HC Deb 04 April 1957 vol 568 cc73-4W
Mr. Allaun

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many magistrates in Jamaica at the present time hold their appointments on an acting or temporary basis; how many of the same have been so acting for more than one year; how many for more than two years; whether he is aware that in a career service the practice of keeping such magistrates acting and subject to confirmation in their appointments by the executive strikes at the independence of the inferior judiciary; and whether he will bring this practice to an end.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Three clerks of the courts are at present acting as resident magistrates. None of them has been acting continuously for more than six months, but one acted for nine months in 1953 and 1954. It has always been the practice in Jamaica to fill temporary and acting appointments in the magistracy by clerks of the courts, since an opportunity is thereby provided to assess their suitability for promotion to magistrates. Permanent vacancies amongst the magistrates are normally filled by the promotion of clerks of the courts, the appointments being made by the Governor with my approval on the recommendation of the Chief Justice and the Public Service Commission. I am satisfied that the system works well and does not strike at the independence of the judiciary and that there is no valid reason for changing it.