HC Deb 19 February 1877 vol 232 cc631-2

(Sir Henry Sclwin-Ibbetson, Mr. Assheton Cross.)


Order for Second Reading read.


said, he was glad that this measure had been introduced at so early a period of the Session. As to fees in criminal cases at petty sessions, he was sorry that the Government had not dealt with them; they ought to be entirely abolished. That those who came to seek justice, or were brought up to be dealt with by the law should be made to pay for it was a doubtful policy. Again, some precaution should be taken against the clerks being interested in matters brought before the justices. A clause might be introduced prohibiting this. Further, there was no power given to the justices to remit the fees.


said, that he thought that as regarded the question of fees in criminal cases at petty sessions, it was a subject which hardly formed a part of that Bill. As to the clerks of justices being interested in the cases heard, that would be difficult to deal with in rural districts, where the clerk was often the only person qualified to conduct the proceedings. However, he would remind the House that the Government had promised to deal generally with the question. As to remitting the fees, the most valuable provision of the Permissive Act was the power of remitting fees. In his opinion, the Bill would be a considerable addition and improvement to the existing law on the subject.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Thursday.