HL Deb 25 June 1852 vol 122 cc1277-8

said, he wished to put a question to his noble and learned Friend the Lord Chief Justice. He wished to know from his noble and learned Friend whether, as visitor to the Inns of Court, he was satisfied with the scheme of legal education which had been adopted by the Benchers of the different Inns?


said, he wished his noble and learned Friend had given him notice of the question he had just addressed to him. He had the honour to be visitor of the Inns of Court, and he rejoiced that the Benchers had at last been taking a step in the right direction. He had been labouring for the last twenty years to induce them to do so. He had always thought that the state of legal education in this country was disgracefully bad; he was very eager to see it amended, and he rejoiced that something had at last been done which might lead to amendment. He thought more might be done; but he thought it highly satisfactory that the Benchers had at last done so much. He did not feel that the Judges would be at all justified in interfering, when so good a disposition had been shown on the part of the Benchers of the Inns of Court in the commencement of this good work. He hoped the Benchers would still go on, that there might be the same opportunity of acquiring legal education in this country as in the other civilised countries of the world.


hoped that the system of education now to be adopted should not he left voluntary, but that there should be a compulsory examination of students before they were called to the bar.


said, as a Bencher, he was confident there was every disposition on the part of his brethren of the Bench, of at least one Inn of Court—Lincoln'sinn—to carry a good deal further than they had yet done the important measures which they had commenced for the improvement of legal education. But he entirely agreed with his noble and learned Friend, that if degrees were conferred as the result of studies in the different Inns, or in a University composed of the four Inns (which he thought would be the sounder system), that those degrees should only be conferred after compulsory examination; that was to say, that examination should be necessary for admission to the degree of a barrister, and that this degree should not he conferred except as the result of education in the Inns.

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