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Civil Service Commissioners—Attendance Of Candidates In Police Courts—Question

Volume 202: debated on Friday 8 July 1870

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said, he wished to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether it is the custom of the Civil Service Commissioners to send youths who are candidates for public situations to take notes of the daily proceedings in the London Police Courts, as a test of qualification; and, if so, whether in his opinion equally good results are not attainable in some way by which the risk of moral contamination involved in this enforced attendance at the scenes and details of Police Courts may be avoided?

said, that, strictly speaking, no candidates for public situations had to attend the police, or any other courts. The cases referred to by his hon. Friend were cases of candidates already selected by competitive examinations for the Indian Civil Service. After their selection they underwent a special training for a period of two years. Their duties in India would be of a judicial character, and as they would have to administer the civil and criminal law, it was rightly held to be very important that they should obtain not only familiarity with law books, but also some knowledge and personal acquaintance with the methods and habits—if he might use the word—of procedure in the civil and criminal courts in this country. Seven of the Reports required to be sent in by these gentlemen must relate to the police courts in London, Dublin, or Edinburgh, presided over by stipendiary magistrates. This was the regulation under which they attended our police courts, and he must say he thought it was a very wise one.