HC Deb 20 July 1938 vol 338 c2200
80. Mr. Dobbie

asked the Attorney-General whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction existing with the present administration of the Court of Criminal Appeal Act; that the average hearing given to cases in the Court of Criminal Appeal under existing procedure is about a quarter of an hour; and that the simplest case in the Court of Civil Appeal usually lasts two hours; and whether he will take steps to transfer criminal appeals to the proposed third division of the Court of Appeal?

The Attorney-General (Sir Donald Somervell)

I am not aware that there is any dissatisfaction with the manner in which the work of the Court of Criminal Appeal is conducted, nor do I know by what means the hon. Member has reached the statistical comparison set out in his question. The work discharged by the Court of Criminal Appeal differs so widely from that of the Court of Appeal that comparisons of this nature are of no service. Many of the cases in the Court of Criminal Appeal are applications for leave to appeal at which the applicant is not present or represented. In these and other cases time is saved by the fact that the judges have studied the documents in the case before the sitting of the court. Criminal appeals could not be transferred to the Court of Appeal except by an amendment of the Criminal Appeal Act, 1907, and I see no reason for the introduction of legislation for the purpose.