HC Deb 18 July 1893 vol 14 cc1834-5
MR. NAPIER (Roxburgh)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether, having regard to the satisfactory working of the Rules of Procedure under the Army Act, 1881, in so far as they affect the rights of counsel for the prisoner at General Courts Martial, he will take steps to amend the Rules so as to make them applicable in the same way to counsel retained for the defence at District Courts Martial?


If the discussion raised by my hon. Friend on this subject on Friday last had not been abruptly closed, I should have intimated my general sympathy with the view he expressed. I am prepared to extend to counsel appearing before District Courts Martial similar rights, under such conditions as may be necessary, to those at present allowed to counsel at General Courts Martial.

MR. KEARLEY (Devonport)

Arising out of the question, I should like to ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is also prepared to recommend that solicitors appearing as the prisoner's friend at Regimental Courts Martial shall have the same rights in regard to addressing the Court and cross-examining witnesses as counsel have on General Courts Martial and District Courts Martial.


This is a rather delicate matter. We are proceeding in a tentative way, and I do not think it desirable to introduce into this particular tribunal a practice in regard to solicitors which does not obtain in the General Courts in the country.


I was inquiring particularly with regard to Regimental Courts Martial.


Perhaps the hon. Member will put his question on the Paper.

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