asked if the right hon. Gentleman will state whether Circular A 52,150 of 23rd March. 1891, holds good, which states that where a fine inflicted does not exceed 5s. an order cannot be made for costs in the case of non-attendance at school?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The circular in question drew attention to Section 8 of the Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1879, which prohibits costs being imposed in cases where the fine does not exceed 5s. unless the Court thinks fit expressly to order otherwise. The law on this point remains the same as in 1891. That circular did not, however, refer to cases of non-attendance at school, because in these cases the penalty, including costs, was then limited by law to a maximum of 5s. This provision was amended by the Elementary Education Act of 1900 which raised the maximum to 20s.
Are we to understand that it is in the discretion of the bench whether they inflict a fine or costs or not?