HC Deb 03 March 1908 vol 185 cc546-7
MR. MULDOON (Wicklow, E.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether there is any explanation of the fact that of the total resident magistrates in Ireland twenty-nine only have been certified as having sufficient legal knowledge under The Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, 1887; how it has happened that of those twenty-nine eleven only have had any legal training, the others having been mostly constabulary officers, while nine practising barristers and two solicitors on the list have never received any such certificate; and how it is that the constabulary officers, in the granting of legal certificates, have been preferred to the trained lawyers.


His Majesty's present Government have issued no certificates to resident magistrates under the Crimes Act. I am informed that the last occasion on which such certificates were issued was some six years ago when certain counties were being proclaimed under the Act. I understand that it was the practice, when the Act was in operation, to certify only those magistrates who were resident or acting in the proclaimed districts, and that the Lord-Lieutenant satisfied himself in every case of the legal competency of the resident magistrate so certified. No necessity arose for issuing certificates to resident magistrates in other than proclaimed districts.