HC Deb 16 December 1953 vol 522 c76W
Captain Stanley

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement on the composition of juvenile courts.

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

It has been the intention of the Government to amend the rules governing the constitution of juvenile courts to secure, as soon as this became practicable, that all juvenile courts should contain at least one man and at least one woman. My noble Friend the Lord Chancellor agrees with me that this stage has now been reached, and he proposes to amend the statutory rules to provide for mixed courts in every case, except in emergency, when a court may be composed of two men or two women.

It is intended to bring the new rule into effect from the beginning of 1955, to allow time to add women justices to the few juvenile court panels which have not an adequate number. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland has asked me to say that similar arrangements will be brought into effect in Scotland in May, 1955.