§ MR. HEALY
asked Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, Whether he is aware that the Incorporated Law Society in Ireland require a solicitor's apprentice, before being admitted as a solicitor, to obtain a certificate of character signed by two members of the Dublin Law Club, and to give the members of that Club notice of his application to be admitted a solicitor; whether this Club is recognized for this purpose by Statute, or is entirely a private body formed for social purposes only; whether he is aware that its membership is as a rule confined to Dublin solicitors, so that country apprentices are often compelled to obtain the necessary certificates of character from gentlemen with whom they are wholly 143 unacquainted; whether a certificate of character signed by the apprentice's master and his town agent, or any other two solicitors, and a notice posted in the hall of the Four Courts, would satisfy the requirements of the Law Society; whether the Incorporated Law Society, in prescribing the conditions referred to, are acting under the provisions of the Statute, or the Judges Rules regulating the procedure in such cases; whether it is in accordance with the Statute for a private body, not recognized by Law, to exercise a censorship over the solicitors' profession; and, whether, considering the onerous conditions and the heavy expenses imposed on apprentices prior to their admission as solicitors, the Rules in question can be modified or abolished?
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. W. M. JOHNSON)
Sir, the Incorporated Law Society does not require a solicitor's apprentice to obtain the certificate of character referred to in the Question, nor to give any notice to the members of the Dublin Law Club. Before the recent Judicature Act such certificate and notice were required by the Law Courts for admission as an attorney; but under that Act admission as a solicitor by the Lord Chancellor is sufficient for every Division of the Supreme Court. New forms have been accordingly prepared, but not by the Incorporated Society, and the affidavit of an apprentice now states that notice of his application to be admitted a solicitor has been posted in the Law Club six days before swearing his affidavit. I am informed that the Law Club was founded in 1791 for the advancement of the interests of the solicitors' profession, and is not confined to Dublin solicitors; it is quite distinct from the Incorporated Society.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. W.M. JOHNSON)
I think in 1878, and the rule is that the affidavit of the apprentice shall state that the notice of his application for admission was posted six days previously.