HC Deb 11 December 1958 vol 597 cc497-8
22. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will introduce the necessary legislation to provide for an appeal to the House of Lords in criminal cases where a writ of habeas corpus has been refused.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I have noted the remarks made by the Lord Chief Justice in delivering judgment in a recent case, and I am considering this matter in consultation with my noble Friend the Lord Chancellor.

Mr. Fletcher

Will the Home Secretary bear in mind that the Lord Chief Justice echoed the observations of his predecessor, Lord Goddard, expressing the view that it was most desirable that there should be a change in this law so that people claiming the right to habeas corpus should have a right of appeal to the House of Lords?

Mr. Butler

I should not like to mislead the House into thinking that legislation will come this Session, because when altering the law in respect of a matter like this, which is fundamental, we want to be sure that we have opinion with us, not only judicial opinion. I could not guarantee legislation this Session, but I can guarantee the hon. Member that I am looking into the matter.