HC Deb 01 March 1877 vol 232 cc1205-6

asked Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, If, under the existing state of the law, persons who, holding the Commission of the Peace, are declared by law to be disqualified by reason of their being declared bankrupts, committing offences, or accepting certain offices, nevertheless are at the issuing of the Commission of the Peace next after such disqualification occurs reappointed and become again entitled to hold such Commission; and, if it is not the fact that at the present time there are a large number of uncertificated and absconding bankrupts and other persons declared to be disqualified by law who are named in the Commission of the Peace, and who are entitled to be Justices of the Peace in Ireland; and, if he will take steps to prevent such a state of things in future?


I have no information which would enable me to give the particulars referred to in the Question. I believe there are some but not a large number of persons disqualified by bankruptcy and other causes now included in the commission. As the subject is one of considerable importance, I have communicated with the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, who has the power of appointing and superseding magistrates, and who exercises a general jurisdiction over them. I have this morning received a letter from his Lordship's secretary, which states shortly the remedies he proposes to meet the evils alluded to. The system in Ireland of appointing justices is very inconvenient. On each new commission the names of all the other magistrates are inserted. In England, since the time of Lord Chancellor Parker, only the new name is given. The Lord Chancellor proposes to assimilate the Irish system to the English, by introducing a clause in a Bill which is contemplated and which would permit official instruments to be shortened. The Irish mode makes it a matter of doubt whether disqualified persons are not each time appointed, whereas in England no such question arises. To reform the mode of appointment seems the best way of dealing with the difficulty. But, until an improvement in the system of appointment is made, it is intended to omit in any new commissions such persons as information can be obtained about from the Court of Bankruptcy.