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Merthyr Tydvil Stipendiary Magistrate

Volume 91: debated on Monday 25 March 1901

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I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will lay upon the Table of the House the correspondence that has passed between himself, the stipendiary magistrate for Merthyr Tydvil, and the justices of the peace for the division of Caerphilly Higher, in the county of Glamorgan; and if he can state the relative position and authority of a stipendiary and local justices in cases coming before them upon which they are not agreed; and whether the decision of the stipendiary overrides the opinion of any number of lay justices sitting with him in petty session.

A stipendiary magistrate when sitting with other magistrates acts as chairman, and, of course, in view of his position and legal acquirements, his opinion carries great weight, but I am advised that he has not in point of law any power to override the decision of a majority of the justices sitting with him. I do not think that any good purpose would be served by laying the correspondence referred to on the Table.