Courts (Establishment and Constitution) Bill, 1959—Second Stage.

I move: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

The Courts (Supplementary Provisions) Bill is, as its title indicates, Supplementary to the Courts (Establishment and Constitution) Bill and I propose, subject to the approval of the Ceann Comhairle, that both Bills be discussed together on Second Reading.

The object of the Courts (Establishment and Constitution) Bill is to give effect to the provisions of Article 34 of the Constitution by establishing a Court of Final Appeal and Courts of First Instance. Five Courts are being established, namely, a Supreme Court, a High Court, a Court of Criminal Appeal, a Circuit Court and a District Court. Provision is also made for the constitution of these Courts and for the manner in which the judges of these Courts are to be styled. In general, no change is being made in the constitution of the various Courts with the exception of the District Court. In that case the Bill provides for the creation of a new office of President of the District Court. I shall have more to say later on regarding this new office when I am dealing with the Supplemental Provisions Bill, where the powers and functions of the President are set out.

The Constitution, while specifying that a Supreme Court and a High Court must be established, left the Oireachtas free to determine the number and kind of other courts. This is, therefore, an appropriate time to consider the suitability of these courts in present conditions and to ask, for example, whether we should continue to have courts on the lines of the Circuit Court and District Court or whether, say, one such court would suffice for our needs. I think most people will agree that the present system of having two inferior Courts of First Instance has worked well, on the whole, during the period of nearly forty years during which it has been in operation and, moreover, the two Courts enjoy the full confidence of the public. The Government have come to the conclusion that nothing would be gained by making any such fundamental change in the structure of the existing courts and accordingly the Bill provides, as I have said, for establishing courts similar to those now functioning.

Section 7 of the Bill provides that the existing courts will cease to exercise jurisdiction when the Act comes into operation and that when the judges and justices of these Courts have ceased to hold their present offices the courts will be disestablished. Disestablishment of the existing courts is a necessary consequence of the establishment of the new Courts and of the provisions of Article 58 of the Constitution providing for the continuance of the existing Courts "until otherwise determined by law". Disestablishment involves the abolition of the offices of judges and justices and this is also provided for in Section 7. The position of existing judges and justices is not being prejudiced, however, because they, and only they, are being made eligible for appointment as the first judges and justices of the new Courts. Any judge or justice who is so appointed or who retires before the Bills are brought into operation will retain his existing pension rights.

Turning to the Supplemental Provisions Bill, which is a complicated measure of 56 sections and eight Schedules, I trust that the explanatory memorandum which has been circulated will be of assistance to Deputies, particularly when we come to examine the Bill on Committee Stage. The object of the Bill is to regulate, pursuant to Article 36 of the Constitution, various matters affecting the new courts and the judges and justices thereof. In general, this is being done by the application of the enactments governing the existing courts, with whatever modifications are necessary, but in some cases—notably in regard to the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court —the existing enactments cannot be conveniently applied and new comprehensive provisions have had to be incorporated. The system of applying existing enactments, while convenient, has several obvious disadvantages, and I am hoping that when this legislation has been passed work will be resumed on a measure to consolidate all the various enactments relating to the courts. It is contemplated that the consolidation measure will replace the Act which will result from this Bill, so that all the enactments dealing with the courts of justice (other than the fundamental provisions relating to their establishment and constitution) will be set out in one comprehensive statute.

On this stage of the Bill I propose to confine myself to its more important provisions. The first of these is provided for in Section 7 of the Bill and deals with the number of judges of the Supreme Court who should determine an appeal or other matter cognisable by that Court. Under the provisions of the Constitution, the Supreme Court must consist of not less than five judges to decide on the incapacity of the President or on the constitutionality of a Bill referred to the court by the President. In other cases, the statute law governing the existing Supreme Court permits a court of three, four or five judges, so that a court of three or four may even decide whether a provision in an Act of the Oireachtas is repugnant to the Constitution. It will be generally agreed that it is undesirable that a court of final appeal should sit with less than five judges. If it should sit with three judges, it is possible that the views of two judges—a minority of the full court of five—would decide the issue. And if it should sit as a court of four, there is the risk of an even division of opinion.

In such a case the decision of the court below prevails but the successful litigant does not get the costs of the appeal. In the past there have been cases of courts of three and four deciding on constitutional issues and at least one case where a court of three adjourned to have the arguments considered by a court of five. In this situation the Government considered it proper to propose an amendment to the law, in Section 7 of the Bill, which would prevent a matter being determined by a Supreme Court of four judges unless the parties agree. While it would be desirable to have all matters determined by a Supreme Court of five, there would be practical difficulties in giving effect to this and accordingly the section recognises that a court of three may sometimes be necessary.

Next I should like to refer to the new office of President of the District Court provided for in the Establishment and Constitution Bill. For some time past consideration has been given to the need for improving arrangements for the prompt and efficient discharge of the work of the district court and the Government have come to the conclusion, as a result of their examination of the question, that it would be desirable to have a judicial person who would co-ordinate generally the work of the district court and who would deal with complaints regarding unpunctuality in commencing courts or the cancellation of courts without sufficient reason or sufficient notice. In the country areas at least there is scope for efforts to keep justices abreast of current High Court decisions, to ensure some rough uniformity in decisions and penalties and to improve efficiency and punctuality. In the Dublin Metropolitan District experience of the operation of the system of three separate divisions, each in charge of a principal justice, which was introduced by the 1946 Act, suggests that placing responsibility for the allocation of the business of that Court on one person would be a more efficient arrangement.

Against this background the Government decided that it would be in the public interest and in the interests of the better administration of justice that a district justice should be appointed President of the District Court and be given sufficient powers to enable him to achieve the desired objects. The district court is the court to which most of our citizens have to resort to secure justice or before which they must appear to answer complaints. In an average year the district court deals with over a quarter million cases and the Government feel they have a serious responsibility to ensure that these courts are managed efficiently and give the best possible service to the general public.

Generally, it is true to say that almost all the district justices have set a very high standard in the way in which they deal with the business before them. Their courts commence punctually and, if a court has to be cancelled, the earliest possible notice is given to litigants to avoid inconvenience to them. Unfortunately, from time to time there have been some justices who fail to maintain any reasonable standards of punctuality and who show a persistent lack of consideration to litigants when cancelling courts without giving reasonable notice of their intention to do so. This has given rise to unfavourable comment both inside and outside the House.

Last year on the Estimates for my Department and again this year on a Supplementary Estimate for the District Court the failure of some justices to hold courts was raised by the Leader of the Opposition. I have confirmed that over the past few years there were particular justices who showed an unusually high proportion of courts not held. In one case the proportion was as high as 32%. I consider I would be failing in my duty to the public and to all the justices whose conduct in this respect is beyond reproach if I did not bring to the notice of justices my concern at the failure of some of them to observe reasonable standards of timekeeping and regularity in holding their courts.

I have in fact done this but I would have preferred to have been able to utilise the machinery now being provided in the Bill, that is to say, to bring the facts to the notice of the President of the District Court who is being charged with the duty of ensuring the prompt and efficient discharge of the business of the court. It would be a matter for the President then to take the necessary action, either informally or by way of the inquiry provided for in paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of Section 36. From every point of view it is more desirable that a judicial person should undertake the task of improving judicial standards. I want to emphasise again that it is in relation to only a small minority of justices that complaints about unpunctuality and cancellations of the appointed courts are made but of course the actions of that minority do disproportionate damage to the good reputation of justices as a body.

Equally as important as the President's powers of inquiry will be those for securing as far as practicable general uniformity of practice and procedure in the administration of justice and the standards to be adopted in fixing the amount of penalties. The Bill authorities him to convene meetings of justices periodically to discuss matters of this kind. Some time ago, there was evidence of public disquiet at what appeared to be a serious lack of uniformity between district justices in dealing with habitual offenders, notably in what seemed to be the overuse of the Probation of Offenders Act.

When I investigated the matter I was made very conscious of the difficulties of bringing to the notice of justices generally the bad effect on the standing of the Court brought about by lack of uniformity. I found that there was no machinery available. Now, under the provisions of sub-] section (3) of Section 36 the justices will be able to discuss these matters among themselves. There is no question of interfering with the freedom of individual justices to award the penalties they consider appropriate to teh particular circumstances of each case; but the justices will have the benefit of the views and experience of other justices at these discussions and can, if they wish, take them into account when exercising their jurisdiction subsequently. Careful consideration has been given to the question of the constitutionality of this provision and I have been advised that it is not in any way contrary to the Constitution.

Apart from the statutory responsibility being given to the President for the prompt and efficient discharge of Districts Court work in the State as a whole, he is being made responsible, in particular, for the distribution of business among the justices of the Dublin Metropolitan District and for determining the class of business to be transacted in the various sittings in that District. The present three Divisions of the Dublin Metropolitan Justices are being abolished, but the existing Principal Justices of Divisions will hold posts as Principal Justices of the Dublin Metropolitan District and will be consulted by the President of the District Court before he arranges for the distribution of business. There will be no change in the present arrangements in accordance with which the places and times of sittings in country districts are determined by the Minister for Justice, but he will now be obliged to consult the President beforehand. The President will be consulted also in the event of the Minster determining the number of days in each week on which Dublin Metropolitan Justices shall normally sit.

If the idea of a Presodent has been good for the Circuit Court and the High and Supreme Courts it should be good, in greater degree, for the District Court where, owing to the large number of Justices and the diversity of the work, judicial leadership is needed to co-ordinate the work of the Court and so secure as far as practicable uniformity of practice and procedure in the administration of justice without interfering with the discretion of the individual justice.

A new kind of jurisdiction over justices is being vested in the President of the High Court by subsection (4) of Section 10 of the Bill. This sub-section empowers the President to interview a justice privately whenever he is of opinion that the justice's conduct in the execution of his office is such as to bring the adminstration of justice into disrepute. It is designed for the type of case where the formal inquiry by a High Court or Supreme Court judge provided for in Section 21 of the Courts of Justice (District Court) Act, 1946, would not be called for or would not be the best or most appropriate procedure. The view has always been taken—and I think rightly taken—that the elaborate machinery of the 1946 Act should not be set in motion by the Minster for justice unless the allegations against the justice, if proved, would make it necessary for the Minster to move in the Oireachtas for the justice's removal from office. The result has been that there is no redress available to the public or their representatives in less serious cases where, for example, offensive statements are made gratuitously by justices in regard to individuals or organisations or in relation to the legislation passed by the Oireachtas. All that is needed, the Government feels, is for some judicial person of the necessary standing to advise the justice or justices concerned to conform to the standards of behavious followed by their colleagues in the execution of their office. I have little doubt that the friction which has been created from time to time—fortunately not very often—between justices and the public will be reduced, if not entirely eliminated, by the influence which the President will exercise on the conduct of justices generally.

The opportunity presented by this Bill has been availed of to make a number of other amendments in the present law. Section 26 contains a provision requiring at least seven days' notice to be given of an application by an accused person or by the Attorney General to have a trial transferred from the Circuit Criminal Court to the Central Criminal Court. Since 1924 an accused person has had an absolute right to have his trial transferred to the Central Criminal Court if he were charged with an offence the maximum penalty for which exceeded one year's imprisonment or five years' penal servitude. This provision enabled an accused person who felt that he could not get a fair trial from a local jury to have the trail transferred to the CEntral Criminal Court which has always sat in Dublin. Since the passing of the Criminal Justice Act of 1951, however, the necessity for transferring trials to Dublin has diminished as Section 19 of that Act empowers the circuit Judge to transfer a criminal trial from one place in the circuit to another, if he was of opinion that a fair trail could not be obtained in the former venue.

I say that the necessity has diminished rather than ceased because even a change of venue within a circuit may not be sufficient in some cases to enable an impartial trial to be obtained. For this reason, it is not proposed that this right of an accused person should be taken away. The Bill does aim. however, at going a little of the way towards removing some of the abuses to which this provision has given rise. Cases have been transferred, it has been said, for no better reason than to secure an adhournment which had been properly refused, or to suit counsel, or because the accused wanted to postpone the evil day. The abuse is particularly noticeable in Dublin because jurors for the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court and the Central Criminal court are drawn from the same jury book so that an accused in Dublin has not the excuse of a country accused that by applying for a transfer he can avoid having to appear before a local jury. As a result, the intention of the Oireachtas that the Circuit Court should deal with all criminal matters except murder and such serious offences is being nullified and much of the time of the High Court is being needlessly taken up with criminal trials which are proper to the Circuit Court. In addition a great deal of unnecessary expense and inconvenience is being caused to witnesses and jurors who have to be present at the Circuit Criminal Court, there being no provision for prior notice of an application to have the trial transferred; and the period spent by accused persons in custody before trial is being unnecessarily prolonged. Notwithstanding that a strong case could be made for drastically curtailing the accused's rights of applying for a transfer, particularly in Dublin, I am aware from the views expressed in this House when the matter was discussed on the 1953 Courts of Justice Bill that any such proposal would not be generally approved and accordingly Section 26 is confined to providing that the accused or the Attorney General should be required to give at least seven days' notice of intention to apply for a transfer to the Central Criminal Court.

