HC Deb 17 July 1902 vol 111 c523
MR. FLYNN (Cork Co., N)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that of the twenty-two resident magistrates mentioned in the Dublin Gazette of 11th instant as qualified under Section 11 of The Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, 1887, twenty were declared qualified on the dates between 6th December, 1901. and 8th May, 1902; whether he will state the reason why this number of magistrates have been scheduled in Ireland within the period of five months; and, what test or examination must these gentlemen comply with or pass before being declared qualified under the section referred to.


The facts are as stated in the first paragraph. The qualifications of resident magistrates were considered when it seemed probable, owing to an increase in the offence of unlawful assembly, that resident magistrates might have to adjudicate in cases under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act. Of the twenty, fourteen were certified before the issue of proclamations, and six since. The statute declares that the Lord Lieutenant must be satisfied of the legal capacity of one resident magistrate out of the two composing a Court of Summary Jurisdiction under the Act. No test or examination is imposed by statute.


Are not these resident magistrates required to be practising barristers or to be engaged in the practice of the law in some way?


I think the statute requires that the Lord Lieutenant shall be satisfied of the sufficiency of their legal knowledge.