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Magistracy (Members Of Parliament)

Volume 414: debated on Wednesday 17 October 1945

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asked the Attorney-General whether he will consider the desirability of appointing Members of Parliament as justices of the peace in the areas of their residence providing this does not coincide with the area of their constituency in order that they may be in a position to exercise effectively and without delay functions of justices of the peace other than those of magistrates on the Bench.

As my hon. Friend is aware, the responsibility for the appointment of Justices of the Peace rests, not with the Attorney-General, but (apart from the Duchy of Lancaster) with the Lord Chancellor, who makes the appointments on the recommendation of his local Advisers. Before appointment, an approved candidate is required to give an undertaking that he will, if appointed, perform his fair share of magisterial duty. My Noble Friend would not regard this undertaking as satisfied in the case of a candidate who is not prepared to participate in the actual administration of justice.