The Earl of Wicklow
My Lords, perceiving the noble Viscount, the Secretary of State for the Home Department in his place, I beg leave to put a question upon a subject which has created a great deal of alarm in Ireland. I allude, my Lords, to a bill brought up from the other House of Parliament last Session, called the Irish Jury Bill. That Bill was considered to be a measure of so much importance in the administration of justice in that country that it was considered advisable to refer it to a Select Committee of your Lordships' House. I had the honour of being on that Committee, and it was suggested, when the Bill was under consideration, that it would be very desirable to have the opinion of the Judges upon some of the points of it. The noble Viscount undertook to refer to the Judges for their opinion; and what I wish to know is, whether, as yet, he has received the decision of those Judges; and if he has, whether his Majesty's Ministers intend to bring that Bill, or a Bill with similar provisions, before Parliament in the course of the present Session?
§ Viscount Melbourne
My Lords, in answer to the question just put to me by the noble Earl, I beg to state, that it is the intention of his Majesty's Government, and that without delay, to bring forward a measure to regulate the Juries in Ireland. I cannot, however, undertake to say, that the Bill will be precisely the same as the Bill introduced during the last Session of Parliament. With respect to the other topic introduced by the noble Earl, I can state, that the Judges were consulted upon the subject, and their opinion has been given. They approve of some parts of the Bill, but they have suggested alterations in other parts of it.