Transitory Provisions.

Part Iii. – in the House of Commons on 29th October 1920.

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1. All the existing judges of the Supreme Court of Judicature in Ireland, other than the Lord Chancellor, shall as from the appointed day be transferred to and become judges holding corresponding offices in the Supreme Court of Southern Ireland:

Provided that—

  1. (a) if any such judge not less than one month before the appointed day notifies to the Lord Chancellor of Ireland his desire to be transferred to the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland, he shall, if the Lord Chancellor approves, be transferred to and become a judge of that Court instead of a judge of the Supreme Court of Southern Ireland; and
  2. (b) if any such judge so notifies to the Lord Chancellor of Ireland his desire to retire instead of being so transferred, His Majesty may, if he thinks fit, notwithstanding that such judge has not completed the period of service entitling him to a pension, grant to him such pension, not exceeding the pension to which he would on that completion have been entitled, as His Majesty thinks fit.

2. If by reason of such transfers the number of judges of the Supreme Court of Southern Ireland or of the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland is greater than the number provided by this Act as the number of judges of those courts respectively, no new judge of that court shall be appointed until the number of the judges thereof has been reduced below such number as aforesaid.

3. Subject to the provisions of this Schedule with respect to the existing solicitors, all existing officers of or attached to the Supreme Court of Judicature in Ireland shall, as from the appointed day, be transferred to and become officers holding corresponding offices in the Supreme Court of Southern Ireland:

Provided that—

  1. (a) if any such officer not less than one month before the appointed day notifies to the Lord Chancellor his desire to be transferred to the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland or to the High Court of Appeal for Ireland, he shall, if the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justices of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland approve, be transferred to and become an officer of the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland, or the High Court of Appeal for Ireland; and
  2. (b) any such officer if concerned with functions of the Lord Chancellor which are retained by the Lord Chancellor shall remain an officer of the Lord Chancellor, and if concerned with functions of the Lord Chancellor or Master of the Rolls which are by this Act transferred 2193 to the Lord Lieutenant shall become an officer attached to the Lord Lieutenant.

4. All existing members of the Irish bar shall, as from the appointed day, become members both of the Bar of Southern Ireland and of the Bar of Northern Ireland, and shall have right of audience in the Supreme Court both of Southern Ireland and of Northern Ireland.

5. All existing solicitors of the Supreme Court of Judicature in Ireland shall as from the appointed day become solicitors of the Supreme Court both of Southern Ireland and of Northern Ireland and of the High Court of Appeal for Ireland.

6. All proceedings, whether civil or criminal, which are pending in the Supreme Court of Judicature in Ireland at the appointed day, including proceedings in which a judgment or order has been given or made but not enforced, shall be transferred either to the Supreme Court of Southern Ireland or the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland in accordance with the following rules:—

  1. (1) If the parties agree, the proceeding shall be transferred to the court so agreed upon.
  2. (2) If the proceeding relates to land, it shall be transferred to the court within the jurisdiction of which the land is situate.
  3. (3) In any other case, the proceeding shall be transferred to the Supreme Court of Southern Ireland, unless the plaintiff or other person by whom the proceeding was instituted gives notice to the other party or parties of his desire to have it transferred to the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland, in which case it shall be transferred to the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland, provided that any other party, if he objects to the transfer of the proceeding to the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland, may apply to the High Court of Appeal for Ireland, and that court shall have jurisdiction to determine to which of the courts the proceeding is to be transferred, and the decision of the High Court of Appeal for Ireland in the matter shall be final.

Photo of Mr Ronald McNeill Mr Ronald McNeill , Canterbury

I beg to move, in Part III, to leave out paragraph 1, (a).

This Amendment stands in the name of my right hon. Friend (Sir E. Carson). I very much regret that it is through indisposition he is not here to move it. I feel, comparatively, imperfectly qualified to put forward the arguments in support of it which my right hon. Friend would have addressed to the Committee. As a matter of fact I do not think the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill is under any doubt as to the views of my right hon. Friend on the matter. It is quite clear that when the two Governments are established it is of the first importance that the judiciary in both areas should be such as will, from the first, command the entire confidence of the people among whom they have to administer the law. I do not think that anyone will question that under existing conditions, without referring to individuals—I have no individual in my mind—it might be possible for a transfer to be made from one area to another of a judge who will be very far from commanding the confidence that it is necessary he should possess. Without further labouring the subject, I ask my right hon Friend to accept the Amendment as it stands or to keep an open mind on the subject at a later stage, when no doubt the right hon. Member for Duncairn would be able to give reasons in favour of it.

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

I cannot accept the Amendment, but I am proposing to accept the next two Amendments on the Paper which complete the scheme of the Bill. To leave out paragraph (a) would destroy the scheme of the Bill. The next two Amendments, I think, will give the protection that is desired.

Photo of Mr Ronald McNeill Mr Ronald McNeill , Canterbury

What the right hon. Gentleman has said will probably be quite satisfactory to my right hon. Friend. Upon Report it will be open to him, if he should think fit to do so, to move his Amendment again. In the meantime I would ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendments made:

In Part III, paragraph 1 (a), leave out the word "approves," and insert the words "and the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland approve."

After paragraph 1 (b), insert a new paragraph:— (c) The Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland shall be appointed not less than one month before the appointed day."—[Mr. Reid.]

In paragraph 3, after the word "Ireland" ["Court of Judicature in Ireland shall"], insert the words (including the Registrar in Lunacy and the Registrar of Deeds and officers employed in their respective offices).

After the word "in" ["corresponding offices in the"], insert the words "or attached to."

In paragraph 3 (a), after the word "of" ["an officer of the Supreme Court"], insert the words "or attached to."

In paragraph 3 (b), after the word "concerned" ["any such officer if concerned with"], insert the word "wholly."

After the word "concerned" ["and if concerned with functions "], insert the words "wholly or mainly."

At the end of paragraph 3 (b), insert the words and shall hold office by the same tenure and upon the same terms and conditions by and upon which he holds office on the appointed day, and any question as to whether any such officer is wholly or mainly so concerned shall be determined by the Lord Lieutenant.

At the end of paragraph 5, insert a new paragraph— 6. Any person who on the appointed day is apprenticed to a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Judicature in Ireland shall, if he is thereafter admitted to be a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Southern Ireland or Northern Ireland, become, by virtue of such admission, a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland or Southern Ireland and of the High Court of Appeal for Ireland.

In paragraph 6 (1), after the word "proceeding," insert the words "unless it relates to land."

At the end of paragraph 6 (2) insert the words Provided that if the land is situate partly in Southern Ireland and partly in Northern Ireland, the proceeding shall be transferred, so far as it relates to land in Southern Ireland, to the Supreme Court of Southern Ireland, and so far as it relates to land in Northern Ireland, to the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland, unless the proceeding is one with which either court would have jurisdiction to deal, in which case the proceeding shall be transferred in accordance with the rules applicable to proceedings other than those relating to land.

At the end of paragraph 6 (3) insert the words Where a case is transferred under the foregoing rules to either court, proceedings thereon shall be continued as if the case had originated in and the previous proceedings had been taken in that court."—[Sir L. Worthington-Evans.]

Schedule, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.