HC Deb 30 November 1953 vol 521 cc747-8
22. Mr. A. J. Irvine

asked the Attorney-General when it is proposed to publish regulations under Section 12 (2) (b) (ii) of the Legal Aid and Advice Act, 1949, making provision as to the cases in which and extent to which a person receiving legal aid may be required to give security for costs.

The Attorney-General (Sir Lionel Heald)

The position regarding security for costs in a case in which legal aid has been granted is governed by the ordinary law. My noble Friend the Lord Chancellor has no reason to suppose that it is working unsatisfactorily and he does not, therefore, contemplate making any regulations. If the hon. Member has any particular case in mind I will, of course, gladly look into it.

Mr. Irvine

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware of the extent to which cases that have been certified by the legal aid committees as appropriate for High Court proceeding are being remitted to the county courts on an order by the master requiring the assisted person to give security? Will he not agree that regulations are required to deal with the situation and enable the assisted person to go, with proper safeguards if need be, to the legal aid fund if security is required?

The Attorney-General

As the hon. Gentleman has brought the matter to my attention, I will gladly look into it, but I cannot give any undertaking.

Sir H. Williams

Is it not about time that we stopped both sides' costs being paid for by the State?

The Attorney-General

That is a matter of opinion.

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