Section 45 provides that Judges and Justices are to be addressed in court in the Irish forms. Under the present law the mode of address of Judges and Justices is left to be determined by rules of court. The rules of the Superior Courts and of the Circuit Court permit the use of "my lord" or of the Irish equivalent. The rules of the District Court authorise only the English title "Justice." I think that most people will agree that we have arrived at a stage when we should cease using terms such as "lord" in the Courts and instead use the Irish forms of address as we have been accustomed to do for so long here in Dáil Éireann when addressing the Ceann Comhairle. The Courts, Judges and Justices have also been styled in Irish in the Establishment and Constitution Bill.

Before concluding, I should like to mention two other amendments proposed by the Bill. The first of these, which is contained in Section 47, provides that judgement debts due on circuit court judgments will carry interest in the same way as judgement debts due on the judgements of superior courts. This provision will apply to proceedings by or against a State authority. The second amendment is contained in Section 52 and has the effect of extending to all proceedings whatsoever (other than the preliminary investigation of an indictable offence) the power of a Justice to state a case for the High Court on a point of law. The extension applies both to an appeal by way of case stated, i.e. a case stated which is applied for after the Justice has made a determination in the proceedings, and to a consultative case stated, i.e. a case stated by the Justice in the course of the proceedings either on application or of his own motion. Under the present law, contained in the Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1857, appeals by way of case stated can be made only in respect of a determination by a Justice of an information or complaint. There is thus no power to have an appeal by way of case stated from any other decision of a Justice, e.g., a decision in a licensing case, such as there has been in Britain since 1879. As regards consultative cases stated, doubts have been expressed as to whether such a case may be stated in a licensing matter and the proposed amendment will remove these doubts. Section 52 also provides for the suspension of any determination made by a Justice on an application being made for a case stated.

I have said so much about the Supplemental Provisions Bill that I may have tended to obscure the fundamental character of the Establishment and Constitution Bill. The courts we have had since the struggle for independence began—both the Dáil Courts and those subsequently set up—have served us well and have always commanded respect. They have fully proved themselves to be what the Constitution intended them to be—Zealous protectors of individual liberty and of the other fundamental rights guaranteed by that Constitution. It is true that, happily, they have been able to operate in relatively stable conditions since the Constitution came into force but I believe that the very existence of independent courts, always prepared to vindicate the citizens' fundamental rights, ahs been an important factor in contributing to the measure of stability we have enjoyed. This is the appropriate occasion for paying a tribute to the existing courts and I am sure all parties in the House will join with me in doing so. I am confident that the new courts will continue to discharge their constitutional responsibilities in the same manner and thus maintain and even increase the respect in which the existing courts have always been held by the community.

I commend both Bills to the House and ask that they be given a Second Reading.

Two pieces of legis lation are being put before the House by the Minster for Justice. One is called the Courts (Establishment and Constitution) Bill, 1959, and the other the Courts (Supplementary Provisions) Bill, 1959. I last saw these two pieces of legislation in the year 1954. They were put into my hands after being taken from a safe where, I presume, they had been left for a number of months. There was an earlier draft which bore the date 1953. Whether that was the first effort to carry out Article 58 of the Constitution or not I do not know, but these are obviously the second effort.

Article 58 of the Constitution states:

On or after the coming into operation of the Constitution and, until otherwise determined by law, the existing courts in existence before the coming into operation of the Constitution shall continue to exercise the same jurisdiction as before and any member of such court shall continue to be a member and shall hold office in like tenure.

The date of that is the 29th December, 1937. If I am right that the first two proposals were put into draft form in 1953 for 1954, apparently no successful attention was paid to the provisions of Article 58 of the Constitution until that Constitution had been 16 or 17 years in operation.

When those two drafts came under my notice in 1954, they were taken from a safe and they certainly went back in there again and remained there. I never saw them agian except for some cursory reading until 1957. Listening to the minster to-day, the thought struck me that I should like to record the number of columns of the debate which he devoted to the Courts (Establishment and Constitution) Bill and the number he devoted to the Supplemental Provisions Bill and how much of his time and attention was addressed to the district court and to the procedure there. It would be an interesting calculation which I shall make for myself one of these days.

I do not really know why, when the matter was in draft for so long, there is so much agitation about it at the moment. The existing courts have not found themselves handicapped by the new Constitution and ther have been decisions of the courts which indicated that the existing courts had full powers, that they had power to appoint new judges to the old courts even though Article 58 did not make provision for the filling of vacancies. The courts found, in the case where one appointment was challenged, that the appointment was a proper appointment, that the judge had been a properly appointed judge and that he had fulfilled the duties of his office in a proper way. It was established that the existing courts were properly operating under the Constitution, even though their authority was conferred on them by the previous Constitution. They were bound to administer the law as they found it.

There was a clear-cut decision from the supreme Court in 1953 that the courts were running smoothly and that vacancies could be filled and that there was no difficulty. They found that the old courts could administer the law as they found it and could adminsiter it according to the provisions of the Constitution of 1937. It was discovered that the old judicial bottles were quite capable of containing the new wine of the Constitution of 1937. In view of that, what is to be gained by establishing the courts anew? They have been able to carry on, they have been functioning properly and constitutionally and filling any gaps that occurred in their ranks.

There is a Constitutional difficulty in what is being done now and that is indicated by the change of one word in the title. That change is being carried out through Sections 6 and 7 of the main Bill. Under the 1922 Constitution and under the 1937 Constitution a judge, once appointed, may leave office under different conditions. He may retire on reaching the age limit. He may vacate his office by resignation in writing and, if he does that before his time is expired, there are certain provisions that relate to his pension. If he serves for 15 years he is entitled to the full pension of two-thirds of his salary. If he serves for less than five years and vacates his office, he is not entitled to any pension whatsoever. If he serves for more than five years and less than 15 years he gets a limited pension. In that section of the 1924 Act which deals with that matter the vacation of office by a judge may take place by resignation in writing but the reason must be either age or permanent infirmity. A judge could retire on those grounds or on reaching the age limit and that was a matter for the law to determine.

A judge before reaching the age limit might retire on grounds of age or permanent infirmity. He would do that by what is called vacating his office by resignation in writing. Outside of that, there is power to dismiss a judge. That is to be done on foot of motions passed by both Houses for stated reasons of misbehavious or incapacity. There is no other way while a judge is living of getting rid of him except on these three grounds: retiral on the age limit, resignation in certain circumstances and dismissal.

Now we are finding a new way. Once the precedent has been established, it can be again operated. I do not know if there is any special reason for bringing in these Bills or if they have nay special value. If the existing courts had failed or found themselves hampered by the jurisdiction and powers given to them, I could understand a chance being taken. But where the courts operate not merely freely but perfectly, we now bring in a piece of legislation, at the end of the title of which the phrase occurs "to abolish the offices of the judges and justices thereof." Later the phrase comes to be used that the official posts may be vacated and the courts disestablished. When the courts disestablished, then the holders of the offices fail to hold them any longer and those offices are abolished. This is introducing a new method of dealing with judges. The courts may be disestablished and the offices may be abolished. In those circumstances, this is a new way of getting rid of a judge.

The relevant Article of the Constitution, having stated in rather precise terms that judges were to be independent in teh discharge of their duty and subject only to the Constitution and the law, went on to fortify the judges in respect of that by giving them security of tenure. In my opinion, this breaks that. It may be that the chances are worth taking and it may be that hereafter nobody will want to abolish an individual judicial office and get rid of an individual judge, but a new avenue is being opened in that way.

The Minister himself referred Section 7. I do not know whether the words have been precisely chosen or not, but the Minister said, so to speak that if a judge retires, the office he has held and the courts in which he functioned stood partly or completely abolished. But the peculiar situation I find in Section 7 is that "When every person who immediately before the commencement of this Act held the office of judge or justice of any of the existing courts has ceased to hold that office—(a) the existing courts have ceased to be established, (b) every such office shall stand abolished."

From a literal reading of that it would seem that if some recalcitrant district justice decided not to put himself in a position in which he ceases to hold the office—suppose he said he would not accept an appointment in the new courts—does that hold up the whole disestablishment of the courts system? The phrase is used: "When every person who immediately before the commencement of this Act held the office of judge or justice of any of the existing courts has ceased to hold that office...." The effect of the section only comes into operation when every person has ceased to hold that office. It may be that there would be some sort of partial disestablishment, but that does not seem to be so at the moment.

The phrase that I believe was used in the draft of the legislation I saw was that the offices of judges and justices were to be "terminated". The whole matter was to be in terms of termination. Now, we are going into a new terminology—the abolition and the disestablishment of the courts. I do not think it gets it away from the constitutional point whether it is called termination of office or whether it is called disestablishment or abolition. I do not think that matters. This is not dismissal. There is no stated misbehaviour or incapacity. It is certainly not resignation on grounds of age or infirmity. It is not retirement on the groiunds of the term of appointment having expired. Whether some new avenue will be opened in the future or not remains to be seen.

With regard to the second piece of legislation, the Minister talked about important provisions. I say that the value of the whole of this second piece of legislation will be measured in this way. Look at the Minister's speech and see how much time was devoted to what I think are trivial amendments, like the method of addressing the courts, and secondly, to certain matters that have ben adjusted in connection with the District Court. Did it ever refer to Section 7 of the second Bill, the Supplemental Provisions Bill, where the matters discussed include the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court? I drew attention to the fact that there is provision for a court of five, that the nominations may be as many as five. The Minister pointed out that the Constitution only requires a full court to sit in two sets of circumstances: first, when an approach has ben made to have the President impeached for stated misbehaviour; and, secondly, when a Bill is referred to the Supreme Court under an Article of the Costitution. In these two sets of circumstances, and in these only, is there a requirement of a full court.

The Minister pointed out that it was unthinkable that a constitutional point should be decided by, say, two judges out of three or that it might go to a draw by two judges being lined up on either side. That is a good comment. It is a pity it was not made when the Constitution was being passed, because it seems to me it was a necessary provision of a good Constitution that if ever any question arose concerning teh validity of any law in connection with the Constitution, it should be tried by a full court and that there should be no possibility of anything less than five judges hearing any such point. We know that the case to which I have referred was a case where only three judges sat, although it examined a constitutional point. There may have been four, but it certainly was not a full court. It is no longer constitutional unless we are going to amend it. Whatever is brought in here is a mere matter of law. It is to be emphasised that we are not attempting to change the Constitution and whatever is here set out is merely law that can be changed by later pieces of law overriding it.

The Minister then brought out for special comment the position of the new functionary, the President of the District Court. As far as I am concerned, I object completely to any such office being established. I object entirely to a person of, say, the District Court being given such powers over his colleagues as is given to this person in Section 36. In Section 36 this power is given to the President of the District Court when it appears to him that the conduct of a justice of the District Court is prejudicial to the prompt and efficient discharge of the business of the court. He then shall inquire into the matter and may report the result of the inquiry to the Minister. The one good thing I saw about the section when I first read it was that it kept the minister and the Civil Service out of this whole matter. This was to be somewhat inter-judicial, but now, having made thin inquiry, the matter is to be reported to the Minister.

Under sub-section (3), the President of the District Court is empowered to convene a meeting of his District Court colleagues, the purpose being to discuss necessary matter relating to the discharge of the business of the court "including, in partiuclar, such matters as uniformity in the exercise by the justices of the jurisdiction of that court and the general level of fines and other penalties." Then there is a later sub-section which says that every justice must attend any of these meetuings, the only excuse being illness or any other unavoidable cause. He must inform the President of the District Court of whatever reason keeps him away. If there is such a power to be given to anybody, it should not be given to the President of the District Court. It might be given to some higher authority in the court system. In addition to this, Section 7 empowers the President of the High Court to make inquiries in respect of certain matters connected with district justices.

Section 10 gives the President of the High Court power to enquire into the matter of district justices and the District Court. Subsection (4) of that section says:

Where the President of the High Court, having considered the conduct of a jsutice of the District Court in executing his office in relation to a particular matter, is of opinion that the conduct of the justice was such as to bring the adminstration of justice into disrepute, the President may interview the justice privately and inform him of such opinion.

