HC Deb 22 April 1971 vol 815 c1355
28. Sir Elwyn Jones

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are taken in magistrates' courts to ensure that defendants are informed as to their rights of appeal.

Mr. Carlisle

The clerk of the court will advise defendants of their rights of appeal on request; and where they are represented, their legal advisers will do this.

Sir Elwyn Jones

Should not there be a duty laid on courts to inform those convicted of their right of appeal? Will not the Under-Secretary take steps to see that the practice is improved?

Mr. Carlisle

I am quite prepared to look at the practice. But I think that the right hon. and learned Gentleman will not feel, on reflection, that this is an appropriate matter for statutory provisions, especially when one thinks of the number of cases dealt with every day in magistrates' courts where pleas of guilty are even made by letter.