HC Deb 11 August 1879 vol 249 c666

asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether after the 1st of January, 1880, when the Prosecution of Offences Act comes into operation, Her Majesty's Attorney General and Solicitor General will be entitled to undertake the defence of persons prosecuted under this Act, the eighth section of which provides that regulations for carrying the Act into effect may from time to time be made, rescinded, varied, and added to by the Attorney General?


Sir, the Attorney General and the Solicitor General occasionally defend accused persons; but before they are entitled to do so a licence from the Crown has to be obtained, and if their services are needed for the prosecution such licence is not granted. I do not think the Act referred to will affect the privileges of the Law Officers. There is nothing, in my opinion, in the 8th clause of the Prosecution of Offences Act which entitles them to defend persons prosecuted under it.