HL Deb 18 December 1979 vol 403 cc1648-9WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

(i) Whether they agree that Section 19 of the Prison Act 1952 gives all magis- trates the right to visit prison department establishments at any time and, if so (ii) whether this right provided by Parliament is mentioned to newly appointed magistrates during their basic training.

The LORD CHANCELLOR (Lord Hailsham of Saint Marylebone)

The right conferred by Section 19 of the Prison Act is limited to the extent that justices for any county may visit any prison in that county, or any prison in which a prisoner is confined in respect of an offence committed in that county. The section does not permit any justice to visit any prison at any time. The right is not necessarily mentioned during a magistrate's basic training, and I would refer the noble Lord to the Answer given to his recent Question on the same point.