HL Deb 07 August 1896 vol 44 cc31-2

Rules under Section 50 of the Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1881, may provide that, subject to the qualifications (if any) contained in those rules, every notice of appeal under the Land Law Acts shall state the grounds of appeal, and on the hearing of the appeal no grounds of appeal shall, save by leave of the Court, which shall he granted only on special grounds, be entered into except those so stated. For the purpose of this section, "appeal" includes "re-hearing."


said that this clause was added to the Bill, on the Motion of Mr. Maurice Healy, about four o'clock in the morning of Friday, 24th July, without any discussion. Its effect would be to compel the appellant, in all appeals and re-hearings, to state all the grounds upon which he appeals, and to prevent him from raising any other grounds or points during the hearing of the case. The Select Committee of 1894 (Report, page xv.) referred to the fact that a tenant whose valuation is over £10 must set out on his originating notice particulars of the improvements which he intends to claim, and they contended that the landlord should be placed under what they called a "corresponding obligation" to give notice of any point of law which he intended to raise at the hearing, and that "a similar rule should apply to hearings in the Appeal Court." They apparently meant (though their language is not explicit on the point), that this latter recommendation should apply both to "re-hearings" before the Chief Land Commission, and to "appeals" (properly so-called) to the High Court of Appeal. Mr. W. F. Bailey was first asked whether it would not improve the working of the Land Acts, if the landlord was compelled to give notice to the tenant on receiving the tenant's originating notice of any law points that he intended to raise as to his status. He replied in these significant terms:— Of course, it would he an advantage in enabling the parties to see at once what were the questions they would have to meet at the hearing, but, at the same time, I can see certain inconveniences that might result; for very frequently it is during the progress of the evidence that very important law points appear, and, of course, if you had such a rule, probably the result would be that these points could not be raised at the hearing below, and that would lead to an appeal, and they would be raised on the hearing above. On the following day Mr. Bailey was further questioned on this subject, and replied in these terms:— What I said was that very many important law points often arise during the progress of the hearing of the case, and are points of which notice could hardly be given; they arise on the evidence that is given in Court. In further questions put to him, and his replies to them, he admitted that some points are usually known beforehand to the appellant, and he apparently conceded that notice of such points might be required. There would, perhaps, be a good deal to be said for this latter proposal. It would be a mutual convenience, and tend to lessen expense, and settle appeals out of Court. But Clause 14 as now added to the Bill will have the opposite effect in every way. It will compel an appellant in every case to get his notice of appeal settled by counsel (an expense which he need not now incur); and even then he would frequently find himself deprived of the benefit of important points and evidence, which were only brought to his knowledge during the hearing of the case. He begged to move to strike out the words, "and on the hearing of the appeal no grounds of appeal shall, save by leave of the Court, which shall be granted only on special grounds, be entered into except those so stated."


said that he was willing to accept the Amendment as far as striking out the words "which shall be granted only on special grounds" was concerned.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Words, "which shall be granted only on special grounds," struck out.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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