First of all, the President of the High Court has not, as far as I know, any close touch or contact with the justices of the district court or their business. How is he going to make his inquiries? Who is supposed to provide the President of the High Court, second in the judicial hierarchy of this country, with the report on which he will base his enquiry into the work of any particular district justice?

The subsection says that the President of the High Court has to consider the conduct of a justice. It does not way who is to bring the conduct of the justice to the notice of the President of the High Court. Is it where the President of the District Court has made inquiries, and is the President of the District Court to report to the Minster? I do not see from this how the President of the High Court gets any information about the district court. When the President of the High Court enquires into the conduct of the district justice, if he is of the opinion that the conduct of the justice is such as to bring the adminstration of jsutice into disrepute, the President of the High Court may interview the justice privately. I suggest these two sections should be tied together.

If there is any disciplinary action to be taken in the district court there are many ways of enquiring into them provided in the various Courts of Justice Acts. In his statement the Minster said he had received notice of certain matters. One was in respect to the conduct of certain district justices in connection with certain criminal matters, that there was a lack of uniformity in these matters, particularly in the cases of certain justices in their treatment of habitual offenders, to whom they applied the Probation of Offenders Act.

Such scandal as there was in these matters was not so much in the application of the probation Act but int eh application of the Act comnined with a statement by a justice that the Probation Act would be applied if the offender put money into the Court poor-box. The amount that had to be put into the poor-box was more than twice the amount of the maximum fine that could be imposed.

The Minster says he found he had no power to deal with that. If the Minister had not any power to deal with the matter of that sort, it must have been vested in somebody because it was dealt with and the thing was rectified. We do not require these elaborate sections such as we have in Sections 10 and 36 which subject the district justices to these inquiries. I have not discussed this with any of my colleagues but I know there is a general dislike of Section 36 which provides for the appointment of a man to described as President of the District Court.

While it is recognised there is a lack of uniformity with regard to sentences and that there are certain areas where justices do not, of instance, attend punctually or where they call off without sufficient notice certain court sittings which have been advised, I do not see how the President of the District Court will get over what is described in the section as any lack of prompt and efficient discharge of the business of the district court. A complant was voiced by a member of the Opposition and I think the minisdter said he had made inquiries.

The Minster said he did nothing about these inquiries because he was confronted with the excuse that the justice had an attack of illness round about the time when the district court should have been held or that the justice was in some other way suffering from some incapacitating illness, and I understood the minster to say he could do nothing about it in views of such excuses. I do not know whether such excuses will now be regarded as reasonable. I want to give my own private notice that Section 36 is abhorrent not merely on the question of impacting on his district court colleagues by one man. I do not know how uniformity in teh district court is to be secured, but I would point out that there are in England such a thing as Judges' Rules which are circulated to members of the different courts and which call attention to any lack of uniformity there may be in the different grades, particularly in respect of sentences. Something the same might be adopted here.

The Minister said he had asked for advice and had ben fully advise that Section 36 is not against the Constitution. That we can inquire into at a later stage because certain doubts have ben expressed to me by many people in connection with the proposals in this section. Section 26 is one on which the Minster said he had spent a certain amount of time. It deals with the transfer of trials. I shall not devote any time to discussing it because to my mkind it is a trivial matter. The main defects found in earlier legislation in this respect were removed by the 1951 Act.

In Section 45 we deal with the most important matter of the mode of address in court. On that subject, the Minister said it was as easy to learn a bit of Irish to be applied in our courts as it was for members of this House to say "Ceann Comhairle" and "Leas-cheann Comhairle.""Ceann Comhairle" and "Leas-Cheann Comhairle" are methods of addressing the Chair in this House established, I would point out, not by legislation but by Standing Orders. Surely, the rule of addressing people in the courts might be left to the discretion of the bodies concerned—the solicitors and counsel? I know that the Bar Council have reacted very strongly in this matter.

In the constitution it is said the head of the Supreme Court is to be referred to as the Chief Justice. There is an Irish version which says—I am translating—the title of the president of the Supreme Court is to be: "An Príomh-Bhreitheanmh." Now we are told in an English Act, and it is transferred into English and we are not speaking Irish at this time, that we must call the Chief Justice "A Phríomh-Bheithimh" and every judge "A Bhreithimh" and to a group of them, instead of saying "your lordships" we are to say "A Bhreithiúna". I do not know whether, after getting over the compulsory method of address, one may drop afterwards into the ordinary usage. It is very difficult to get our tongues disaccustomed to saying, when a judge intervenes, "Your lordship has said something,""I did not gather what your lordship says." Must it be the "Breitheamh" that is to be used in all connections or is it merely the opening invocation, if ever one is addressing a court?

Is it not ludicrous that in a small piece of legislation running with these various schedules into 55 pages, that we spend six or seven lines saying what is to be the method of address in court? If there is any objection to the old-time phraseology then let us have it out root and branch. I would have thought that more obejction would be taken to the clothes, the robes, that have to be worn by members of the Bar. Some people are very fond of them. Some people dislike them very much. But, seeing that they are, in fact, an old court dress I would have thought there would have been more hostility directed to the robes than to the method of address. The vocative that we use to anybody is not a very important matter. Why should we get into solemnly proclaiming that people must be addressed in court in a particular way? I do not know whether it is every time the Chief Justice is addressed or every time a ny judge is addressed or every time a group of judges are addressed that these phrases in Section 45 have to be used. However, we will talk about that at a later stage. At the moment it seems to be a trivial matter and one that might have been left entirely to the judgment of members of the profession.

If we want to insist on Irish in the courts and want to give any impetus to advancement, even step by step and very small step by very small step, to Irish, I would suggest that when a witness comes to take the oath he should be sworn in Irish and in Irish only. I think it would lead to a better appreciation of the Irish language than merely asserting that a judge should be called "A Bhreithimh."

Section 47 again shows the triviality of this Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Bill in that the Minister should spend time in telling us provision is now being made for the charging of interest on the judgment debts of the Circuit Court. Whatever importance is in it, we will see how much time will be spent on Committee Stages.

Section 52 also is to my mind a trivial matter. This is the question of a case stated. If there is anything to be dealt with in connection with a case dealt with in the High Court on a question of law, it arises only in connection with a small matter that is dealt with in subsection (2) of Section 52 where, having got a case stated to the High Court, there is a limited right of appeal granted to the Supreme Court, but that right of appeal is only by leave of the High Court. That matter was thrashed out in a case reported in the 54 Reports. It is the case ofO'Sullivan and Robinson. It is there declared that the old prohibition that came in one of the Court of Justice Acts, amended by later Acts, still prevails. This is again to be written into subsection 2. If there was anything to be done with regard to cases stated to the High Court and the possibility of appeal thereafter, to my mind, the amendment should have been to leave out the necessity of having the leave of the High Court before the further step of appeal to the Supreme Court could be taken.

These are the matters that the Minister is discussing in connection with the Supplemental Provisions Bill. It is not much of a Bill. I just want against to refer to the time-point. The constitution came into operation in December 1937. These Bills date from 1959. The drafts appeared round about 1953 and 1954. They have been held up all this time. They could easily have been kept in limbo for a further ten years. We were promised in respect of the Supplemental Provisions Bill, whjich is not very necessary, that it is not going to be very long-lasting. That once it is got through, we have, so to speak, renewed the ground on which we treat and then there is to be a consolidating Bill to put together all the matters affected by various Courts of Justice Acts and Court Officers Acts. We are going to have a consolidating Bill sometime later. Let us hope that it will be another 20 years before we see that.

I should just like to add a few words to what Deputy McGilligan has said in relation to the two Bills we are discussing together and which the minister has introduced. I take it that the Courts (Establishment and Constitution) Bill, the first Bill, late and all as it appears, is a Bill which the Government feel it is necessary to introduce. Its purpose has been mentioned by the Minister as firmly establish under the Constitution the courts which, in fact, have been functioning since 1922. That is done in the form of this Bill by a notional abolition of the existing courts and an establishment of other courts of the same name with the same judges to exercise the same jurisdiction with careful provision that the proceedings of the different courts shall be carried over. So that, really, we are engaged here at the moment in playing different parts in a kind of legal drama and a legal fiction which may be necessary and which, I suppose, must go on.

In relation to the Courts (Establishment and Constitution) Bill there is the new departure which has been referred to by Deputy McGilligan of the appointment of a President of the District Court. At first, I may say, when I heard that such a functionary was to be appointed I reacted very much against it. I felt that it was not a good thing and that such an office was unnecessary. Frankly, I must say that I listened carefully to the case made by the Minster in that regard and the Minister has succeeded in convincing me that probably there is need for such an appointment. Assuming that there is need for such an appointment, I am concerned in relation to the Supplemental Provisions Bill by what that judicial officer may do.

Deputy McGilligan has referred to the exercise of certain supervisory functions in relation to district justices. To me, it is disgraceful that such a statutory provision is necessary. I accept that it may be and I am not going to discuss it further but I am concerned to see that under Section 36 of the Supplemental Provisions Bill the President of the District Court may summon twice a year all the justices in the country to a meeting and each justice must attend that meeting unless he is ill orbona fide unable to attend. At the meeting there is to be a discustion on various matters such as uniformity in the exercise by the justices of the jurisdiction of the courts and the general level of fines and other penalties. I should like to makie my own personal protest in regard to that provision. It is contrary to natural justice that there should be in a proposed Act of Parliament any provision whereby the level of fines and penalties can be discussed behind closed doors by those who are supposed to administer justice in open Court.

It shocks me that anyone should suggest that a provision of this kind is desirable or proper. Here in the Legislature we have our responsibilities. If we decide that a particular thing should be an offence it is the duty of this Parliament to name a penalty for it. If we wish that there should be no discretion as to the penalty, as we do sometimes, then it is our duty and our responsibility to provide to that effect in the bIll we are passing. In some cases in relation to certain offences this Parliament has decided in its wisdom that one a person is convicted there should be no discretion on the part of the Court in relation to the penalty which may be imposed and there are automatic penalties provided by legislation which has gone through this House. In most instances our legislation merely provides a maximum penalty but, in relation to a fine, that a fine not exceeding a particular sum may be imposed. It is then the duty of the district justice or whoever tries the case to decide, in accordance with his conscience and oath, what is the proper penalty within the limits imposed by the act in question.

Surely any unfortunate person who may be charged with the commission of an offence is entitled to expect that the penalty to be penalty to be imposed upon him will be imposed in accordance with the facts of his case and the gravity of the offence in the eyes of the Court. It shocks me that ther should be a move now in this Bill to have the particular penalty decided at a bi-annual meeting of justices presided over by this new functionary, the President of the District Court. We are getting very far away from the canons of natural justice if we permit that kind of legislative proposal to pass through this House without being challenged. I doubt very much that that kind of provision in Section 36 would be accepted as according with the principles laid down in the Constitution and I earnestly suggest to the Minster that he should reconsider that matter. There will certainly be an opportunity of considering it further when the Committee Stage of the Bill comes along.

In relation to other provisions in the courts (Supplemental Provisions) Bill, there are details which we can discuss on the Committee Stage of the Bill. However, I would like to say a word or two in relation to Section 45 of that Bill. That is the section which relates to the mode of address of judges and justices. It is pertinent to record the fact that this Bill containing this section is introduced here by a very respected and well-liked member of the Government and of this House, but a member of this House who, so far as I know, does not know a single word of Irish.

Except "Ceann Comhairle."

Yes, and this member of the Government introduces a Bill here containing a section in which it is to be made obligatory in a court of law that the Chief Justice shall be addressed as "A Phríomh-Bhreithimh" and ordinary judges as "A Bhreithimh." For what purpose is that introduced? Is it just to give a slap in the face tot eh legal profession and to the courts or is it intended to give a helping had to the promotion of the Irish language? If the latter is the intention behind this, then I would suggest that the mind that conceived this idea should be locked up in Grangegorman.

It is an insult to the Irish language that we should have this kind of nonsense forty years after this State was formed. I could well understand, in the early days after the War of Independence, when the blood ran far hotter in the veins of many people in this House, a provision of this kind being introduced, but surely forty years later most of those people have got over their salad days and should have grown up? Surely we can now realise that moves of this kind achieve nothing except enormously to irritate a whole lot of people whom there is no reason to irritate?

I should like to ask the Minister in relation to this section: does he think this House is entitled to amend the Constitution, because Section 45 (1) says the Chief Justice shall, in effect, be called "Priomh-Bhreitheamh." There is a provision in the Constitution which says precisely the contrary. Article 34 of the Constitution, which defines the laws we may pass here, says: "The president of the Supreme Court shall be called the Chief Justice." Does the Minister think, or has he been advised, that he or this House has the authority to amend the Constitution and to provide directly contrary to what the Constitution itself lays down as being the designation and description of the President of the Supreme Court?

