacancies so created. In the face of the statement of the hon. and learned Member for Taunton (Sir Henry James) that there would be 1,000 remanets by the 1st of November next, in Middlesex and London only, it seemed an extraordinary thing to take away three of the Judges of First Instance and not fill up the vacancies so created in the Court below. He desired also to point out that the Court of Appeal sat during Circuit, and it seemed a strange way to strengthen the Court of Appeal to transfer to it Judges, who would be liable to go Circuit, and thus absent themselves for a considerable portion of the year. In the Court of Appeal also, the Judges, who went Circuit, could not sit on appeals from their own decisions on Circuit.
in putting the Question, observed that the hon. Mem- 861 ber (Mr. Gregory) had an Amendment to propose in line 11, which must precede that of the hon. and learned Member for Salford.
said, he had hoped that the Attorney General would have made some statement as to the manner in which he proposed to work the new system which he would inaugurate. The Attorney General constituted another division of the Intermediate Court of Appeal by the appointment of three additional Judges, and for this purpose to abstract three Judges from the Court of First Instance. Whether this was wise or necessary was a matter of considerable doubt. There was a considerable block in the administration of justice — a very large arrear in the Common Law Courts and also in the Court of Chancery, which had been materially increased by the fact that that Court had to take vivá voce evidence. The obligation of the Court of Chancery to try out causes, instead of sending issues of fact to other Courts, greatly retarded the progress of business in the Chancery Courts, while the Vice Chancellors had not sufficient time to devote to matters which deserved their personal attention in Chambers; and, as was well known, there was also a block in the Common Law Courts. Under these circumstances, it certainly appeared to him that it was unwise to abstract Judges from the Courts of First Instance, without making any further provision for the business that was now so much in arrear; and he therefore proposed to leave it optional to take the Judges for the Court of Appeal from the High Court, instead of making it compulsory, by substituting the word "may" for the word "shall."
§ Amendment proposed, in line 11, to leave out the word "shall," and insert the word "may."—(Mr. Gregory.)
§ SIR HENRY JAMES
said, that large issues were raised by the clause and the Amendments, and sooner or later they must be discussed. When the Judicature Act came into operation last November, there were sham arrears, which were soon disposed of; but under the working of the Act it had been found that the Judicial Staff was not equal to the demands made upon it, and it was no exaggeration to say that a dead-lock had 862 resulted. Those who were chiefly prejudiced were the suitors and others who desired to appeal to the Courts of Law. About six weeks ago attention was called to the number of cases then waiting to be heard. In the Intermediate Court of Appeal there were 54 cases in arrear, and in London and Middlesex alone there were between 500 and 600 cases awaiting trial at Nisi Prius. He believed that at the beginning of the new legal year there would be fully 1,000 Nisi Prim cases in arrear. Matters were in this position when Lords Justices James and Baggallay wrote a letter stating that it was impossible, in the present state of the Appellate Court, to get through the business. That letter was communicated to the 18 legal Members of the House, and the conclusion which they came to was embodied in the Amendments of the Attorney General. It was then suggested that it was necessary to do two things—to increase the strength of the Court of Appeal by adding to its numbers, and its stability by ceasing to borrow Judges from the Primary Courts. No one could doubt that the Appellate Judges should be Appellate and not Primary Judges. The question then arose whence this additional strength should be derived. Some thought that it would be better to add at once two or three Judges to the Court of Intermediate Appeal. Every unnecessary addition to the number of Judges was, however, objectionable on two grounds, because it made all the other Judges do less work than need be, and because it lowered the standard of judicial qualification. When, a greater demand was made on the Profession by creating 24 Judges where 12 used to be the number, a lower standard was inevitable. The best number of Judges was the number required to do the work, and no more. He considered that the additional strength required in the Court of Intermediate Appeal could be obtained from the Common Law Bench, where at present there was a great waste of judicial power. Why, for example, in Nisi Priuscases, should there be seen the spectacle of three Judges sitting with the greatest solemnity to hear cases which men of the most ordinary intellect would decide offhand in their counting-houses? In the Court of Chancery a single Judge was sufficient for such causes. Why, he 863 asked, instead of having an increased number of Judges, should they not, by accepting the second Amendment of his hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General, economize judicial strength without affecting the public interest? If one Judge could dispose of cases of vastimportance in the Court of Chancery, why should not one Judge sit in a Court of Law and dispose of cases there? He was bound to say that these views having been expressed by the legal Members of the House the Attorney General had promptly taken steps, by placing his Amendments on the Paper, to carry them into effect. He wished the Court of Appeal to be like the Court of Bankruptcy, with greater weight and greater effect. The Amendments to be proposed by the Attorney General would be most beneficial to the Bench and to suitors generally, and he hoped that Members of his Profession would assist the Government in carrying them into effect.
