HC Deb 04 July 1907 vol 177 cc865-6
MR. BERTRAM (Hertfordshire, Hitchin)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Council of Judges of the Supreme Court has, in conformity with the 75th Section of The Judicature Act, 1873, as in each year since 1S74, made an annual Report to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, as one of the principal Secretaries of State, as to what, if any, amendment or alterations it would in their judgment be expedient to make in the Act or otherwise relating to the administration of justice, and particularly the defects which may appear to exist in the system of procedure or the administration of the law in any part of the Supreme Court; and, if such annual † See page 851. Report has not in any year or years been made, whether any, and, if so, how many Reports have been made to one of such principal Secretaries of State; and whether any such Reports can be laid upon the Table, particularly those which have any bearing upon the provisions of the Criminal Appeal Bill now before this House; and when the meeting for 1907 will take place.

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Gladstone, Leeds, W.)

Since the Supreme Court of Judicature Act came into force the Judges have reported on three occasions; in 1880, on the Courts of Common Pleas and Exchequer; in 1884, on the circuit system; and in 1892, on various matters, including a Court of Criminal Appeal and the revision of sentences. The Report of 1880 was presented to Parliament in January, 1881; the report of 1884 is referred to in an Order in Council which was presented to Parliament (No. 251 of 1884); and the report of 1892, which deals with the question of criminal appeal, was presented to Parliament in 1894 (No. 127 of 1894). I understand that the Council of Judges have met twice this year, but the business at those meetings has not been made the subject of a Report to me.