As regards the other provision in relation to the mode of address of ordinary judges, "A Bhreithimh," there is a certain esteemed colleague of mine at the Irish Bar who might easily mispronounce that word "Breitheamh" and might find himself, being quite unaccustomed to the Irish language, calling the person presiding in the Court rather an offensive name. I do not know whether, if that happened, the person concerned would be helping or harming the Irish language. Certainly if it did happen it would be a very good plot for some future Gilbert and Sullivan play. Seriously, however, this section has been introduced into the Bill without any consultation with the legal profession, so far as I am aware, and without any consultation with the judges, so far as I am aware.

It appears to me to be a most unwarranted interference in a matter which would be better left to the good sense and common sense of those who order conditions in our courts. The Rules of Court have always provided for the form of address and the way in which business shall be transacted. The Rules of Court are designed and intended to ensure that the business of the courts shall be carried on with due diginity and in the interests of justice. So far as those Rules are concerned at the moment they make ample provision for the conduct of cases in Irish and for the proper mode of address of judges in Irish. I cannot see why this matter should not continue to be left to the rule-making committees of the different courts to be properly considered by them.

The Minister, in introducing this Bill, has incorporated this section without any consultation. I should have thought if we were proceeding for the first time to make it mandatory for petitioners or other persons in the courts to address the judges in a certain fashion that one reasonable exercise of good manners would be to seek the views of the Irish Bar and the solicitors' profession on the matter. It is in no way a sign of weakness to exercise good manners and politely to consult effective professions in relation to a matter of this kind. That, apparently, was not done. Perhaps the Minister or his colleagues felt: "We shall not bother consulting the Irish Bar or the solicitors." One would imagine that some sense of politeness would suggest to the Minister that perhaps the views of the Irish Bench might be ascertained to see in what way they would wish the courts established under the Constitution to be addressed. The Minister may correct me if I am wrong but, so far as I am aware, the judges were not consulted.

The judges will not have to say it.

No, they will just have to hear it.

Then why consult them?

Without consulting anyone we have this provision introduced. I have said as much as I find it necessary to say in regard to this section at this stage. We can discuss it again on Committee Stage. In my view it is a most regrettable section. I cannot see the sense of it; I do not know what good it achieves. It has been pointed out here that under our Standing Orders we ourselves decide in what way we shall address the occupant of the Chair. As regards the present occupant, under our Standing Orders we address him as "Chairman". In relation to the Ceann Comhairle and the Leas-Cheann Comhairle, we provide that we should address them as such but there is no Act of Parliament that says we should do it. We do it because, to us who take part in the business of this Assembly, it appears to be the seemly and proper way to conduct our business. In the same way I suggest that also should apply to the courts as, traditionally, it always has done.

As regards other matters in the Bill there is no question that we find it necessary to raise at this stage and we shall discuss matters of detail at a later stage.

The legislative history of the Fianna Fáil Party, particularly in relation to enactments which touch upon constitutionality, is a very sorry one and I am not at all certain that this is not another leap in the dark and a measure that will again unnecessarily and ill-advisedly cost the Irish taxpayer and extra number of thousands of pounds. This, the latest attempt to bring our courts into line with the provisions of the Constitution is, as has been said by Deputy McGilligan, something that is really ephemeral. Deputy McGilligan addressed himself from a constitutional point of view to all of this matter with an informed adequacy just as Deputy O'Higgins who has concluded his address preserved all through it an almost incomprehensible moderation.

Dealing with the provisions that propose to set up a new personage under the name of President of the District Court, we are almost prompted to ask at once: who is the person in mind of whom we must make a beneficiary of what we have to bestow, by giving him a few hundred pounds extra per annum merely as President of a District Court, fulfilling the functions of a headmaster, as it were, calling up recalcitrant boys to be punished or to be exhorted as the case may be, and who has the power under this Bill, if it is ill-advisedly passed, to force justices from distant parts of the country to come to Dublin or some other arranged spot twice a year—it is mandatory on them—to discuss matters like uniformity of penalties?

The distribution of wealth is not uniform; the distribution of education, if we might put it that way, is not uniform. There is very little uniformity in any country or community except in the constant factors of the type of soil, the type of economy that we pursue. A man in my constituency found guilty of an offence which can be dealt with under the district court might have neither the knowledge, nor the capacity to pay, which a fellow-offender in a better-off situation and with more knowledge might have. Is it to be said, then, that because a district justice in a poor area imposes a fine of a few shillings for a relatively minor offence he has to alter that practice because his learned brother exercising similar jurisdiction in an area which is better of imposes a much higher amount by way of punishment on an offender whose position generally in regard to education and means is much better?

As Deputy O'Higgins has said, a district justice takes an oath to administer the law having regard to all the circumstances, and with justice, as best he can, and uniformity in the matter of penalties is a matter for individual conscience and individual circumstances. It is not for this House, after we have enacted some piece of legislation in which we set out maximum terms of imprisonment, maximum fines or both together, to say how a district justice shall exercise his discretion in the application of those punishments which have been laid down.

You are going to get a duplication of the County Managers' Association.

Nobody suggested that the County Managers' Association was a good thing.

If it is as effective as that sort of gathering it might be well if the powers behind this Bill were to take stock at once. I do not think that it is right that a person styled as President of the District Court should have that power—indeed I do not think it is essential that there should be any such functionary at all. After all the Government should have sufficient confidence in the people appointed that they would, in their areas, according to the oath they took and the discretion they are allowed, administer the law as it stands without having them subjected to the headmaster's study performance, being compelled to come twice a year to Dublin and undergo strictures, possibly punishments and exhortations.

That might lead to very great irritation and discontent. It is bad enough at the moment that we have in this country at least four—I am not sure of the number—district justices who have been allowed to continue in their practise while acting as justices and now have to return to them when they become redundant at the end of the month.

On the matter of address in Section 45, it is difficult to speak with moderation particularly when, as Deputy O'Higgins has pointed out, the Minister responsible for this piece of legislation, so far as we are aware, knows no Irish with the exception of the words "A Cheann Comhairle." He has not, in all the long time he has filled the office of Minister, and has spoken from the Front Benches of this House, ever used a word of Irish. He now seeks, at the end of upwards of a period of 30 years in this House, to impose upon the legal practitioners of this country the manner and mode in which they should address judges. There is no power vested in the Minister for Justice to compel me or any other practitioner or any citizen of this country to address the Chief Justice as "A Phriomh Bhreithimh," a judge of the High Court or any other court as "A Bhreithimh," or any combination of judges as "A Bhreithiúna." There is no power in this country vested in the Minister for Justice or anybody else to compel me or any other citizen in this country to address them other than "Chief Justice,""Judge," or "Justice" as the case may be.

Irish is the first official language of the Constitution in which the words "Priomh Bhreitheamh" are used but English is also an official language of the Constitution and that says "the President of the Supreme Court shall be called Chief Justice." What is going to happen, if this stupid section in this Bill goes through, if any practitioner or group of practitioners still refer to judges as "My Lord" and to the justices as "Justice" or "Sir"? What power have we to compel them to do otherwise? It might not be readily acceptable to the Minister or to many other people that there is a very clear-cut distinction between a person who is sitting there as a person presiding over the court, and the idea of Court which he represents; it is when one leaves the concrete address to the person who represents the Court and proceeds into the abstraction of the Court itself that the difficulty arises.

What are the phrases to be used when one has to refer for instance to the judgment of some other judge? What is the equivalent mode of address you are going to have in this piece of tomfoolery when you have to use the phrase "Their Lordships" in referring to another case, or "His Lordship"? What is the phrase then? Why is that not covered? I suppose it is not covered because the people responsible thought they would be going too far with this codology to have people get up in Court to say: "A Bhreithimh" and then proceed: "The facts in this case are..." What is to compel a person who does not know these terms and who cannot understand them to use them? There are people who have linguistic difficulty, who never learned Irish and who have difficulty in getting round words of that kind. "A Bhreithimh" is not an easy thing to say. Not every person in this country would find it too easy to say, and when it is mispronounced, as it inevitably will be if it is persisted in, it will cause a serious loss of dignity to the Court because it will only bring the Court and the language into disrepute.

I come from a constituency which embraces part of the Gaeltacht in this country. The people of the Gaeltacht are my people; the language is my language. I am not using it here and I shall use it here only on very select occasions because it gives rise to a measure of indignation in me when I hear of legislation being brought in to compel, without consultation, members of the community to use certain terms of address in our courts when the Irish language is being used at the same time both inside and outside this House as a method to cover up very serious omissions indeed. Any Government that seeks to impose Irish terms of address or any terms of address upon any body of practitioners be they members of the Bar or solicitors—or, mind you, be they witnesses; witnesses will have to learn all this rigmarole— is not serving the cause of the language. This is the equivalent of that gigantic effort to preserve the Irish language that began with, "A chara," and finished with "Mise le meas" and an English letter in between.

When will we realise that it is this kind of lip-service which is killing the language and making those genuinely interested rather despondent about it, if not deciding to give it up altogether? It is unconstitutional to try to make people do something that is provided for otherwise in the Constitution. Mark you, this Government, and the Party which supports it, are always talking up and down the country about their Constitution. It seems that, while they talk about it, they regard themselves as entitled to make every legislative effort they can to wreck it, when advantage would seem to lie that way. How will this be enforced? In the first place, it is unconstitutional and there is therefore no method of prescribing its enforcement.

What can a judge do to me or to any other citizen if he is addressed as "My lord" after this Bill is passed, if it is passed? What can he do? Will he regard it as contempt of court if he is referred to in the manner in which he has been referred to over the last ten, 20, 30 and 40 years? Will it amount to contempt of court to say "My lord" instead of "A Bhreithimh"? What will be the remedy? What is the meaning of this particular piece of lip-service to the language on this occasion when, within recent months, we had to get in our courts on a constitutional issue an interpreter to assist the presiding judge, and at least one counsel appearing for the Attorney-General, representing the Government? When will this hypocrisy cease?

It will not be possible to enforce this provision. It would be foolish to try particularly if, as Deputy O'Higgins says—and, as far as my knowledge goes, what he says is true —there has been no consultation with members of the Bar, no consultation with the solicitors' profession, and no consultation with the members of the Bench. If it is the intention of the Government to legislate for the good of the community, and all legislation should be governed by that objective, they should at least consult the interests vitally affected and consider, in particular the dignity of our Courts, the prestige they have, instead of bringing them down to the level of ridicule, using the Irish language as the medium through which to achieve that end.

So far we have had the lawyers' point of view. It is as well to remember that they are interested parties in this matter because some of them may be future judges. Recently I read a book dealing with the history of Fleet Street. The various editors looked up to their bosses as the big fellows. They were big fellows to the people in the jounalistic profession. To the outsider they were not big fellows. In the same way, members of the legal profession here may have a certain bias. Ordinary people may think differently. The people outside, who may in a sense, perhaps, be victims, should have their point of view put equally well here.

I am concerned, first of all, in the question of the discipline of justices. Justices are human like the rest of us. We are none of us perfect. Neither are justices. Very often we read reports in the papers of speeches made by justices, speeches which have no bearing at all on the case at hearing. It is a fact, too, that the method of dealing with cases varies considerably. I was in the dance hall business at one time. If we wanted a licence, we were almost certain to get it from one justice, but we knew we had very little chance of getting it from another. Why should that be? I remember a justice refusing a licence for any dancing during Lent. He forgot that a number of people are employed in this business. There are musicians and all sorts of people who earn a livelihood and their livelihood is just as important to them during Lent as it is at any other period of the year. We went to another justice on that occasion and he granted the licence, with the exception of Holy Week. In the country one may be refused a licence in one area. One appeals and gets the licence somewhere else. There should be some uniformity of practice.

I think it is an excellent idea that these justices should come together and agree as to the best approach. I am sure due allowance is made for different capacities, environment, and so on where the various litigants are concerned. But there should be some sort of discipline and I am in agreement with the Bill in that regard.

In regard to the questions asked as to what the President of the High Court would know about a justice, is it not possible that the President of the High Court might be a friend of one of the justices? The other justices might think it would be a good thing to inform the President of the High Court along certain lines and in that manner ensure some sort of discipline or some method of making complaints. I think it is an excellent idea.

