HC Deb 14 March 1887 vol 312 cc175-6
MR. CHANCE (Kilkenny, S.)

asked Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, Upon what grounds he vetoed the prosecution of District Inspector Milling, Royal Irish Constabulary, for an assault for which he had been committed for trial; and, whether there is any statute entitling Mr. Attorney General thus to veto prosecutions?


Before a bill of indictment is found, the Attorney General neither exercises nor claims the right to veto a prosecution. As Public Prosecutor he is entitled to direct that a prosecution be conducted by the Crown officials; and I have declined, in the exercise of the discretion which I thus possess, to give such a direction in the case of District Inspector Milling. After a bill of indictment is found, the Attorney General, as representing the Queen, has had, as the hon. Member must be aware, from the earliest times, the power to enter a nolle prosequi.


May I point out to the right hon. and learned Gentleman he has not answered the last paragraph of the Question—whether there is any statute entitling the Attorney General to veto prosecutions?


The Attorney General never does veto a prosecution; the only thing he does is to enter a nolle prosequi—a power he has possessed from the earliest period of our law.