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Administration Of Justice Act

Volume 148: debated on Wednesday 9 November 1921

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asked the Attorney-General whether the class of divorce cases to be tried and determined by commissioners under Section 1 of the Administration of Justice Act has been prescribed in accordance with that Section; whether the rules of court mentioned in that Section have been made and published; whether, if the answer to the first two questions is in the negative, the persons entrusted with the duty of prescribing such class of cases and making such rules or either or any of them have the power to veto the reform embodied in the Section by declining to carry out or refraining from carrying out the duties so entrusted to them; and, if so, whether the Government will introduce fresh legislation at an early date to remove such power of veto and to permit of the appointment of other persons who are prepared to carry out the duties prescribed by Section 1 of the Administration of Justice Act?

I have made inquiries and am told that the answer to the first two parts of the question is in the negative. The answer to the third part is also in the negative, and the fourth part does not therefore arise. Nobody has declined to carry out or refrained from carrying out any duty, but, while the pressure of work in the King's Bench Division remains as heavy as it now is, it is not practicable to increase the amount of work to be done by the King's Bench Judges at Assizes.