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Second Reading

Volume 229: debated on Monday 12 June 1876

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Order for Second Reading read.

, in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, that a full opportunity would be given at a Morning Sitting for discussing the measure on the Motion that the Speaker leave the Chair. The main object of the Bill was to extend to Ireland the great and beneficial change already effected for England—namely, that Equity and Common Law should be concurrently administered. There were peculiar facilities for carrying out this reform in Ireland, as all the Judges who adorned the Bench in that country had, when at the Bar, practised both in the Common Law and Equity Courts; and all those Courts were already gathered under one roof in the same building. As to the main objects of the Bill there could, he believed, be no controversy; that could only arise as to the machinery intended for carrying them out, and such questions could best be discussed in Committee. He would, therefore, at present simply move the second reading.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—( Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland.)

:said, he did not intend to oppose the Motion, for in his opinion it was desirable that the changes made in the system of Judicature in England should be introduced without further delay in the Irish Judicature also. There were, however, some points to which he wished to call attention. It was in Ireland of even more importance than it was in England that there should be a strong Court of Intermediate Appeal, and he therefore objected to the exclusion from it of the Master of the Rolls. He objected also to the proposal of making the Probate Judge a merely nominal Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. They should, he thought, transfer not only the Judge, but also the Probate jurisdiction to that Court, and leave it to the Judges to arrange among themselves for the transaction of that as well as other business. A similar objection lay to making the surviving Bankruptcy Judge a merely nominal Judge of the Court of Exchequer; to which he might add the observation that the jurisdiction was one which belonged more naturally to the Court of Chancery. The Treasury, too, he found, was not only to fix the salaries of officers, but was also to inter- fere in the internal arrangement of their duties, as if the Irish Judges could not be entrusted to perform that business for themselves. This had not been attempted in England, and he objected to its being done in Ireland.

objected to certain details of the Bill, more especially to the provision relating to the proposed re-construction of the Common Pleas Division of the High Court of Justice. More Judges ought to be secured for it, especially seeing it had to do Election Petitions.

thought the Judges of the Landed Estates Court would be placed in an unfair position by the Bill. All the Judges ought to be in the same position with regard to all matters, as they were all members of the Supreme Court.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Thursday.