HC Deb 19 November 1908 vol 196 cc1398-9

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that an attempt was made in the last session of the Legislative Council of Rhodesia to abolish trial by jury and that a further attempt is to be made in the next session; and whether he can and will take action to prevent such an infringement of the rights of British subjects.


Owing to a very disgraceful failure of justice in a case in which a white farmer in Southern Rhodesia was charged with the murder of a native, it was found necessary to amend the jury law by substituting the principle of a majority verdict for that of a unanimous verdict. I am aware that doubts were expressed in the Council with regard to the possibility of retaining the jury system at all, but this amendment providing for a majority verdict met with general acceptance and I am not aware that it is proposed further to amend the new Ordinance which is now in operation.

LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)

May we hope that this is a precedent for what will shortly be done in Ireland?


The noble Lord is, no doubt, quite aware that this precedent has already been created in Scotland.

MR. J. MACVEAGH (Down, S.)

Then you might try it in Oxford University.