With regard to the mode of address, last year on the Minister's Estimate I protested against the present form of address. Whether or not that had anything to do with the Minister's decision I do not know. It is all very well for members of the legal profession to argue that we should continue with the present form of address. This is a Republic. The term President is a republican term. I regard such terms as "worship" and "lordship" as craven. When Lord Norbury, and Lord Jeffries were officiating it was well known that if a litigant literally felt over himself addressing them as "My lord" and "Your lordship" he got off; those who failed to observe these niceties received a very stiff sentence. It should be possible for people to respect our Courts without having to "worship" all over the place.

I have seldom been in court. I do not like courts. I had a case some years ago and I asked the solicitor as to how I should address the court. He told me to say "Your worship" I said I did not like addressing anyone as "Your worship". "This fellow," he said, "is very choosy and, if you want a fair crack of the whip, you will have to address him as I told you". That was the solicitor's advice. Why should I, for the sake of getting justice, be literally required to go down on my knees? Surely it should be possible to address such a man as "Sir".

That is worse.

It is not worse. Illiterate people will not know the Irish term. Simple people should be permitted to say "Sir". These feudalistic terms should be done away with. Judgement should be based on the evidence. The Constitution lays it down that titles of nobility shall not be used. It is a feudal title. Those men are just like you or me. What we want is justice and it should not be based on how one addresses a judge. I fully agree with the Minister and the proposal he has made.

I have had some difficulty in understanding the full provisions of these two Bills. My legal knowledge, which was never very great, has become even less than it used to be. I am at a loss to understand how many provisions of this Bill involve amendment of the present situation. It would have been helpful if we had got more guidance as to whether sections were new sections and as to the exact meaning of the legislation now submitted. In particular, I would like to know whether any change in the jurisdiction of the lower courts is provided for in the schedule to the Supplemental Provisions Bill. If there has been some alternation in the jurisdication of the lower courts. I would like that to be brought to our attention. If there have not been any changes in jurisdiction a good opportunity may have been missed for reviewing that whole question.

The Minister has referred to the problem which may arise under the present law so far as the number of judges sitting in the Supreme Court is concerned. I agree with him that it is advisable that, as often as possible and in all the more important decisions such as appeals and constitutional matters, the full bench of five judges should be present. It may be impossible to provide that the court should only sit with five judges but emphasis should be laid on the importance of having five judges sitting as often as possible.

Some comment has been made by previous speakers on Section 10 sub-section (4) which refers to the President of the High Court having some jurisdiction over a justice of the district court. In Deputy McGilligan's mind, there was some confusion between subsection (4) of that section and Section 36, subsection (2) (a). As I read those two sections, it appears to me that Section 36 refers only to the conduct of a district justice in the prompt and efficient discharge of the business of the Court whereas Section 10 subsection (4) refers to the conduct of a district justice likely to bring the administration of justice into disrepute. It is only right that the two matters should be kept distinct as they have been in this Bill.

It is mercifully rare but it does happen that sometimes a district justice may, in an injudicious moment. make a remark which does tend to bring the administration of justice into disrepute. In such a case it would not be right that any other justice of the district court should be given any responsibility for administering a reproof. At the same time I feel it is right that the Chief Justice should not be troubled with such a matter and I support the proposal that the President of the High Court should be authorised to interview the justice and inform him of his own opinion as to his conduct.

Criticism has been offered that the phrasing of this subsection is unsuitable but I cannot see any alternative to the phrase as it is. The President of the High Court has no jurisdiction over any justice of the district court and he will be acting more in an advisory capacity. He will not be able to discipline the district justice in any way but, at the same time, a district justice who is sent for by the President of the High Court and who is informed of the opinion of the President of the High Court will feel himself to be very severely reprimanded. I feel that this is a matter which is much more properly left to the members of the judiciary themselves rather than that any Government intervention should be called for.

So far, all Government have resisted any suggestion that they take to themselves power to interfere directly with the judiciary except where both houses of the Oireachtas can be satisfied that some judge is not fit to hold office. That is a principle that must be supported and backed to the limit but that does not mean that individual members of the judiciary should not be subject to discipline of some sort and it is only right that that should come from senior members of the judiciary.

My own knowledge of Irish is negligible, but I do notice in Section 10 that the new Irish title of the Central Criminal Court is misleading. From my own slight knowledge, the English title of the Central Criminal Court does not appear to be a translation of that title in Irish. It does seem to me to be a more correct English translation to refer to the Central Criminal Court as the Criminal division of the High Court.

On this question of titles there is going to be difficulty. Here we have the old traditional name of the Central Criminal Court though we try to phrase it rather differently in Irish. I think it is a pity that we should have these discrepancies and we should make up our minds more clearly as to whether we are trying to cut adrift from traditional altogether of whether we are trying to allow a certain amount of tradition to be retained.

As far as Section 36 is concerned, it seems to me to have drawn some quite unnecessary criticism. I agree with Deputy Sherewin that it is all too common to hear solicitors who practise in the District Courts tell their clients: "If you are before Justice so and so you are home and dried, but if it is Justice someone else you are bunched." That, in itself, inevitably brings the law into disrepute. I would be the last to suggest that we should have rigid uniformity because, if there was not some discretion left to judges either in the district court, the circuit court, the High Court or the Supreme Court, we might as well just have some sort of electrical computer which would produce a decision, a sentence and everything else. We must keep some discretion in the individual members of the judiciary, but at the same time we must not let them run riot.

In that connection subsection (3) (a) is a particularly good idea. I do not feel with other speakers that these meetings of justices of the district court will be similar to meetings of small boys in the headmaster's study. I think Deputy Lindsay was grossly misleading himself by so describing them. I feel these meetings must essentially be conference meetings where the justices meet together. Unless the President of the District Court is going to turn out to be a ruthless dictator, which I think is unlikely, I cannot imagine these meetings being other than friendly and helpful.

It must be a very difficult matter for district justices, with the variety of cases which come before them, even to satisfy themselves that they are being strictly fair, just and uniform in their own judgment. As Deputy Sherwin said, they are very human men not endowed with any superhuman gifts of patience and insight, but men of considerable experience. It may well be helpful to them to come together at least twice a year, discuss the problems they have faced during the previous six months and accept, or at least consider, the advice they may receive from their brethren on the bench, and then go back supported by the knowledge that some of their doubts may have been wiped away, supported by knowing at least that other justices are finding the same difficulty. Even that, in itself, would be a tremendous help.

Reference has also been made, and I think rightly, to the fact that certain district justices have at time fallen considerably short to the standard of efficiency which was expected of them when they were appointed. I am afraid in isolated cases a man, when he is appointed a district justice, begins to feel he is at least a very close relation of Almighty God and has completed freedom to do as he pleases, to hold courts when he likes, to adjourn courts when he likes, and, sometimes, not without some consideration of hunting fixtures and fishing. There may be a temptation for an occasional district justice to do that. At the moment there is no quick way in which such a man can be brought back to a correct realisation of his responsibility. I think it is very right that this decision has been taken to recommend the appointment of a President of the District Court, a senior member of the district court, to whom a report of inefficiency or lack of zeal in office may be made, who may investigate any complaints of that nature, may consult with the justice concerned and, if he feels that the complaint is justified, may take action.

My only criticism of subsection (2) (a) of Section 36 is that the President of the District Court may report the result of the inquiry to the Minister. I feel that in this case the report to the Minister is an unfortunate way of dealing with any case of indiscipline. I would much prefer that the report should be forwarded to the President of the High Court so that the matter would still be left entirely in the hands of the judiciary, unless and until a situation arises where a district justice is becoming so chronically inefficient that Government action is called for in his dismissal. I would ask the Minister, therefore, to consider whether it might not be possible, and might not be more advisable, that the report of any inquiry by the President of the District Court should be furnished to the President of the High Court and not to the Minister.

We now come to Section 45. We were bound to have a bit of a row about this. I am afraid I find myself much more in support of Deputy McGilligan, Deputy O'Higgins and Deputy Lindsay in this matter. We should try to get the main reason for the instruction of a statutory provision into a matter which is much more properly within the scope of the Rules of Court, clearly stated. Up to now, the ordinary Rules of Court have made provision for the correct form of address in each court. I personally cannot see anything particularly feudal in referring to a judge as "My Lord". Maybe that is because I was accustomed to doing it and accepted it because everybody else did it. I cannot see anything particularly republican in describing a judge as "Sir." Neither can I see anything particularly republican in addressing him as "A Bhreithimh." The question of monarchial rule or republicanism does not arise. Nor, I think, does any question of any previous domination by the British Parliament arise, simply because in Britain they use the same word. But if there was any desire that members of the Bar in future should address the judge with an Irish title, the worst way in which that desire could be put into practice would be by putting it into this Bill.

Members of the Bar and all court officers are always very jealous of their independence of the Executive in the State. The very fact that the Government say: "You shall do it" will make any barrister do the absolute opposite. If these titles were introduced by rules of court I think they would be accepted without question by every member of the Bar, but, as Deputy Lindsay said, this House has no jurisdiction over procedure in the courts, and by making a provision in this Bill that judges shall be addressed only by an Irish title I would say we are sticking our necks out and inviting the comtempt which we will get, because I think no members of the Bar would discontinue the practice, not out of malice but out of habit, of using titles such as "his lordship,""my lord" and even "sir" in some cases. I think we are putting ourselves in a false position if we attempt to do something which in fact we cannot do.

We say here that the Chief Justice shall be addressed in a certain way, but we cannot force anyone to address a justice or a judge in any way other than that acceptable to the judge or justice concerned. There is possibly something pompous in this mode of address of "your lordship,""my lord" and so on, but at the same time I would support its continuance very strongly indeed. I would not agree with Deputy Sherwin that we should ever regard a judge on a bench as purely one of ourselves. There is a tendency, possibly influenced by films which we see in cinemas and television shows, to look on some court procedure as a bit of a laugh.

About six months ago I was speaking to an American lawyer in this House who informed me, after a short visit to the Four Courts, that our legal system was entirely crazy. He based that simply on the division of the legal profession into barristers and solicitors, but he also informed me, with complete certainly, that one of the craziest things he noticed was that we were so frightened of judges. I asked him how he had reached that decision—that even the members of the Bar and the solicitors were frightened—and he said he was conducted round the Four Courts by a solicitor and after he had been shown the building he said he wanted to see a judge but the solicitor said that could not be arranged.

I asked this American whether he could just walk in to see a judge at his home in America. He said: "Sure, if we want to see a judge we go to his office, knock on the door, walk in and say `hello judge' ". That is not the system I would like to see in this country. I tried to explain to the American, with what success I do not know, that it was not a matter of the Bar and the solicitors' profession being frightened of judges but that they had a great respect for them and that they showed that respect by their attitude when the court was sitting and by respecting the judges' privacy when the court was not sitting. I pointed out to him that the profession approached judges and justices with diginity, reverence and respect in court.

I feel that robes which are worn by members of the bench, the same as those worn by judges in many other countries—in republican France for instance—are a help to the profession to realise that when a man is sitting on a bench he is not one of themselves but a man apart, carrying out a function which is of the utmost value and importance in the life of the community. When we are trying to ensure that the diginity of our courts shall be maintained, I think this suggestion that the method of address of judges should be put down in black and white in an Act of the Oireachtas is something which is most regrettable.

I cannot feel that the use of these Irish titles will do anything for the language at all other than create resentment. I am absolutely positive that there will be a terrible titter around the courts when these titles are used for the first time. There will be considerable self-consciousness at least and people will begin to get unsure of themselves in the matter of keeping on using the Irish titles instead of lapsing back into English time and again during an argument. They may even become embarrassed when in the middle of an argument they find they have already lapsed unintentionally. Like Deputy Lindsay, in particular, I hate this business of mixing Irish and English.

If anybody wants to go in for Irish let him, but let him do it 100 per cent. This business of putting in a word of Irish here and a word of Irish there just makes me sick. I have never used the phrases "A chara" and "Mise, le means" at the beginning or end of a letter nor do I intend to do so. If and when my Irish is sufficiently good to write the whole letter in Irish, I should be only too glad to get the form of address right.

Let me say again that I regard this as an unfortunate instrusion in a matter that would be much more properly left to the Rules of Court. If the intention is to strike a blow for the Irish language, a much better blow would be struck by deleting Section 45 of this Bill altogether.

Speaking as a Cork Deputy, I should like to welcome the provisions of Sections 23 and 27 of the Bill, which deal with the local Courts of Admiralty and Bankruptcy. Whether the sections go far enough I cannot say from the time I have been able to give to reading the Bill—and there is a fair amount of reading to be done in it—but at least it does show that at last cognisance is being taken of the fact that the local Courts of Admiralty and Bankruptacy have been neglected by legislation for a long time past.

