HL Deb 07 August 1919 vol 36 c630

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords this Bill needs but a brief word of explanation. The proposal to establish a West Indian Court of Appeal, with a wider scope than the existing Windward Islands Appeal Court, assumed definite shape as the result of an inter-Colonial Conference held in Trinidad early in 1915. The Bill for which I now ask a second Reading was submitted to and concurred in by the various Administrations concerned. It provides for the constitution of a Court of Appeal for the Colonies of Trinidad and Tobago, British Guiana, Barbados, Leeward Islands, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent, and power is taken by Order in Council to add any other Colony. As the proposed legislation affects several Colonies simultaneously it is necessary to proceed by Imperial Statute. The new Court of Appeal will take the place of the existing Windward Islands Court of Appeal constituted under the Act of 1899. The Court will consist of the Chief Justices of the Colonies to whom the Act applies, or, in the case of the inability of a particular Chief Justice to sit, power is given to the Governor of the Colony in question to appoint some duly qualified substitute. Power is also taken to appoint an additional Judge of the Court of Appeal, who shall be a barrister of not less than eight years standing. The expenses of the Court of Appeal, in so far as they are not met by fees, will be defrayed out of Colonial revenues. The Act will not affect the right of appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council except in so far as provision may be made by local legislation for appeals to be taken in the first instance to the new Court of Appeal.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a—(The Lord Chancellor.)

On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.