HC Deb 01 November 1913 vol 43 cc725-6

(1) No person who, in the opinion of the Court of Summary Jurisdiction before which he is brought, is under the age of sixteen years shall (unless he is jointly charged with a person above that age) be committed for trial for any offence, or alleged offence, under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1885, as amended by this Act, if the Court of Summary Jurisdiction is competent to deal summarily with him.

(2) In the application of this section to Scotland, the expression "Court of Summary Jurisdiction" shall mean the sheriff, or any two or more justices of the peace, or any magistrate or magistrates, by whatever name called, officiating under the provisions of any general or local police Act?


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a second time."

I do not think it requires any argument in its support. It simply prevents a young person under sixteen years of age from being committed for trial under this measure if he is willing to be dealt with summarily. There is one exception, namely, when such a person is charged with a person over sixteen years of age. In that case, if the magistrates desired to commit the older person, they could not deal with the youth summarily. In nearly every case I have no doubt a youth would be dealt with summarily, but there might be cases where the bench, I think injudiciously, would send him for trial at the Assizes, and this Clause would prevent that.


I beg to second the Motion.


The objection to this Clause is two-fold. In the first place, there are cases in which a lad ought to be sent for trial; and, in the second place, there are cases where a lad ought to have the right to demand a trial if he wishes it. For these reasons I would ask my hon. Friend not to press a Clause which would be going quite outside the ordinary procedure of the law.

Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.