Not alone have they been neglected by legislation, but they have also been neglected by those responsible for the making of the rules. The rules should have been brought up to date many years ago and I might have something to say on that matter under Section 27 when we reach the Committee Stage of the Bill.

I am not at all distressed by the provisions of Section 36 as some of my colleagues in these benches would appear to be. I am very glad that at last the Minister is taking a strong hand in the matter of the behaviour of district justices. More than one district justice in this country has shown complete disregard and disrespect for the people whom they are obliged to serve. I can honestly say that these men brought the district court, which is, generally speaking, of a high standard, into absolute disrepute by their contempt through lack of punctuality. I myself sat for an hour and a quarter waiting for a district justice to arrive to hold a court. I am accordingly glad to see that the Minister has at last become sensitive to such a problem. It is not before time that this is being done; it has been going on for years, and I am glad that justices are being put on notice that they will have to do the job for which they are being well paid.

I do not think there is any need to be apprehensive about subsection (3) (a) of Section 36. It does not mean the justices, when they come to talk with the President of the District Court, have to bow the knee or even pay any attention to what the learned President of that court may say.

The subsection says:

The President of the District Court may convene meetings of the justices of the District Court for the purpose of discussing matters relating to the discharge of the business of that Court, including, in particular, such matters as uniformity in the exercise by the justices of the jurisdiction of that Court and the general level of fines and other penalties.

It does not impose upon any district justice any obligation to pay the slightest attention to what the President of the District Court says. As far as I can see, the section simply envisages getting the district justices together under the learned President of the District Court in the hope that somebody will say something of use to his colleagues during the course of the meetings. They can go home as they came up.

I do not think the meetings envisaged in this Bill will be as useful as the Minister seems to hope because any ordinary district justice should be able to keep himself up to date and should be able to know what jurisdiction he has. Apart from the ordinary mistake any judicial personage may make, from the Chief Justice down to a district justice, the ordinary justice of the district court knows the jurisdiction he holds and the administration should not after very much from district to district.

One thing I feel some anxiety about is the reference to the general level of fines and other penalties. Whilst it is true in practice that district justices need not pay any attention to what the President of the District Court says about the level of fines or other penalties, we should be practical in our approach and we should realise that in any human society the personal outlook of any person who is appointed to any position whatever, be it Minister, district justice, Ceann Comhairle or anything else, is bound to be coloured by the human failings or the human attributes of the person concerned. It is a bad thing to try to effect uniformity in a matter of that nature where it is so pre-eminently a matter for the individual conscience of every district justice.

There is one other matter to which I should like to refer. Many of the complaints made about district justices were made about district justices who were appointed temporarily and the funny thing about it is that some of them who were the subject of most comment were solemnly reappointed and solemnly sworn in again after they had committed grave offences, which were grave from every point of view and certainly grave in the eyes of the public. I am glad to feel that that will not happen again and that the Minister and the Government at last have decided to talk plainly to the few erring district justices who brought disrepute upon a most reputable body of men.

I want to deal shortly with Section 45. Again, it is quite possible to talk with moderation about this section and to call it stupid and to call it unconstitutional and to regret that the Minister should follow or attempt to follow or attempt to make the courts follow the system which evidently has recently been installed in the Army of using only Irish appellations, much to the distress of many officers and to the disrepute of the Irish language among many Irishmen who have the honour of having a commission in the Army of our country.

In regard to subsection (1) of Section 45, the Minister must be convinced by now that it is absolutely unconstitutional, that you have Article 34 of the Constitution saying one thing and Section 45 (1) of this Bill trying to say something else. It is unconstitutional to try to force somebody to address the Chief Justice as "A Bhreithimh" but not unconstitutional to try to force people to call all other judges "Breithiúna" but it is most unrealistic. It is most unrealistic to suggest that every witness who goes into court is going to remember he is breaking the law if he says "your lordship" or "sir" or anything except "A Bhreithimh." Efforts of this nature are doing more damage to the language than anything that could be done by any Sassenach that would like to come in and try to destroy the growth of the language.

If we are going to call a judge "A Bhreitheamh" are we going to have a glossary of terms for "for your lordship,""with your lordship,""from your lordship"? Can we say all these things in English but must we call him when we stand up on our feet in court "A Bhreithimh" and must every unfortunate witness who comes into court do the same thing and go back into the Béarla afterwards and say "for your lordship" or "if your lordship"? For heaven's sake let us be practical and sensible in this House where I can call a Deputy "Deputy" or "Teachta." Surely it is equally sensible that I should be able to go into court and call a judge "your lordship" or "A Bhreithimh." I would suggest to the Minister that he should quietly forget about that section in the shortest possible time.

I am glad to see that some people sitting behind the Minister have similar views on this matter. I do not wish to appear as an enemy of the Irish language. I am not any such thing and I do not want anybody else in this country to be any such thing but the Minister and others on the Front Bench are going to do the language a great deal of damage by insisting on this sort of ridiculous, stupid and, in this case, unconstitutional, lip-service to a language which we should all be glad to encourage in sensible, practical ways.

If I may offer another layman's contribution to this debate which has been taken up practically exclusively by lawyers, it may be a help to them to see themselves as we outsiders, laymen, see them. It may help to curb the natural narcissist tendencies which are always seen in the professions whether medical, legal or anything else, and show them that the outsider's, the layman's, opinion of the courts is probably much different from the one they have.

There are a few points which relate mostly to Part V of the Bill. Apparently, with the exception of the appointment of a President of the District Court, which seems to be, listening to the lawyers at any rate, a very desirable inclusion in the Bill, there seems to be little change, at least of any significance, in the other provisions of the Bill. In Part V, however, there are certain provisions to which I should like to refer, which concern to a considerable extent this question of titles.

The Minister has concerned himself with the new titles for the judiciary. I would like to draw his attention to a defect in the court procedure which was first referred to in this House, to my knowledge at any rate, by a very respected Deputy, Deputy Dan Breen, on an occasion about two years ago when he pointed out the apparent disrespect with which the ordinary civilian is treated in the courts by the lawyers in particular. On the whole I think judges and justices treat the laymen in the courts with reasonable respect, but there is the practice in the courts of dropping the prefix "Mr." before the surname of the person. While the lawyers are very conscientious about addressing one another in the most pretentious and flowery language—"my learned and distinguished colleague," and so on— they tend to drop this politeness when it comes to the civilian, particularly where the civilian in court is not a very wealthy person.

This whole question of titles is an absurd one. It is silly that we have to discuss it at all, but when we are discussing it we should consider the question of the main in the street when he is in court. In his ordinary day-to-day business transactions in industry or other business activities, it is possible for him to be accorded this simple prefix "Mr." to his surname. The Minister should seriously consider whether he should try to ensure that the lawyers in court would accord this simple privilege to the man in the street. He might say that it should be left to the good sense of the court. We have done that for 100 or 200 years and so far they have not got around to doing it. I am sorry Deputy Breen is not here to support my plea in this regard because I remember his speaking with very great feeling on this matter. He himself had been subjected to this discourtesy in court and he rightly resented it very much. If they behave in that manner towards a person like Deputy Breen I am certain they behave in the same manner, if not worse, towards less respected citizens in our society.

This practice may be carried out unconsciously but in the beginning there was a conscious idea behind it. We have it to some extent in the medical profession. One finds it in the wards of hospitals. The private patient is given the prefix "Mr." while it is dropped in the case of the public or non-paying patient. It is, of course, the remains of the old social distinctions between the classes. The legal profession are very conscious of these distinctions and jealous of prefixes and titles where it concerns themselves. If they are so conscientious in retaining their own titles I do not think they should be allowed to continue to treat the ordinary person in the court with the disrespect which they offer at present.

There is just one other point which Deputy McQuillan and myself have raised on a number of occasions. It is the question of guards of honour for members of the judiciary in the courts on circuit. This again is a hang-over from the old days when the judge was a hated person. Then there was considerable justification for this practice, but the necessity for protection no longer exists. There is not now this conflict between the judiciary and the people and this is part of the pretentious and unnecessary paraphernalia of the old establishment. The Guards are busy men. Most of them have plenty of important work to do in protecting the people and preventing crime. They could be better employed than standing around, often in miserably cold conditions, waiting for the judge to come along in order to escort him to the court. This unnecessary precedure should be done away with.

There is one other consideration which occurs to me as a layman, that is the absurd and archaic dress of members of the judiciary generally. This is yet another hang-over from the old days. The British still have this tradition of wigs and gowns of various lengths and various qualities, silk, cotton or linen; some wigs are curly and some are straight. I can understand the British carrying on this old tradition, but I do not see why we cannot get rid of it. The main reason for this practice was that the judiciary were dealing with illiterate people and sought to create a feeling of fear or tension between judges and the people and to perpetuate the difference that Deputy Booth wants to maintain between them.

I do not accept his view that the judge is not to be considered as one of us. Nothing in the world can make him anything else but one of us. Where does one stop in this business? Is a district justice one of us? Is it the High Court judge or the circuit court judge who is not to be one of us? Which of the Supreme Court judges is not going to be one of us? Are they going to be men apart? Will they go to different cinemas, different public houses, different race meetings, enjoy themselves in different ways merely because one or other of the political Parties makes them judges? That is a completely absurd suggestion. It must be realised that it is not the individual that is important in this connection; it is the law that is important; it is the administration of the law that is important. Respect for the law—I can go along with that 100 per cent, but this fealty to an individual I do not understand at all. To suggest that a man cannot dispense justice or fight a case in court without a false head of hair is absurd.

One of the few changes made was made here in the Dáil when we were establishing the positions of Ceann Comhairle and Leas-Cheann Comhairle. We left him as he was and any suggestion now that we should put a false head of hair on him or give him a wig would meet a chorus of objection, including, I am sure, an objection from the Ceann Comhairle and the Leas-Cheann Comhairle themselves. The idea would be ridiculed out of the House. But we can respect the Ceann Comhairle and observe their rulings to the best of our ability and I do not think they have any great difficulty in keeping order in the House and winning our respect without that kind of dress.

It is a remarkable thing that when youngsters wear remarkable cloths, drainpipe trousers and Edwardian coats —poor devils trying to express themselves—they are pilloried and headlined in the newspapers. They are accused of all sorts of crimes and kept out of dance halls because they wear these cloths. Yet we see these old men who should have more sense going round in these absurd garments, lawyers and members of the judiciary, wearing these extraordinary clothes which would get them locked up if they were seen wearing them in Grafton Street. If they go up on the Bench we say it gives them special authority which they would not otherwise have. I think it is about time we used some sense in this matter. The American judges and lawyers do not wear wigs in court. They may wear gowns and to that I do not very much object although I do not think it is necessary. These lawyers talk to the judges and have evidently the same respect and regard for the judges and for their decisions as our lawyers have for our judges.

It seems a pity that we should try to continue to perpetuate the idea that the judge should be sort of bogey-man to frighten the poor fellow in the dock and a pity also that the barristers should wear wigs as if that would make certain that justice would be done. This curious clothing and headgear contributes nothing to ensure that justice will be dispensed by the members of the judiciary or that the cause of justice will be fought any better by the lawyers. The best proof of that is that the greatest criminals in the country were probably the members of the judiciary in the old days, the people whose habits we have adopted, whose wigs we continue to wear. It did not stop there. They went to the extent of outraging the most elementary principles of justice and making a travesty of the laws they were supposed to administer.

The Minister or the legal profession could think up a better reason for continuing this practice of wearing this archaic clothing in the performance of their duties. Perhaps the lawyers could apply their legal, forensic and dialetic skills in that direction. I am glad to see that the medical profession are tending to become a little less hidebound in this matter and do not find it necessary to go around in top hats and tail coats and I am sure are none the worse as doctors for that.

As regards the titles, the cases has been made by people much abler than I and with much greater knowledge. This is so soon after the rejection of the Electoral Act in the High Court that I feel slightly sorry for the Minister that he should have this provision here. Apparently, it is quite clear that this provision is unconstitutional, making it mandatory that the Chief Justice or the justice shall be addressed in Irish. It is wrong that there should be this compulsory clause—"shall be addressed in court." There should be an English alternative and I hope the Minister will see that it is provided.

This compulsory clause it seems is symptomatic of a bad attitude to the language, that compulsion is the only way to get the language spoken. Forty years of that policy of compulsion must have shown the most dedicated believer in the idea that it will not work. It is an extraordinary misjudgment of the members of the Bar who are, if anything, a more independent-minded body of men than the medical profession, and it is an outrageous feat of wishful thinking to suggest that merely by passing a section of a Bill here we will get all the members of the Bar to become Irish speakers to this extent overnight. And it must be overnight because, as far as I can see, it is mandatory on them to use the Irish titles and they do not have any alternative.