MR. STAYELEY HILL
was ready to assent to the first clause proposed by the Attorney General, but in the interest of the public he could not support the second clause, by which, if it were passed, a Court of Law sitting in Bancowould consist of one Judge only. He asked, was the practice in Chancery so entirely satisfactory that they could make conformable to it their practice in Common Law? He compared the position of a Vice Chancellor in dealing with a case with the position of a Judge and a jury, and he said that a suitor who went away from a Court in Banco, whether the verdict had been for him or against him, went away with a more complete satisfaction as to the result of the case than a man who went out of the Vice Chancellor's Chamber. He understood that this Act was to do something for suitors, but it began by giving three weeks more vacation than they had formerly. While he assented to the first clause, he as completely dissented from the second.
§ MR. MOEGAN LLOYD
said, it was admitted on all hands that the present Court of Appeal could not keep up with the business. It was also agreed that an addition must be made to the Court of Appeal, such as was now proposed by the hon. and learned Attorney General. The only remaining question, therefore, was how this was to be done. There were only two ways in which it could be done; either by increasing the 864 number of Judges, or else by distributing the work so as to enable 15 Judges to do the work now done by 18. Now, the former alternative was out of the question, inasmuch as the Government had declared that under present circumstances they would not increase the number. He thought, therefore, the proposal that they should sit separately was one which ought to be tried. For his own part, he preferred a Judge sitting alone to a Judge sitting with another, or with two other Judges. When alone, one Judge had a full sense of his responsibility, which, if not lost, was weakened by association with another Judge. If he went wrong he could be set right by the Court of Appellate Jurisdiction. There was another improvement which might be adopted with advantage—namely, to make venues local, inasmuch as the accumulation of business in London was in a measure the result of the abolition of local venues. He trusted the Amendments would be accepted.
§ MR. GRANTHAM
thought that justice ought to be rendered to the Common Law Judges for the manner in which they had sought to fulfil their duties under the new system. He held that a great deal too much stress had been laid upon the working of the new system, with a view to its depreciation. It was not fair to say that the work had diminished, while the block had increased. The work disposed of now was far more important than under the old plan. The new system of pleading made it far more necessary to expose at once the ground of defence than was formerly the case, and these actions were brought to a speedier issue. A greater display of causes used to be made, because attorneys wished to make a show of the causes entered for trial, and the consequence was that many were entered which never were brought to a decision. He contended that the new system should have a fair trial. Many motions at Common Law of inferior importance might be made before a single Judge, and he would instance the example of cases brought before a Judge at Chambers to show how matters might be disposed of which would be considered of more importance if they were brought before a tribunal composed of more than a single person. As to the question of expense, he believed that the public 865 would not grudge £10,000, or even £20,000 a-year for additional Judges, who would save enormous cost and delay to suitors. The Judicature Act was passed to produce a fusion of Law and Equity, so that the same Judge might be able to try all the questions connected with a case; but the system did not work in the way which had been expected, and Equity Judges now sent down issues to be tried at the Assizes by the Common Law Judges. It was not fair that one class of Judges should be able to relieve themselves at the expense of another, and he could easily understand that there should have been some feeling on the part of Judges who were helpless in the matter, because they had a loyal desire to finish the business of their Circuits, and were not men to "scamp" their work. In conclusion, he was sorry the measure could not be postponed till another year, when they might have more satisfactory legislation than that now before them.
felt, as a member of the mercantile community, that the operations of the Judicature Act, whatever might be the cause, had not given satisfaction to the public. Considerable alarm existed lest we should be placed under very serious disadvantages in our judicial procedure, consequent upon the new Acts. So far were the advantages promised to suitors from being realized that there was now almost as much difficulty in knowing what Court to apply to as ever there had been; the Long Vacation was longer than ever, and the suitors had none of the facilities for having their cases tried which they had so much reason to hope would be afforded to them. He could not disguise from himself the fact that out-of-doors it was asserted too frequently that the Judges had really not shown that anxious desire to accommodate themselves and the business of their Courts to the new system which might have been fairly expected from them. When the Act came into operation, counsel were refused information when they applied to the Bench for it, and one Judge boasted that he had not yet read the provisions of the Act. The Judges might have, by consultation among themselves, removed many of the difficulties which had arisen. They were salaried officers of the State, and it was their duty to regulate the business of their Courts, so that 866 suitors might have the greatest possible facility in getting their rights adjusted.
