By Patrick Polden
The 1st full-length account of the institution of the County court docket in England and Wales in 1846 and its paintings, via to its reconstruction in 1971. It strains its improvement from being mostly a debt assortment enterprise to its a long way wider jurisdiction at the present time because the major discussion board for civil disputes. Drawing on a variety of assets, the writer describes its association and officials and discusses the jobs of attorneys and lay people. Given the present controversy over entry to justice, this can be a well timed new historical past.
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Extra resources for A History of the County Court, 1846-1971
In Kent in 1830 the county court had only 166 suits, and while the courts of record in Dover and Gravesend had just six and ®ve respectively, their courts of requests could show 273 and 513. 38 Their jurisdiction was geographically con®ned and limited in amount, usually to 40s but increasingly to £5; parties were allowed to give evidence, something which legal purists regarded with horror as a direct incitement to perjury; payment in instalments might be ordered, a facility the superior courts did not acquire until much later; there was no jury, and the judge, one of several commissioners appointed by the corporation, often lacked any legal quali®cations.
That frequently suits are removable into the higher courts without security. The want of competent Judges and Juries. The want of ef®cient inferior ministers to serve and execute process. The use of complicated and expensive pleadings. The distance of the place of trial from the residences of the parties and witnesses. The want of suf®cient means to compel the attendance of witnesses. Delay. The facility of evading execution. The abuses occasioned by entrusting the execution of process to improper agents, for whose misconduct no superior is responsible.
492±515, at 502±3. Brougham's old vehicle, The Edinburgh Review, was more sympathetic: vol. 51 (1830), 478±95. Fifth Report, PP 1833 (247) XX. On the role of commissions in nineteenth century law reform see A. H. Manchester, Law Reform in England and Wales, 1840±1880, Acta Juridica (1977), 189±202. J. F. Pollock, H. J. Stephen, J. Evans, T. Starkie and W. Wightman. Pollock and Wightman later became judges, Starkie a county court judge. Those commissioners who were judges already did not participate in this report: J.