HL Deb 22 July 1889 vol 338 cc973-4

House in Committee (on Re-commitment) (according to order).


said the object of this Bill was to change the procedure in the County Courts in Ireland. It sought to alter the method of appealing is equity cases. An appeal from a County Court was not really an appeal, it was a rehearing when new facts and new documents might be brought before the Court. The right of appeal in equity cases was proposed to be given to the Justices of Assize, and there might be two appeals going on at the same time—namely, the rehearing on the whole merits before the Justices of Assize, and at the same time the appeal to the superior Courts on a question of law reserved. The Amendment proposed was simply that the County Court Judges should have a discretion which they were to exercise like English County Court Judges. As the Bill stood, the County Court Judge should grant an appeal on a case stated to the Judges of the Superior Courts on any question of law, unless he should think such appeal frivolous and vexatious, the Amendment being to add the words "or unreasonable." Those words had been taken from the English County Court Act, 30 and 31 Vict.

Amendment proposed, Clause 6, page 2, line 29, to leave out "or."—(The Lord Fitzgerald.)


I think I have some right to complain of the way in which this Bill has been treated. It came up from the other House on June 2, but was not read a second time till July 10. It was then referred to the Standing Committee, yet it is not till now that this Amendment is proposed. I do not blame my noble and learned Friend, but the Solicitor General for Ireland, or the Judges themselves, might have made their views known if they desired such an Amendment. As to the Amendment itself, I am afraid my experience has been that there are Judges who think that any appeal from them is unreasonable. The words "frivolous or vexatious" in the Bill as it stands are surely comprehensive enough.

On Question, "That the word proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause," their Lordships divided:—Contents 10; Not-Contents 14.

It appearing that 30 Lords were not present, the Chairman declared the question not decided.

House resumed, and to be again in Committee To-morrow.