HC Deb 25 May 1949 vol 465 cc1336-7
The Attorney-General

I beg to move, in page 20, line 25, at the end, to insert: (4) The costs of a solicitor which are payable under this section in respect of proceedings before a court of summary jurisdiction may include sums for his fees and disbursements in respect of work reasonably undertaken by him in giving notice of appeal or applying for a case to be stated and in matters preliminary thereto, being work done within the ordinary time for giving the notice or making the application. This Amendment provides that the costs of the solicitor acting on the legal aid certificate in courts of summary jurisdiction should include the fees and disbursements reasonably undertaken by him in giving notice of an appeal or applying for a case to be stated, and in respect of matters incidental to that step towards an appeal, subject to this limitation, that what the solicitor has done has been done within the ordinary and limited time for taking those appellant steps—14 days, I think it is, for appeal to quarter sessions, and seven days for a case stated. I think this Amendment will meet the main point of the new Clause standing on the Order Paper in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Rotherhithe (Mr. Mellish)—[Retention of solicitor or counsel in case of conviction.]—and will enable the solicitor who has conducted the case in the court—and this is, I think, the point of my hon. Friend's proposed new Clause—to advise on an appeal. If, after notice has been given, or application has been made for a case to be stated, an appeal is actually prosecuted and there is a hearing, then a fresh certificate will be applied for to the committee, but the solicitor who has been authorised to conduct the proceedings in the court of summary jurisdiction itself will be entitled to take those initial steps which have to be taken in a limited time.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.