HC Deb 07 March 1882 vol 267 cc377-8

asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether the Statutory Rules which regulate the length of the vacations of the Supreme Court of Judicature are still in force; and, if so, whether the Judges of the Chancery Division have power to extend the vacations beyond the periods prescribed by the rules or to create additional vacations not authorized by the rules; and, whether the Lord Chancellor has jurisdiction to prevent the expense and delay occasioned to the suitors by the closing of the Superior Courts of Justice during the time when by Law they ought to be sitting?


It is quite correct to say that the Judges have no power to lengthen the statutory vacation, and, therefore, no power to shorten the Sittings; but, at the same time, there is no legal obligation upon them to sit every day during the periods in which the Sittings are held. For many years, both before and since the passing of the Judicature Act, the Judges in Equity have suspended their Sittings for a short time between the beginning of the Hilary and the Easter Sittings. This was in consequence of the great strain upon the Judges of Sitting continuously, and also in consequence of their having to perform various duties in Chambers. I think that if my hon. Friend will inquire he will find that the Judges have done only what is usual, and, I have no doubt, necessary.