THE ATTOENEY GENEBAL
said, that the Amendment which stood in his name was the result of the opinions expressed by the great bulk of the legal Members of the House, who ought to share the responsibility. It was admitted that the Intermediate Court of Appeal needed strengthening and improvement; and everybody admitted that the Bill would effect this object. Everybody agreed that to increase the number of Judges without such a step being necessary, would be the wrong thing to do. He would prefer that the new clauses which he had proposed should stand as they were on the Paper without being amended. If any further alteration were found necessary in the future they could be made with more confidence after they had gained the advantage of experience.
§ MR. WHALLEY
said, the late Lord Westbury had written to him expressing his deep regret that he was unable to appear in his place in Parliament to protest against the revolutionary, and, as he termed it, "most disastrous" scheme.
as one of the legal Members of the House, disclaimed being in any way responsible for, or favourable to, the Amendments that had been proposed. For his part he protested against Amendments effecting so important an alteration in our judicial system being introduced and discussed in a thin House at that period of the Session. The House should not suppose that the legal profession were in favour of the changes, for from all the learned Gentlemen and learned Judges he had consulted, with the exception of some hon. and learned Gentlemen in that House, he had not heard a single voice in favour of them. One main argument urged in their favour was that Judges sitting alone in the Equity Courts gave entire satisfaction, and, if so, it was asked, why should not Common Law Judges do the same? He denied that Equity Judges sitting alone did give satisfaction; but even if they did there was no analogy whatever between the cases upon which, as a rule, they had to decide and those that came before a Judge and a jury. How, he would ask, was a long legal argument to be satisfactorily conducted at 867 Nisi Prius, and the time of the jury wasted in listening to what they were not expected to understand? And if the question were reserved for the subsequent consideration of a single Judge, and important interests depended upon it, it was contrary to all experience to suppose that the suitor against whom the decision was, would be satisfied with it, and, if not satisfied, he would be driven not as at present to the Court in Banco, but at a great increase of expense to the Court of Appeal. He ventured to prophecy that it would soon be found, if these Amendments became law, that the disposal of all business before a single Judge was neither "practicable" nor "convenient," and we should have to fall back upon the proviso empowering Divisional Courts to be held to replace the Courts in Banco. The proposal of the Attorney General was, in effect, to abolish the Court in Banco, and thus deprive the suitor of his First Court of Appeal. The inevitable result would be that the New Court of Appeal would be overwhelmed with the business which would flow into it, for that Court could only sit in two Divisions. To further subdivide it would be to diminish its authority, and if it consisted of but a few Judges it would have no greater weight than the existing Courts in Banco. Lord Westbury, to whom the hon. Member for Peterborough had alluded, once said that the reason why a certain Lord Chancellor generally called in one of his legal brethren to sit with him was, "that he was afraid to be left alone in the dark." The Attorney General proposed that for the future all our Judges should be left alone in the dark. It was, perhaps, a minor consideration, but not to be left entirely out of view, that, under our present system, our Judges acquired no inconsiderable portion of their education by sitting with their brethren in Banco. He hoped the Attorney General would hold his hand, and be content with the Bill as it came from the House of Lords.
SIR WILLIAM HARCOUBT
said, with regard to the statement as to the disapproval of this measure by the Judges, that, he was afraid, was a statement that must be made with regard to every measure that ever had been or ever would be proposed for the reform of the law. Looking back over many years of legal changes, he could not see 868 any measure which had received the approval of Her Majesty's Judges. He regretted that the last speaker was not present at the meeting of the Profession which recommended the clause with remarkable unanimity.
§ MR. GREGORY
presumed it was a meeting of the members of the Bar, as he was not present; but he believed that he represented the views of one branch of the Profession (the solicitors) and the interests of the other. The object of his Amendment was simply to render the measure permissive, and to give time for the further consideration of the question.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
remarked that constant efforts had been made to subordinate the Common Law to that of the Court of Chancery, and he believed that the effect of the clause proposed by the Government would be to intercept the proceedings at Common Law. He would vote for the Amendment of the hon. Member for East Sussex rather than sanction a system of which all the Judges disapproved.
§ Question put, "That the word 'shall' stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 94; Noes36: Majority 58.
