HC Deb 06 February 1891 vol 350 cc155-6

I beg to ask the Attorney General for Ireland if his attention has been called to the following statement in the Freeman's Journal, of 3rd February— In the Land Commission Court yesterday, Mr. Justice Bewley, pursuant to the provisions of the Land Purchase Act, sat with the Land Purchase Commissioners, Messrs. Lynch and MacCarthy, to hear a legal argument. At the close of the case, Mr. Justice Bewley delivered the judgment of the Court. When he had finished, Mr. Commissioner Lynch proceeded to add his judgment; but Mr. Justice Bewley promptly interposed, and declined to allow him to proceed. 'I, and I alone,' said his lordship in effect, 'am the Judge in all matters of law, and I cannot permit any observations to be made by way of supplement or otherwise to my judgment. what are the actual facts; and is the right of Commissioners Lynch and MacCarthy to co-ordinate jurisdiction with Judge Bewley in dispute; and if so, where is the distinction to be found?


It appears that a question of law in regard to the redemption of tithe rent-charge was raised in the course of proceedings before the Land Purchase Commissioners, and an appeal from the decision of the Commissioners was taken to the Court of Appeal. On the argument of the appeal, it appeared that the matter had not been submitted to the Judicial Commissioner for his determination, and the Court sent it back in order that the question of law might be heard and determined by the Judicial Commissioner under the provisions of the 17th Section of the Purchase of Land (Ireland) Act, 1885. I have not the means of obtaining an official report as to what occurred on the occasion in question. But the observations attributed to the learned Judge would be perfectly accurate in relation to such a proceeding, in which the duty of hearing and determining the question of law referred to him devolves on the Judicial Commissioner, and on him alone.