HC Deb 29 March 1909 vol 3 c160W

asked the Attorney-General whether it was in view of Lord Penzance's statutory position under the Public Worship Regulation Act, 1874, that the Treasury instructed counsel to appear on his behalf in the case of Martin v. Maconochie; whether Sir Lewis Dibdin occupies the same statutory position; and whether there is any precedent, except that of Lord Penzance, for the law officers of the Crown appearing for the judge of an ecclesiastical court to show cause against a writ of prohibition in a suit in which the Crown has no interest?


The answer to the first part of this question is in the negative. The Treasury have instructed counsel to appear on behalf of Lord Penzance because in all actions against judges for things done in discharge of their public functions it was usual for the Treasury to take the matter up and see that the case was properly defended. The answer to the second part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the third point, there are no less than five cases between 1878 and 1886 in which the Treasury instructed counsel to appear on behalf of Lord Penzance as judge of an ecclesiastical court, and there are many precedents founded on the general principle, but I have not at present any information as to precedents in respect of ecclesiastical judges other than Lord Penzance in cases of the class mentioned in the question.