A Redundant Crier, 1900

From the Irish Times, 19 December 1900

“Yesterday in the Queen’s Bench Division… the case of Cooper v the Queen came on for argument… the question raised was whether the supplicant, who was crier or tipstaff of the Court of Bankruptcy, appointed by the late Judge Millar, had a permanent office, and was entitled to be kept on, notwithstanding the changes brought about by the amalgamation and consolidation of the Court of Bankruptcy with the High Court of Justice…

The supplicant submitted that the 6th section of the Bankruptcy Act 1872 conferred on all officers the right to hold their respective offices permanently and rendered them removable only if the officers were negligent, unskillful or untrustworthy in the performance of their duty.

The Crown submitted that Cooper was simply a tipstaff and that the words “officers” in the act did not necessarily include persons of the suppliant’s class.  Such an idea, the Crown argued, would be quite ridiculous…”

The Court of Queen’s Bench, and subsequently the Court of Appeal on appeal disagreed.

Cooper was held entitled to continue to receive his salary by reason of section 6 of the 1872 Act and his status as a ‘redundant crier,’ no case having ever been proved of a tipstaff losing his office by the death of the judge appointing him.

Possibly the judges were influenced by the long and loyal service of their own tipstaffs!

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Author: Ruth Cannon BL

Irish barrister sharing the history of the Four Courts, Dublin, Ireland, and other Irish courts.

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