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New Clause—(Appeals)

Volume 466: debated on Friday 24 June 1949

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(1) An appeal shall lie to the court of quarter sessions in manner provided by the Summary Jurisdiction Acts from any order made by a court of summary jurisdiction under the Summary Jurisdiction (Married Women) Act, 1895, or under section five of the Licensing Act, 1902, from the revocation, revival or variation by a court of summary jurisdiction of such an order or from any refusal by a court of summary jurisdiction to make, revoke, revive or vary such an order.

(2) Section eleven of the said Act of 1895 (which provides for appeals to the High Court) is hereby repealed, and accordingly the Summary Jurisdiction (Appeals) Act, 1857, and section thirty-three of the Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1879 (which provide for the statement of cases on points of law by courts of summary jurisdiction), shall apply in relation to any such proceeding as is mentioned in subsection (1) of this section.—[ Mr. Asterley Jones.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

I beg to move, "That the Clause he read a Second time."

When the Bill was first presented to the House many of us received representations of various kinds in relation to what it contained and what it did not contain, and one of the strongest was that a very large number of men laboured under a sense of grievance about the treatment they received before a court of summary jurisdiction by which an order was made. At present, in respect of these matrimonial matters, there is only one form of appeal, and that is to the High Court. That has several disadvantages, notably that it is expensive, that the High Court is in London and in some cases a long way away and there is additional inconvenience, and the High Court does not normally, unless there is a clear miscarriage of justice, interfere on a finding on fact on the part of the justices. Therefore, it appears to us reasonable that the system of appeal should be brought into line with what is done in criminal cases, whereby there is an appeal on a mixture of facts and law, or on law. The purpose of this Clause is to bring the procedure in matrimonial cases into line with what exists in criminal cases.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.