§ Lord Cawdor
rose to move certain resolutions relative to the administration of Justice in Wales. It had been, he said, in various periods of our history, frequently endeavoured to effect a reformation in the system of the judicature of Wales. It was to him unac-countable, that after petitions had been presented to both Houses of Parliament, complaining of the want of a due administration of justice—after committees of both Mouses had made reports, recommending an adequate reformation—it was to him unaccountable, that the executive government should remain indifferent to the subject. He should conclude with moving, that the House should resolve itself into a committee, for the purpose of entertaining the following resolutions: —First:" That, in the judicature of Wales, there exists not a due administration of justice: secondly, that such defect had arisen from the local and unlimited authority of the Welch judges: and, thirdly, that such an addition be made to the number of English judges, so as to include Wales in the English Circuits."
The Lord Chancellor
observed, that Under the present constitution of the judicature of Wales, there was an access to 941 the courts of Westminster. He had now been for nearly forty years acquainted with those courts, and, during that period, he had known of only six applications to the courts of Westminster from the Welch courts. The motion of the noble lord deserved great consideration. The subject might merit the attention of a select committee, and certainly, the change ought not to be made without it; but, if it were now appointed, no report could he made during the present session. On this account, the noble lord had called upon the House, on the sudden, to resolve itself into a committee, in order to adopt certain resolutions. Of such a summary course of proceeding he (the lord chancellor) could by no means approve, and would therefore resist the motion.
The Marquis of Lansdown
was of opinion, that the noble mover had made out a strong case for the adoption of his resolutions. The mode in which justice was administered in Wales required immediate reform, and under such circumstances it was not surprising that the noble mover should propose a course of proceeding somewhat sudden and summary. In England, the judges were chosen for their legal learning, and high characters, and were independent of the Crown. In Wales, they were appointed, not for their professional attainments, but from political influence, and they were in general the creatures of the minister of the day. The proposition was supported by the sound principles of British law.
The House divided—for the resolutions 6. Against them 14.