HC Deb 21 July 1959 vol 609 c1067
56. Lady Tweedsmuir

asked the Lord Advocate whether he will now make a statement on the consideration he has given to the provision of facilities for the award of costs to persons acquitted on a criminal charge in Scotland.

The Lord Advocate (Mr. W. R. Milligan)

The problem is a complex one, and my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, and I would prefer to await the report of the Committee at present considering legal aid in criminal cases before deciding whether it should be investigated, and, if so, whether the investigation should be by the Scottish Law Reform Committee or by some other body.

Lady Tweedsmuir

When does the Lord Advocate expect this report? Will he bear in mind that in this respect Scottish law is very much worse than that south of the Border?

The Lord Advocate

It is hoped that this report will be received towards the end of this year. I respectfully disagree with what the hon. Lady said in her second supplementary question.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Would it not be more sensible to ask the Committee to consider this matter before it rises, so that it can be part of its ultimate report?

The Lord Advocate

No, Sir. It would be a pity to invite this Committee to start on this matter now, because it may well be that when we receive the report the whole scope of the inquiry will be altered.

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