HL Deb 15 May 1876 vol 229 cc587-8

On Motion for going into Committee on the first of these Bills,


said, that on a former stage of this Bill he took occasion to submit to their Lordships the points of both Bills of his noble and learned Friend in which he concurred and the points generally in which he differed from his noble and learned Friend. Under these circumstances, it would have been his duty in the ordinary course to place on the Paper such Amendments as it seemed to him the Bills would require. But he also stated that he was in communication with the Inns of Court on the subject of legislation respecting several matters embraced within the Bills of his noble and learned Friend. Those communications were not yet concluded, and he entertained considerable hope that in a future Session he would be able on the part of the Government to introduce a Bill, with the concurrence of the Inns of Court, dealing first with the discipline of the Bar on a fixed and general principle to be acted upon for the Inns of Court conjointly; and next with a general provision for legal education, to be conducted by the Inns of Court conjointly; and lastly with an external body whose function it should be to test by examination students desiring to be called to the Bar. He thought it was most desirable that any measure applying to the Bar and to the education of law students should have the concurrence of the Inns of Court. Having said so much, he would leave his noble and learned Friend to pursue what course he thought proper in respect of the two Bills on the Paper, reserving to himself the right to object to any of their provisions that might appear to him to be inadvisable.


thanked his noble and learned Friend for this statement; but said he should prefer to see the Bills pass their Lordships' House, leaving it for the Government to take what course they might think proper in a future Session.


said, he did not think this was a convenient moment for pressing forward the Bill dealing with legal education. He believed the Inns of Court were alive to the importance of the subject, and the Inn with which he had been connected (the Middle Temple) was making great efforts to establish an efficient school of law. He objected to the lines on which his noble and learned Friend (Lord Selborne) proposed to proceed. No step should be taken without full and free discussion with those directly interested.

Motion agreed to; House in Committee accordingly.

Bills reported without Amendment.