HC Deb 09 February 1938 vol 331 cc1056-7W
Mr. Denman

asked the Attorney-General whether the circular dated 1st January relating to justices of the peace was intended to cause Members of this House who can attend at courts only during recesses to resign from the commission of the peace; and whether justices of the peace, who in consequence of prolonged absence from their areas have gone on to the supplemental list, will be able to return to the active list on resuming residence?

The Attorney-General

The answer to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's question is in the negative. The Supplemental List was intended to be available primarily for Justices who, though they have not severed their connection with the area for which they were appointed, are unable, for advancing years or infirmity, to attend regularly at the Court or have some valid reason for non-attendance. A Justice placed on the Supplemental List can at any time be restored to the active list if he becomes again capable of the regular discharge of his functions as a magistrate in Court. The question whether prolonged absence constitutes a good reason for admission to the Supplemental List must depend upon the circumstances of each particular case; but, speaking generally, where a Justice is absent from the area and sees no reasonable prospect of his return to it and to the exercise of his judicial functions within a reasonable time, his proper course would appear to be to resign his office.