HL Deb 06 October 1831 vol 8 cc58-9

The Earl of Shaftesbury moved the third reading of the Fees in Courts of Law Bill.

The Lord Chancellor

said, if any sound objection could be made to this Bill he should have no objection to have it reconsidered. According to a statement made last night by a noble Earl, this Bill would unjustly affect the interests of some of the Welsh Judges, whose case he should not object to have considered.

Earl Cawdor

said, that the Law Commissioners were not authorized to grant compensation for fees which were not enforced by Act of Parliament, or by a prescription of fifty years. Now it was notorious that fees were received and considered legal which did not come within either of these heads. The emoluments of some of the Welsh Judges depended entirely on such fees, and by this Act they would not be entitled to any compensation, which was not, he supposed, intended by the Bill.

The Lord Chancellor

thought there should be some limit of time fixed, and if injustice were done, a Special Report might be made by the Commissioners. He thought the Welsh Judges did not come within the meaning of the Bill.

Lord Tenterden

said, in order to arrive at a proper understanding with respect to this Bill, it was necessary to consider the circumstances which rendered its adoption necessary. The Common-law Commission having determined that the abolition of certain fees was desirable, and that a compensation in lieu should be made to those entitled to receive them, a Commission was consequently appointed to determine those points, and that commission considered that under the Act 1 Will. 4, c. 58, which had been passed for the purpose of regulating the receipt and appropriation of fees and emoluments receiveable by the Officers of the superior Courts of Common Law, they were bound only to entertain the claims of such persons as could shew they were entitled to these fees by authority of Parliament or some other legal authority. This necessarily led to considerable difficulty, and it was, therefore, thought adviseable to bring in the present Act, in order that such fees should be established as legal fees when there had been an enjoyment for a given period; and that period, after much consideration had been fixed at fifty years.

Bill read a third time and passed.

Back to