HL Deb 23 February 1860 vol 156 cc1559-60

Order of the Day for Second Reading of the Offences against the Person Bill.


in moving the second reading of the Bill said, it was one of a series of measures of great importance; which, if their Lordships would read a second time, he should ask should be referred to a Select Committee, at which not merely the law Members of their Lordships' House, but other noble Lords, both law and lay, might attend, and offer suggestions for their improvement. He had given their Lordships a history of these Bills at no distant period, which he would not then repeat. A proposition had been entertained for attempting the consolidation into one code, not, indeed, of the whole law of the country—that would be almost a hopeless task—but of the criminal law only, and the present series of Bills consolidating the Criminal Statute Law was the result. The Bills had been carefully considered by learned persons on both side St. George's Channel, and the criminal law of England and Ireland had been assimilated on some important points. He would draw their Lordships' attention to one of these. By the law of England to conspire to murder was a misdemeanour: by the law of Ireland it was and is a capital offence. Their Lordships in considering the law as it applied to Bernard's case had thought that there ought to be a uniformity of law upon this subject. The opportunity for a change had now occurred, and it was proposed by the Bill which he now introduced to assimilate the penalty in Ireland and England, by making it not merely a misdemeanour but a felony in both countries, punishable not with death, but with penal servitude


addressed some remarks to the House, which were inaudible.


said, he hoped the noble Marquess would attend the sittings of the Committee, where he had no doubt of being able to prove to him that the alterations he proposed, so far as they affected the law of Ireland, were unexceptionable.

Bill read 2a and referred to a Select Committee. As also were Larceny, &c, Bill, Forgery Bill, Malicious Injuries to Property Bill, Coinage Offences Bill, Accessories and Abettors Bill, and Criminal Statutes Repeal Bill.