§ MR. CHARLEY
said that, as his Amendment to the Attorney General's new clause had been practically before the House, as well as that of the hon. Member for West Sussex (Mr. Gregory), and as he wihsed to economize time, he would not persevere with the clause which he had previously moved.
THE ATTOENEY GENERAL
moved the following new clause:—(Regulations as to business of High Court of Justice and divisional Courts of High Court.)On and after the first day of December one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six, every action and proceeding in the High Court of Justice, and all business arising out of the same, except as is hereinafter provided, shall, so far as is practicable and convenient, he heard, determined, and disposed of before a single judge, and all proceedings in an action subsequent to the hearing or trial, and down to and including the final judgment or order, always excepting any proceedings on appeal in the Court of Appeal, shall, so far as is practicable and convenient, be had and taken before the judge before whom the trial or hearing of the cause took place; Provided, nevertheless, That divisional courts of the High Court of Justice, may be held for the transaction of any business 869 which may for the time being be ordered by rules of court to be heard by a divisional court; and any such divisional court when held, shall be constituted by two judges of the court and no more, unless the president of the division to which such divisional court belongs, with the concurrence of the other judges of such division, or a majority thereof, is of opinion that such divisional court should be constituted of a greater number of judges than two, in which case such court may be constituted of such-number of judges as the president, with such concurrence as aforesaid, may think expedient; nevertheless the decisions of a divisional court shall not be invalidated by reason of such court being constituted of a greater number than two judges; andRules of court for carrying into effect the enactments contained in this section shall be made in manner provided by 'The Supreme Court of Judicature Act, 1875,' on or previously to the first day of December one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six, hut may afterwards be altered in manner provided by the said Act; andThere shall be repealed on and after the eleventh day of January, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven, so much of sections forty, forty-one, forty-two, forty-three, forty-four, and forty-six of 'The Supreme Court of Judicature Act,1873,' as is inconsistent with the provisions of this section.
moved to omit from the clause the condition "so far" as is practicable and convenient," which he thought would render the clause valueless.
§ SIR HENRY JAMES
thought a hard-and-fast line was undesirable, and he hoped the Amendment would not be accepted.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ MR. WATKIN WILLIAMS
moved the following Amendment to the clause, in line 22, after "shall be made," leave out to" said Act and," in line 25, and insert—On or before the first day of December, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six, and may be afterwards altered, and all rules of court to be made after the passing of this Act, whether made under 'The Supreme Court of Judicature Act, 1875,' or this Act, shall be made by any three or more of the following persons, of whom the Lord Chancellor shall be one—namely, the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice of England, the Master of the Rolls, the Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, the Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and four other judges of the Supreme Court of Judicature, to be from time to time appointed for the purpose by the Lord Chancellor in writing under his hand, such appointment to continue for such time as shall be specified therein.
§ MR. WHALLEY
strongly objected to the Amendment. He thought that when it was proposed to change the whole system of their jurisprudence, they should be guided by the best authorities in the course they were asked to take.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
said, he had carefully considered the Amendment of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Denbigh, and he must say he considered it an improvement.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to, and added to the Bill.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
moved the following new clause:—(Power in certain events to fill vacancies occasioned in High Court of Justice by removal of judges to Court of Appeal.)Whenever any two of the said paid judges of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council have died or resigned, Her Majesty may, upon an address from both Houses of Parliament, representing that the state of business in the High Court of Justice is such as to require the appointment of an additional judge, fill up one of the vacancies created by the transfer hereinbefore authorized, by appointing one new judge of the said High Court in any Division thereof; and, on the death or retirement of the remaining two paid judges of the said Judicial Committee, Her Majesty may, upon the like Address, fill up in like manner another of the said vacancies, and from time to time fill up any vacancies occurring in the offices of judges so appointed.
§ Clause agreed to, and addedto the Bill.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
moved the following new clause:—(Increase of allowance to retired Indian and Colonial Judges attending the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.—3 and 4 W. 4, c. 41, s. 30.)Whereas by the thirtieth section of the Act of the Session of the third and fourth years of the reign of King William the Fourth, chapter forty-one, and intituled 'An Act for the better administration of Justice in His Majesty's Privy Council,' it is provided that an allowance of four hundred pounds a year may be made to two members of His Majesty's Privy Council, having held such office of judge as therein mentioned in every year during which they attend the sittings of the Judicial Committee of the said Council as an indemnity for the expense which they may thereby incur, and whereas it is expedient to increase such allowance, be it enacted that the said section shall be read as if the words ' one thousand pounds' had been inserted therein in place of the words ' four hundred pounds.'
