Location: Flemings Hotel. Private meeting.
The MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS moved:
1. "That the establishment of Courts of Justice and Equity be decreed."
2. "That the Ministry be empowered when they deem fit to establish Courts having Criminal Jurisdiction."
He explained that the Courts hitherto established were purely Arbitration Courts which depended on the consent of both parties. The country was in such a state at the present time that the people looked to the Republican Government for their law and equity, and in a very short time they would have ousted the English Courts altogether. It was therefore necessary to take immediate steps to set up Courts throughout the country which would be competent to hear every class of case similar to the cases dealt with in English Courts of Petty Sessions and Courts of County Sessions and Assize so far as Civil Jurisdiction was concerned.
He therefore moved for the necessary authority to enable him to establish such Courts and confer the necessary Jurisdiction upon them.
Dr. J. RYAN (Wexford South) seconded the motion.
D. KENT (Cork East) asked whether the Courts were going to confine themselves to civil cases? He mentioned a case that occurred in Cork when the Volunteers took over a house and damaged it. He asked that compensation should be made in such cases. He suggested that a sum be handed over to the Volunteers to recompense the people who sustained loss of that kind.
A. MACCABE (Sligo South) did not agree with some of the details of the scheme for the establishment of Arbitration Courts.
The MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS explained that the scheme had been devised according to the experience gained in the working of Republican Courts in Clare and elsewhere. The matter did not arise, however, on the motion now before the House.
After further discussion the motions were put and carried.