HL Deb 16 February 1857 vol 144 cc685-6

said, he was about to present a Bill similar to one which he had laid before their Lordships last year, combined with a large number of schedules, a Bill for facilitating the collection of Judicial Statistics. He had upon a former occasion entered fully into a consideration of the incalculable benefits that would be derived from a good system of judicial statistics, and had shown that not only was this country in that respect behind France, Belgium, and Germany, but was even behind Naples. Until some system was adopted we should be legislating in the dark in all matters relating to legal enactments and legal procedure; and until such a system was adopted legislation in matters of law could not be called an inductive science, for they were labouring in the dark, without any knowledge of the effects of existing laws or the consequences of any changes in those laws. We had no means whatever of ascertaining the practical working of a law that was passed. The Bill he now presented was exceedingly short, and he hoped before the second reading the schedules, which had undergone revision, correction, and improvement by the Law Amendment Society, would be perfected, and that he should be enabled to lay before the House a complete set of schedules, which would leave nothing to be desired by the department entrusted with the collection and arrangement of those important details. The noble and learned Lord concluded by presenting a Bill to provide for collection of judicial statistics.


observed that the subject had been under the consideration of the Government during the recess. No doubt, returns showing the amount of business done, the salaries paid, and other facts relating to the various courts, would be of great use.

Bill read 1a