HL Deb 25 June 1874 vol 220 cc415-7


"1. Because the Act which this Bill purports to amend "was passed on condition that its working should be tried, before its application to Scotland and Ireland.

"2. Because the recommendation of the Select Committee of this Honourable House, 1872, has been disregarded in its extension to Ireland and Scotland.

"3. Because the designation of "Imperial Court" is less worthy of respect than "Her Majesty in Parliament" and "Her Majesty in Council;" whilst an advocate of Imperial Rule in Ireland was designated an imperious Englishman—1869. See Hansard, Vol. 191., p. 773.

"4. Because, though professing to create one Imperial Court of Judicature, this Bill proposes many sub-divisions with shifting duties of Judges, instead of continuing the power to suitors of knowing that high officers of State are attending the Appeals both in the House of Lords and in the Privy Council.

"5. Because the ecclesiastical authorities are almost excluded from the proposed Imperial Court, and their limited influence as assessors substituted for it.

"6. Because the difficulties of creating Lords Chancellors and Lords Chief Justices Peers have been greatly exaggerated, and the difficulties at present existing resemble such as are pointed out in Lives of the Chief Justices, vol. 3, page 184, line 2, and page 291, line 10, and do not necessitate the incorporation of those who may prefer Life Peerages, as members of the highest Court of Appeal in the United Kingdom.

"7. Because, since the passing of the same Act, one hereditary Peer has been created for England, who might be able occasionally to assist in Appeals in this House, and an ex-Chancellor of Ireland has more abundant leisure to give weight to Appeals from Ireland, whilst the Lord Justice Clerk of Scotland, being an hereditary Peer, could always communicate on Appeals from Scotland with such noble Lords as may sit on Appeals in the House of Lords.

"8. Because there is no provision for allowing Appellants and Defendants in Appeals from obtaining the judgment of the House of Lords, however much they may prefer it to any other Imperial Court of Appeal.



"1. Because by this Bill the House finally surrenders all its rights as an ultimate Court of Appeal, the duties of which it has performed, and is performing, in a manner which has given general satisfaction, as is proved by the fact that no public demand has been made for such surrender, and by many demonstrations, especially from the legal profession, in favour of its jurisdiction being retained.

"2. Because the surrender of a privilege which has brought so much credit to this House must be injurious to its character, and particularly as the House must appear to stand self-condemned as having lost that efficiency which has hitherto obtained for it the good opinion of the public, and as no longer able to perform properly those duties with which it has been entrusted for centuries.

"3. Because the uncalled-for change of a jurisdiction which has given satisfaction is inexpedient, and the transfer of it to a new and untried Court unwise.

"4. Because there appear grave objections to the constitution of the new Court, which is to be composed of nine judges, three ex officio, the Lord Chancellor, who is at all times removable by the Crown, together with the Lord Chief Justice of England and the Master of the Rolls, who are to be changed alternately every two years for the Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and the Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and six other judges to be appointed by the Crown in the first instance, and from time to time as vacancies occur, from the judges of the Imperial Court of Appeal for three years only, without prejudice to the re-nomination of a retiring judge.

"5. Because this frequent transfer of judges between the Imperial Court of Appeal and this Court will impair its efficiency in regard to English causes, as it may frequently occur that judges who have already determined a cause will become members of it before such cause is re-heard by such Court, whereby the number of judges proper to re-hear the same may be inconveniently limited.

"6. Because the power given to the Crown over the constitution of this Court of changing any of the six out of the nine judges composing-it after a three years' tenure of office, together with the power of removing one of the three ex officio judges at will, subjects this new Court to the direct influence of the Crown in a manner which appears objectionable on constitutional grounds.

"7. Because while appeals from Scotland and Ireland are to be conducted before the new Court in like manner substantially as now before this House, those in England are to be by re-hearing only, for the purpose of saving the expense to the suitors of new cases, and it is questionable whether the due administration of the law will be as effectually secured as by requiring new cases framed on the better understanding of the disputed points arrived at on both sides at the former hearings to be presented to the Court of Appeal.