HC Deb 01 March 1901 vol 90 cc201-2

I beg to ask Mr. Attorney General for Ireland whether his attention has been called to the judgment in the King's Bench Division on 26th instant in the appeal case of District Inspector Rice, R.I.C., v. Halpin, confirming the decision but giving no costs. Is he aware that Judge Gibson characterised the power of magistrates in respect to cases in which they can impose upon defendants the obligation of giving security to be of good behaviour as unjust; and whether in view of the Lord Chief Justice's opinion that the law should be altered so as to conform to the law of England as altered by the Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1879, the Irish Law Officers of the Crown will take the necessary legislative steps for such alteration.


I have not as yet been able to obtain an authentic copy of the judgment of the Court, but from the daily press it would appear that the remarks of both the learned judges were applied to the inability of persons required to give securities to keep the peace and be of good behaviour in Ireland to give evidence before the magistrates on their own behalf as they are enabled to do in England under the 25th section of the Summary Jurisdiction Act of 1879. I would undertake to introduce a short Bill forthwith to assimilate the law in the two countries in this respect if hon. Members from Ireland would give an assurance that they would treat it as an unopposed measure.