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said, that the hon. and learned Gentleman appeared to fear that the retiring allowance would not secure Judges in this department. If the retiring allowance was increased to £1,000 a-year, he thought there was a probability of their having too many applicants for the position.
§ Clause agreed to, and addedto the Bill.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
moved the following new clause:—(Continuation until 1st January 1878, of s. 34 of 38 and 39 Vic. c. 77, as to vacancies in legal offices.)Whereas by section thirty-four of' The Supreme Court of Judicature Act, 1875,' it is enacted that upon the occurrence of any vacancy in an office coming within the provisions of section seventy-seven of 'The Supreme Court of Judicature Act, 1873,' the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain may, with the concurrence of the Treasury, suspend the making any appointment to such office for any period not later than the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven, and may, if it be necessary, make provision in such manner as he thinks fit for the temporary discharge in the meantime of the duties of such office, and it is expedient to extend the said period as hereinafter mentioned: Be it therefore enacted as follows:The said section shall he construed as if the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy-eight were therein inserted in lieu of the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven.
§ Clause agreed to, and added to the Bill.
The ATTORNEY GENERAL
then moved the following new clause:—(Appointment of deputy by district registrars.)A district registrar of the Supreme Court of Judicature may from time to time, but subject to such regulations as the Lord Chancellor may from time to time make, appoint a deputy, and all acts authorized or required to he done by, to, or before a district registrar may be done by, to, or before any deputy so appointed.
§ Clause brought up, and read the first time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be read a second time."
§ MR. GREGORY
opposed the clause, and urged that the system of appointing 872 deputies for the administration of justice was open to grave objection and abuse.
§ Mr. WHALLEY
observed that the power of appointing a deputy-registrar would be open to very grave objection.
§ SIR COLMAN O'LOGHLEN
considered that the appointment of a deputy should not be made without the sanction of the Lord Chancellor.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
thought that, under proper regulations, the appointment of a deputy might prove beneficial.
§ MR. GREGORY
still urged his objections to the clause. This power of appointment was unlimited, and he hoped the clause would be reserved for further consideration.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided: —Ayes 68; Noes 42: Majority 26.
§ On the Motion of the ATTORNEY GENERAL the clause was amended by adding that the appointment of deputy registrars should only be made "with the approval of the Lord Chancellor."
§ On the Motion of Mr. MORGAN LLOYDIT was also added that the appointment should not be made for a longer period than three months.
§ Clause, as amended agreed to, and added to the Bill.
§ MR. WATKIN WILLIAMS
moved in page 4, after Clause 12, to insert the following clause:—(Enforcing payment of costs.)Where, in any appeal to the House of Lords, the House of Lords shall order or adjudge any costs to be paid by any party or parties to such appeal to any other party or parties thereto, the cause, matter, or other proceeding in which the said appeal shall have been had, shall, if so ordered by the House of Lords, be remitted back to the Court of first instance for the purpose of enforcing the payment of such costs, and such last mentioned Court shall in such case issue such process for the recovery of such costs as shall be necessary and in accordance with the usual practice of such Court in enforcing the payment of damages or costs ordered to be paid by an order or judgment of such Court.
§ Clause negatived.873
§ MR. CHARLEY
moved the following new clause:—(Writs of Assistance to be issued to all the Judges of the Supreme Court.)Writs of Assistance, under the Great Seal, shall be issued out of the office of the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, commanding the attendance in the House of Lords of all the Judges of the Supreme Court of Judicature, to treat and give advice in Parliament in the same manner in all respects in which writs under the Great Seal have heretofore been issued out of the office of the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, commanding the attendance of the Justices of either Bench, the Barons of the Exchequer and the Master of the Rolls, to treat and give advice in Parliament.The hon. Member said, that it was purely owing to the historical accident that the Equitable Jurisdiction of the House of Lords was only 200 years old, while the Common Jurisdiction was coeval in its origin with the Constitution, that the Equity Judges were not summoned to advise the House of Lords. Now that Law and Equity were fused, it was important that the advice of the Equity Judges should be obtainable by the House of Lords. A similar clause to the one which he proposed was read a second time in the House of Commons on the Motion of Sir Edward Sugden (afterwards Lord St. Leonards) many years ago, and would be found in the Appendix to Sugden on "Property."
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
objected to the clause, on the ground that it was an interference with the procedure of the House of Lords.
§ Clause, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Bill reported, with Amendments; as amended, to be considered To-morrow.