HC Deb 25 May 1938 vol 336 cc1193-4
32. Mr. Ammon

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many judges or magistrates with legal qualifications now hold judicial posts in British Somaliland; whether there are any counsel habitually practising in that Protectorate; and whether, in view of the fact that certain Somalis who were sentenced to death in 1936 and whose sentences were later commuted were not defended at their trial, and of the fact that hitherto judges in the Protectorate courts did not have any legal qualifications, he will order a re-trial of these men, with adequate legal representation, before a qualified legal tribunal?

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Malcolm MacDonald)

The answer to the first two parts of the question is that there are none at present; but, as my predecessor informed the hon. Member on 13th April, the Legal Secretary, an officer with legal qualifications, is to become a member of the Protectorate Court and advocates are to be allowed to appear in cases of murder and manslaughter. With regard to the third part of the question, I have no power to order a re-trial.