If they had wanted to use Irish titles they had forty years in which to do so: they have not done so and it is now proposed to make them do it. I do not think the Minister will succeed and, of all people, the Minister should not have allowed himself to be put in this very awkward situation from his point of view because obviously he is not going to get away with it. I should be completely behind the lawyers in that. They should be given an English alternative and the word "Sir," suggested by Deputy Sherwin, is to me certainly an acceptable one. We use it here occasionally addressing the Chair and I think it does not derogate from the diginity of the office at all. It is a title which everybody has accepted as being one applied to a person for whom one has a certain regard and respect. The trouble is the compulsory aspect of it, the one most repugnant to most of us. It is sad that the generation which is most dedicated to the language has not yet understood that the emotional overtones which were associated with the language revival movement and which moved most of them to learn the language—the protest against British occupation—have not been carried through into the next generation; compulsion certainly is not an alternative.

If it is possible to maintain the present position in relation to the language we shall be lucky, but certainly the imposition of compulsory clauses of this nature in relation to the courts is not going to be effective. We must find out from the Minister what is the penalty. I do not see any penalty referred to for those who refuse to accept the Irish titles. Is a lawyer or is a member of the public who refuses or is unable to use the Irish title—it is quite a difficult term, "A Phríomh Bhreithimh"—to be penalised? Is the layman who can not get round the intricacies of it going to be treated as being in contempt of court and punished? What is going to happen to the member of the Bar? Is he going to be disbarred? Is he going to be refused admission to the Court until he learns to use these words? I think it is a most unfortunate provision.

It would have been made perfectly acceptable to me by putting in whatever the Minister likes in Irish and having a simple alternative name. Certainly whether we pass this here or not, it will be, as has most of the compulsory Irish legislation that has been passed here, ignored. I do not know whether I am in order in discussing the system of appointments?

I do not see that the system of appointments would arise.

Under the qualification of judges, Section 5, Part II of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Bill.

The Deputy would be in order in raising it on that Bill.

It is a point that I have raised on other occasions. I have never understood why there has not been some system of appointment established for members of the judiciary whereby the best qualified lawyers will find their way on to the Bench. I do not think there is any doubt in anybody's mind at the moment that, with a few exceptions, most of the appointments to the Bench are made on a political basis. There are a number of fine judges who have been appointed on a political basis but, in relation to most of the other professions, the attitude of the State is that we want to get the best possible and best qualified doctor, architect or engineer for the public services. In order to do that the Cumann na nGaedheal Government was responsible for—it was one of its few notable achievements—the establishment of the Appointments Commission which is one of the fairest operating bodies that one can see. I do not think it should be outside the bounds of the ingenuity of the members of the Government, or the civil servants who advise them, to devise some system whereby the judiciary are appointed in some way under which we will be certain that the appointments are completely independent of any political bias.

It must be technically wrong that the Government of the time should have the exclusive function of nominating individual lawyers to the Bench. It clearly must lead to abuses; it is not easy to demonstrate the abuses, but they are abuses which cannot be in the best interests of the administration of justice in the courts. It is obvious that the judge who is appointed by a political Party must feel a certain loyality to that Party. This could tend to colour his decisions in the courts, whether they are on an issue which is being advocated by a lawyer who belongs to the same political organisation as himself or whether he is called upon to make a decision of political importance affecting the future activities or prosperity of the organisation to which he belongs.

I did point out to the Deputy that the system of appointment did not come within the scope of the Bill but that it would be in order to refer to the qualifications of judges. According to Article 35 of the Constitution: "The judges of the Supreme Court, the High Court and all other courts established in pursuance of Article 34 hereof, shall be appointed by the President."

I accept your ruling, sir.

That is, on the advice of the Government.

There is nothing in this Bill about that; it is a constitutional matter.

I think that might be the wording of the Constitution but I do not think that anybody has any doubt as to what in fact happens. However, I accept your ruling.

I would ask the Minister seriously to consider the few points that I have raised and to accept the suggestions made by nearly every Deputy who has spoken up to the present, particularly about this question of the titles in the Court. He will not achieve his objective in this way. We hope we will not find—those of us who do want to see the language prosper if that is possible in the present environment— the language again being brought into bitter political controversy arising out of this very ill-considered decision to try to impose on the members of the legal profession the obligation to use Irish titles with no alternatives.

One of these Bills, the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Bill, is an enormous measure. There are 56 sections with, I believe, seven schedules. It sets out to do a lot and apparently the only section that has come under fire is Section 45—the part of the Bill that sets out the style of address: "The Chief Justice shall be addressed in court as `A Phríomh Bhreithimh' and each other Judge and each Justice of the District Court shall be addressed in court as "A Bhreithimh" and where a court consists of more than one judge they shall be addressed as "A Bhreithiúna". Now, altogether it must be a fairly satisfactory piece of legislation when the only section that has been severely criticised by the lawyer members of the Fine Gael Party—and there are many of them as we know—is Section 45. Many of them have expressed concern because it is proposed to abolish forms of address like "My lord" and "if your lordship pleases" and "may it pleased your lordship", and all the rest of the unctuous ballyhoo handed down to us from the days of the "Red Robes" and the "Hanging Assizes", and the other trappings that the British left behind them.

What mode of address did the Deputy use during his evidence in the recent Electoral Act case?

This Bill sets out to remove the situation which confronted me when I had to address a Judge.

And the Deputy dealt fairly effectively with a certain Senior Counsel too.

And he also made the mistake of calling him "my lord".

Deputy Lindsay said he was worried as to how in future he would address members of the Court. I wonder how members of the legal profession get over the difficulty in the United States of America. I wonder how Deputy Lindsay's colleagues at the French Bar get over it.

They are speaking French.

According to Article 8 of the Constitution: "Ó is í an Ghaedhilg an teanga náisiúnta is í an príomh-theanga í." According to Article 34 (4): "An Príomh-Bhreitheamh is teideal d'uachtarán na Cúirte Uachtaraighe." The Irish is the first version and Irish is the ideal medium.

If there is a conflict of interpretation, according to the Constitution, the text in the national language shall prevail. I have great pleasure in quoting the Constitution to the Fine Gael Party.

So would the Attorney General.

I know Deputy Lindsay will not take umbrage and I suggest to him that, if he has any difficulty, he can use the term "may it please you, a Bhreithimh."

That is codology.

If necessary, he can use the plural—"A Bhreithiúna".

What happens if he has a lisp?

Deputy Lindsay has no lisp. As far as I know, judges may be addressed in Irish at the moment.

Certainly.

There is nothing wrong in addressing a judge in Irish but, as far as I see it, he must be called "a Thiarna Breithimh".

And that is in the present Rules.

We got rid of the "Tiarna talún".

How would the Deputy address a bishop?

If the Courts will not make regulations governing the proper mode of address, with the use of titles which are realistic and not in conflict with the Irish language, then it is time this House stepped in to do it for them.

But we have modes of address. When speaking Irish we say "A Thiarna Breithimh" and when speaking English we say "my lord".

When this Bill becomes law we will have another form. Sir Jonah Barrington in his memoirs describes a scene which he saw; it was a "lord" whipping a servant, who was also a tenant. As he was whipped, the tenant kept on saying in pleading tones: "My lord, my lord, my lord." I hope our judges are not "lords".

There is not much difference in that and a recalcitrant schoolboy saying: "Master, master, master."

It is not "master". It is "sir". Titles cannot be conferred under our Constitutions. Our judges are not "lords", and I cannot see how it adds anything to the dignity of their office to address them after the present fashion and in a manner which bears no relation whatsoever to reality. There was no point in consulting the Bar in relation to effecting this change.

Except common politeness.

From what we have heard here it is patently obvious that the lawyers in Fine Gael, at any rate, are violently opposed to any change. They want to preserve the relics of "ould dacency" and the only way we can make the desired change is by way of legislation. We are living in the twentieth century.

And some Deputies are about forty years behind the times.

If the legal profession will not live in the twentieth century let us drag them in, kicking and screaming, as Adlai Stevenson said would be done on another occassion in another country in another continent in relation to a political party. I congratulate the Minister on Section 45. There is nothing wrong with it. The judiciary and the members of the Bar will get used to this form of address. State bodies have been set up here and there was an objection in the beginning to calling them their Irish names. Nobody now calls the Tourists Board anything but Bord Fáilte. The same situation obtains with regard to Bord na Móna. This Chamber is Dáil Éireann. I am quite sure members of the Fine Gael Party practising at the Bar, and everybody else concerned, will get used to the new titles and forget all about "lords" no matter whom it pleases or displeases.

Do réir deallraimh, cuireann mir 45 den Bhille seo fagirt i súilibh agus straidhn feirge i gcroidhe na ndigheadoirí sa Tí seo. Nach deas an tairbhe taidhbhse dóibh admháil sa Tí seo nach acfuinn dóibh mion-abairtí mar "A Phriomh-Bhreithimh,""A Bhreithimh," nó "A Bhreithiúna" do rá. Ní hiongnadh liom go gcuirtear dallamullóg ar na daoine bochta a bhíonn ag braith ar a leithéidí ins na cúirteanna. Deirim, agus deirim go durachtach óm chroidhe: "Go bhfóiridh Dia ortha súd a bhíonn ag braith ar chabhair uatha."

Cuimhnighidís go bhfuil leacht annso ar thaobh na láimhe clé, leacht an Phiarsaigh. Dlígheadóir ab eadh an Piarsach chó maith leo súd agus gídh nar dearna sé freastal ar na cúirteanna ach uair amháin in a shaoghal, tráth gur chosain sé Gaeilgeoir ó Thirchonaill, fear ar a cuireadh an dlí toisc go raibh a ainm i nGaeilge ar leathlaidhe a thrucaill aige, rinne sé an chosaint i nGaeilge ós Cóir breitheamh a bhí dílis do na nGall mbréan nGallda. Theip ar an bPiarsaigh agus cuireadh fíneál ar an gcosantóir. Dhíol an Piarsach an fíneál agus d'fhagadar araon an cúirt agus a gcloiginn san aer aca toisc nar ghéilleadar do lucht labhartha an Bhéarla. Nach deas an tairbhe taidhshe dúinn arís go n'éireochaidh ollamh oiliúnta na h-iolscoileanna annseo indiu agus go n'aibhreochaidh sé go raibh tradisiún taobh thiar de na téarmaí a úsáidtear i lathair na h-uaire. Ní chuimhin leis go raibh leabhra agus dreachta dlí sa tir seo sul a leag aon tSasanach cos ar thalaimh na hÉireann ach cos go raibh linncis iarainn fútha. An Fhéinneachas nó Dlighthe na mBreitheamhain atá i gceist agam.

Seo chúghainn anois iad, dlígheadóirí na linne seo, agus admhuigheann siad nach bhfuil oiread agus trí focail Ghaeilge 'na bplic acu. Deirim leo mar a dúbhairt an file tráth:

D'eis gach eolais radharc is rachmas

Fuair an dúidín mac an Daoi.

Briseann an dúthchas tré na shúile

D'eis a chúrsa chur i gcríc.

Ní dócha go bhfuil ciall ar bith ag duine mar mise bheith ag labhairt Gaeilge in a leithéid seo de chas. Iarraim ar an Aire chlaoidhe leis an rud atá sa Bhille aige agus leigint dóibh é thógaint go dtí an tArd-Chúirt nó an Príomh Cúirt chun a theasbáint go bhfuil sé i n-aghaidh an Bhunreachta ach, má eirigheann leo, tiocfaidh an lá, le Congnamh Dé, nuair a thuigfidh muintir na hÉireann cad é an mianach atá ins na Teachtaí thall.

Feasta, ní foláir gurab í Éire na nGaedheal meirg gach Éireannach sa tír. Feasta, ní foláir dúinn, freagairt go soiléir ciacu taobh dinn, an le hÉireann nó Seán Buidhe. Feasta, ná bachtar le Tadhg an Dá Thaobh. Scuabtar an scraiste ós ár slíhge mar an té ná beidh linn ní dual gur dínn é, pé acu Gall nó Gall-Ghaedheal nó coigcríoch.

I am sure the Minister for Justice has been dialectically gratified.

Nílim chun chur leis an méid sin.

I shall say but very little on this Bill. I agree with it in general but because of the views that have been expressed on one particular portion of it it is obvious that there are two views, one from the left and one from the right. I would agree with the view expressed by Deputy Dr. Browne that whether we give the judges their titles in English or in Irish the question still remains: what will their judgments be? It is more important for us to remember, and again I agree with Dr. Browne in this respect, that we have too much nonsense in our courts between the wigs and the gowns. We should be more realistic in our approach in bringing these people back to earth. We should let them understand that their knowledge and the positions they hold, the barristers as well as the judges, are at the service of those for whom they are pleading, the plaintiffs and the defendants, and that it is more important that they should act in a more natural manner.

