HC Deb 12 April 1883 vol 278 cc66-7

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, When and under what circumstances was the office of Law Adviser in Ireland created; what were the duties imposed on that officer, and were same regulated by any Minute, or how otherwise; have any, and, if so, what, alterations been made in the nature of these duties; and by whom are such duties at present discharged; and, what arrangements have the Government made for their future discharge?


Sir, I regret I am unable at present to give the hon. Member the information he asks for, as to when, and under what circumstances, the Office of Law Adviser was created, and the nature of the duties originally imposed upon that officer. Upon receipt of Notice of this Question yesterday, a search was instituted and is still being continued among the ancient records and official papers of the Irish Office in London and Dublin, which might throw light on the subject. I may mention that the salary first appeared in the Estimates for the year 1849–50; but the Office existed prior to that time. No alterations have as yet been made by the present Government with regard to the duties of the Office, which are at present discharged by one of the Law Officers at Dublin; but, as I stated a few days ago, in reply to a Question put by the right hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Gibson), the Government have under consideration the question of the re-organization of the legal assistance which is necessary at Dublin Castle.


asked, whether one of the duties of the Law Adviser is not to advise magistrates in the exercise of their judicial functions?


in reply, said, that undoubtedly that had hitherto been rather an important part of the duties; but the Government, considering it a very questionable part, had instituted a close inquiry whether that practice ought to be continued.


I should like to ask, whether communications between the magistrates and the Law Adviser have not been more frequent and more intimate during the period of Office of the present Administration than that of any other previous Administration?

[No reply.]