HC Deb 12 March 1888 vol 323 cc847-8
MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

asked Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland, Whether appeals from Resident Magistrates in County Clare have been decided by Mr. William Hickson, Q.C., a gentleman temporarily appointed to act in the absence of the County Court Judge; is he aware that Mr. Hickson is a member of the Dublin Constitutional Club, and that, since his confirmation of the sentences of Resident Magistrates, has attended a meeting of that Body; will the appeal, in the case of the hon. Member for East Clare (Mr. Cox), from a sentence by Resident Magistrates of four months' imprisonment, for a speech last October, be heard by Mr. Hickson; and, can arrangements be made by which coercion appeals shall be tried only by Judges not removable at the pleasure of the Executive?


The County Court Judge of Clare being during the last Session incapacitated from attending by reason of illness, the Lord Chancellor appointed Mr. Hickson, Q.C., as his locum tenens, and that gentleman accordingly discharged all the duties at the last Sessions, including, of course, the hearing of appeals from Resident Magistrates. The County Court Judge is now better, and he has not intimated to the Lord Chancellor that he will be unable to discharge the duties of his office in person at the next Sessions. Mr. Hick-son is, I understand, a member of the Dublin Constitutional Club, and has attended its meetings. He is, I may add, an able and highly respected member of the Bar. In answer to the last paragraph of the Question, I have to state that it would not be possible to make any arrangements altering the statutory provisions as to appeals, which must in all cases of summary jurisdiction be made at the next Quarter Sessions called in the Division of the county in which the conviction has been made.


If a County Court Judge is not able to resume his duties at the next Quarter Sessions, is it not open to the Government to adjourn the appeals to a subsequent Sessions?


said, it was provided by statute that the appeals must be heard at the next Quarter Sessions; and the only thing which could be done by the Government was for the Lord Chancellor, by another statute, to allow them to be heard by the gentleman who was acting for the County Court Judge, as in the present case.

MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)

asked, why the Government did not throw this duty on some other County Court Judge?


The effect would be to take another County Court Judge from his own county. That would not get on with the work better.