It is quite true to say that we are merely copying the procedure in Britain. Could we not forget that? If we did forget it and if we broke away from that system, we would be doing much more important work than arguing about whether we are to give them their titles in Irish or in English. I agree with the principle of the Bill but I say it is about time that the Minister for Justice should make these people understand that we should have less trouble in our courts with the wigs and the gowns. The ordinary people who run the country are panic-stricken and horror-stricken by the appearance of these people in their wigs and gowns and it is time that all that was dropped.

I regret that Deputy Ó Ceallaigh has left the House because, initially, I would like to say how nice it is to hear Irish spoken by such a competent speaker as he. Having said that I would plead with him that he should drop the emotional approach to the question of reviving the language. I am always remainded of Edmunde Burke's definition of emotion as the seducer of reason by the rabid enthusiasm and utter irrationalism of the approach to Section 45 of the Bill before us. I regret that the Minister has permitted the inclusion of Section 45 in this Bill. He is a man of the utmost commonsense and I do not believe that he can really have any heart for it.

He must be convinced, as all of us are, that compulsion of this nature will not inculcate any love or respect of the language amongst those who are not willing to be coerced. If any citizen does not wish to address a judge as "A Bhreighimh" or "A Phríomh Bhreithimh" why should we force him to do so? It is regrettable that we should have to waste time discussing a matter of this nature because the whole thing is deplorably nonsensical.

The tradition of the courts has served only to instil respect for law and the judges in the people. The British occupied this country for many centuries but we should not lose our heads about matters such as this and we should face up to the fact that there are some things which they have left behind which are not so bad at all. We should face a up to the fact that there are, in the British mode of civilisation, some things which we can imitate to our dignity and advantage. We are all familiar with the farcical procedure in Government correspondence of having the introduction of a letter in Irish with the words "a chara," the body of the letter in English and the conclusion in Irish, "Is mise le meas." The average person does not understand the introduction or conclusion but that is beside the point.

This mode of address the Minister is inflicting on the Courts is obviously something that the Bar Council are not in favour of. It is regrettable that they have not been consulted on the matter. I want to add my voice to the protests that have been made about this further effort to coerce us and to inflict compulsion on our litigants.

Deputy McGilligan spoke about what he termed the amount to trivia in the Minister's opening speech. He told us that later on he would make a calculation of how much of that speech was devoted to trivia and how much to fundamental matters. I think on this side the Minister might be entitled to make his analysis and his calculation as to how much of the debate has been devoted to Section 45 and how much to the fundamental matters contained in this legislation.

One would have thought that from an Opposition which is fairly dominated by lawyers, such as we have in this House, one would have got a reasoned contribution to this debate. In these Bills we are dealing with matters which could not be more fundamental: the establishment and constitution of our Courts. We have among the Opposition some of the leading members of our Bar. Surely, in that situation, the Government would be entitled to expect from the Opposition on this stage of the Bills constructive suggestions, reasoned criticism and an informative discussion on the merits of the Bills and of the main principles enshrined in them? Quite frankly, I am particularly disappointed that the Opposition have almost exclusively devoted their attention and criticism to one comparatively minor aspect of these Bills. It forces one to the conclusion that a careful study of these important legislation has not been made opposite, and I think the Opposition could really be accussed the neglecting their duties as such in their approach to this matter.

Let us take the merits of the proposal itself. Certain Deputies seemed to get the impression that this is an attempt to propagate compulsory Irish. It is nothing of the sort. It has nothing whatever to do with the advancement of the Irish language. We came to the question of examining the modes of address in the Courts. We decided— and I have not the slightest hesitation in saying here that 90 per cent. of the people of this country will agree with us—that the form used at the moment is out of date, archaic, a hangover from the British times and unsuited to our democratic way of life. Having come to that conclusion, having decided it was more in keeping with our democratic traditions and set up to substitute some more modern titles for the existing ones, we had to ask ourselves what would we substitute. From every point of view, from the point of view of the Construction and from the point of view of the tradition of the Brehon Laws, which we had in this country before the common law, it seemed obvious that the judges' modes of address which we should adopt should be the ones in the Bills.

It is ridiculous for the lawyers in this House to suggest that learned senior counsel will be incapable of adapting themselves to the use of these titles. They are asking this House to believe that it would be a hardship on these men—men who are capable of interpreting the most complex statutes and of giving learned opinions on the most involved legal problems—to adapt themselves suddenly to the new mode of addressing judges we suggest in this Bill.

There is nothing very natural about the present mode of address. Deputies spoke about compulsion. They said we were going to compel people in court, witnesses and barristers, to use these new forms. Surely they are compelled at the moment to use the existing forms, which, if anything, are less natural than the ones we propose? "My lord" and so on come from the time when judges were in fact lords and promotion to the Bench ordinarily brought a title with it. To-day it is the use of the existing forms that is unnatural. Apart from this, they offend against most people's ideas of democratic courts. If there is any compulsion, it is in compelling the people who have access to the courts at present to use the existing unnatural forms rather than the ones we propose. We propose now to call judges by what they are. "A Bhreithimh" means "Judge"; and "A Bhreithiúna" means "Judges."

The argument as to the constitutionality or otherwise of the proposals was, I think, the most fantastic argument advanced. Deputy Lindsay attempted to suggest that the very fact we are insisting on Irish usage only was unconstitutional. I am not a constitutional lawyer by a long shot, but I think I can very easily demolish Deputy Lindsay on that particular ground by pointing out to him that Article 8. 3. of the Constitution states:

Provision may, however, be made by law for the exclusive use of either of the said languages for any one or more official purposes either throughout the State or in any part thereof.

It is crystal clear that what we are proposing to do in this Bill is absolutely within the provisions of the Constitution. Lawyer Deputies have concentrated their attack on this proposal exclusively on the ground that we are going to compel the Bar to do this—that this was being forced on the Bar without consultation.

There is no doubt at all that the Government, in its approach to this matter, was not so much concerned with the Bar as with the people who use the courts. The barristers do not own the courts, nor are the courts their private preserve. These are the people's courts where the people can go to get justice. The Bar are privileged to be allowed practise in these courts. No one has a greater admiration for the Irish Bar than myself, but I refuse to be bamboozled about it. I want to look at the thing in its proper perspective.

The Bar are a profession like any other profession. They practice the law in the people's courts but, basically and fundamentally, the courts belong to the people and the people go to them to secure justice. I repeat that in prescribing this matter the Government is primarily concerned with the people who have to attend the courts and address the judges.

Deputy McGilligan criticised the Government for the fact that we were bringing in these Bills without there being any real demand for them. Where was the necessity, he asked, for these Bills. To my knowledge, Deputy McGilligan in this House over the past few years asked the Minister on several occassions when these Bills were to be introduced. Surely there is an inconsistency there. By putting down questions on these matters, surely he has given the impression that this legislation was necessary. Yet, when we do bring in a Bill of this sort, he asks whether it is really necessary, when the courts are functioning smoothly and when appointments of judges to them are being made in the normal way. Of course, he has changed his ground at the last moment.

There is no question about the necessity for these Bills. The Constitution stipulates that courts are to be set up. For one reason or another they have not been set up until now. The necessity for setting up these courts has been clearly in the mind of everybody since the Constitution was passed and it is just as necessary now as it was immediately after the passing of the Constitution to have these courts established. Accordingly, we are doing no more than fulfilling the obligation laid upon us by the Constitution in bringing in these Bills now.

Deputy McGilligan and others were inclined to criticise the provisions of Section 36 with regard to the President of the District Court. I think I might at this stage reiterate what the Minister said in his opening statement with regard to the duties and functions of the proposed new President of the District Court. He made it quite clear that there was no question of interfering with the freedom of the individual justices to impose the penalties which they consider appropriate to the particular circumstances of each case with which they have to deal. But under this section they can have the benefit of the views and experience of other district justice in the discussions pro vided for in the Bill. I think nothing could be clearer than that.

I am not sure whether or not the House is aware that in fact some district justices, of their own volition, have held meetings, because they realise the need for something like this. What we are proposing to do is to give meetings of justices a statutory basis, enabling them to come together and have their discussions, not at their own expense, but at the expense of the State. I feel quite certain that nothing but good can come from this proposal.

Most Deputies who spoke were in agreement with the disciplinary proposals with regard to district justices. We all know that there has been a minority—a very small minority—of district justices who have not done their job and an effort now is being made to make them do it. There have been cases—Deputies on all sides have mentioned them and there have been Parliamentary Questions about them— where courts were adjourned without due notice and where the public were inconvenienced by the conduct of district justices. Apart from that there have been cases where district justices flagrantly interpreted the law in a manner which it would be very difficult to find justification for.

In my own recollection there was a case where a district justice in a licensing case fined people found on the premises one penny and the publican one shilling. Surely, that was bringing the law into contempt. There have been district justices who have pontificated from the District Court as if they were Supreme Court judges. There have been district justices who, in excesses of zeal, have made the application of the law more rigorous than it should be. There have been others who have made the application of the law too lax. Generally speaking, there is ample evidence of a need for general co-ordination in the working of the District Court.

I should say in connection with this proposal that district justices will now be able to have ready access to High Court judgments and Supreme Court judgments. These will be made readily available to them, and they will be able to keep the practice in their own courts in line with the practice throughout the country.

As regards the length of time the Bills were in preparation, I should like for the record to point out that the first draft of these Bills was prepared in 1950. I admit that from 1950 to today is a long time but these are very important and very fundamental matters. If there has been delay in bringing them in, that is not entirely a bad thing. Now that we have got to the point of having them before the House the House can be assured that any delay incurred was in giving the matters most careful scrutiny and in trying to bring the very best possible pieces of legislation before the House.

There is no validity in Deputy McGilligan's criticism to the effect that we are now providing a new way of getting rid of judges. We are establishing courts in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. As a result of that operation, certain judicial offices will be vacated. On the vacation of the offices, the offices will be abolished. That cannot be a precedent because that comes about as a direct result of the establishment of the courts under the Constitution. The courts can be established only once. Therefore, the rest of the procedure can never occur again. So, it is clearly wrong to suggest that in these measures we are establishing a precedent which may be resorted to again for the purpose of removing judges from office.

I feel a little sad at Deputy Desmond's approach to the matter. He obviously agrees that some of the practices in the courts are archaic and outmoded and would like to see them brought into line with modern trends and modern requirements but when we are making one small attempt to do that he does not give us any support. In fact, he goes on to suggest that we should have done other things. Whatever the merits of the other proposals that Deputy Desmond makes, such as doing away with wigs and gowns and so on—Deputy Dr. Browne wants us to do away with guards of honour—if Deputy Dr. Browne and Deputy Desmond take that view about the courts, they might have given the Government a little credit for this moderate reform which we are bringing in now with regard to modes of address.

Deputy O'Higgins is also worried about the fact that the district justices would now be meeting behind closed doors. He was shocked at the idea that they would be fixing penalties and deciding sentences there rather than in open court. Of course, that is not so. Again, I can only repeat what the Minister said in his opening remarks, that these meetings which will be called by the President of the District Court are entirely for the purpose of enabling district justices to get together twice a year to discuss their problems and generally to co-ordinate their practices. There will be no question of district justices fixing rules of procedure or any fixed level of fines or any standard punishments, or anything like that. Every district justice in his own court will still exercise his individual discretion.

In answer to Deputy Lindsay, I would say that naturally a district justice will take all the circumstances into account in imposing a sentence. He will undoubtedly be influenced by the part of the country, the prosperity or poverty of the area, and so on. All these factors, naturally, inform the mind of a district justice when he is exercising his individual jurisdiction in his court. That will continue as heretofore and there will be no interference whatever with that. The only thing is that they will have those meetings which I am quite certain will be very useful from the point of view of the district justices themselves.

There were some points of detail made in regard to this Bill and I do not propose to deal with them in detail now. We will, of course, be going into all the technical details of the Bills on Committee Stage. The form the debate has taken and the fact that the Deputies who have spoken concentrated almost exclusively on a couple of minor issues proves, I think, that the Bills are sound in principle and that the House is in favour of the main principles of the Bills, which are, that courts in accordance with the Constitution must be established, that the existing courts should be disestablished and existing judicial offices abolished when the judges have been appointed to the new courts.

Question put and agreed to.
Committee Stage ordered for Tuesday, 11th April, 1961.