HL Deb 25 April 1833 vol 17 cc591-2
Lord Lyndhurst

presented two Petitions from the Commissioners of the Court of Requests of Kingston-upon-Hull, and from the Inhabitants generally of that place, against the 19th Clause of the Local Judicature Bill, which takes away the jurisdiction of the Courts of Requests. The petitioners complained, that the machinery of the new Act was not well adapted to the habits and circumstances of the country, and they prayed to be heard against that particular clause of it by Counsel at the Bar of the House.

The Lord Chancellor

said, that the petitions presented by the noble Lord were well worthy the attention of their Lordships. He was aware that these were not the only petitions which would be presented against the 19th clause of the Local Bill, and he did not hesitate to declare that some enactment, different from an immediate repeal of the jurisdiction of those Courts would be necessary. It was absolutely necessary, however, that something should be done to put them on a better footing. There were upwards of 280 such Courts in different parts of the country, some of which had little or no jurisdiction, and many others of which were full of abuses. There were exceptions, however, in which a great deal of business was done, to the satisfaction of those concerned. These, he thought, might be saved at least for the present. But he thought that it would be more convenient, if, instead of their jurisdiction being only optional on the part of litigants (as prayed for by the petitioners), which would leave them Courts only in name (for he had no doubt, if they had only a common jurisdiction with the Courts he proposed to establish, that they would be forsaken)—he thought he said, it would be proper to give them exclusive jurisdiction over the class of causes of which they now took cognizance. He should therefore think it his duty, on the introduction of the Local Jurisdiction Bill, to move some modification of the 19th clause.

Petitions laid on the Table.

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