Skip to main content

Courses For Justices

Volume 889: debated on Monday 24 March 1975

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

I beg to move Amendment No. 15. in page 10, line 6. after "peace", insert

"and legal assessors appointed under section 7(1) of this Act".
Under Clause 7(1) legal assessors are supposed to advise the district courts on points of procedure and points of law. As legal assessors may be totally inexperienced in the ways of district courts it is my view that they should be trained as provided for under the clause.

I must inform the hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. Steel) that the Government are not happy about the amendment. We are asking the House to reject it. We do so for good and constructive reasons.

The legal assessor who will be employed by the district or island authority will be the responsibility of the district or island authority. The responsibility for training that assessor, should training be required, will therefore be the responsibility of the district or island authority. In the case of the justices the responsibility for training is rightly placed with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland through the legal justices.

We are dealing with two different and separate sets of people. The justices' training is adequately taken care of in the Bill. We feel that the training of the legal assessor is best left to the district or island authority in whose employ he will be placed. I ask the hon. Gentleman to agree to withdraw the amendment. If he does not choose to do so, I ask the House to reject it.

Amendment negatived.