HC Deb 25 May 1972 vol 837 cc1622-3
Q5. Mr. Clinton Davis

asked the Prime Minister if he is satisfied with the coordination between the English Law Officers and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on questions of law reform.

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Davis

Is the Prime Minister aware that the Legal Advice and Assistance Bill expressly excludes Northern Ireland and that consultations with the Northern Irish Law Society have only just begun? Can he explain why there was this delay when the Bill was published a considerable time ago? Will he give an undertaking that when future law reforms are contemplated they will be introduced contemporaneously in Northern Ireland and in this country?

The Prime Minister

The explanation is that until last month virtually all law reform in Northern Ireland was a matter for the Northern Irish Government. Since then my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General has been greatly concerned with the changes which have gone on in Northern Ireland, and particularly in the establishment of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland. He has been to Belfast many times, for a great part of each week, in order that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions should be brought into action as speedily as possible. These other matters can now be attended to, but it was necessary to have an order of priorities.

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