HL Deb 01 August 1961 vol 234 cc47-9

2.35 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her 'Majesty's Government what steps have been taken to carry out the recommendations in the Report of Lord Denning's Committee on Legal Education for Students from Africa (Cmnd. 1255) and in particular those recommendations affecting facilities for the legal training of such students in London.]


My Lords, the Governors of the African colonial territories have been giving urgent consideration to the Report to see how far its recommendations can be implemented, and some progress has already been made. In East Africa it is hoped that a Law Faculty will open in Dar es Salaam this October: a building has been secured, a professor and two other members of the teaching staff have been appointed, and funds are available. Plans for providing post-graduate instruction and practical training are under discussion.

In Nairobi a Conference took place last week under the chairmanship of Sir Kenneth O'Connor, the President of the Court of Appeal for Eastern Africa, to consider the future of legal education in East Africa. The delegates were unanimous in deciding that it would be desirable for a central Law Advisory Board to be set up on Which the different territories would be represented, in order to co-ordinate legal education throughout East Africa and to promote uniformity of standards.

In Tanganyika discussions will take place on the question of post-graduate training, under the auspices of the Faculty of Law as soon as the professor arrives in the territory. It is clear, therefore, that those responsible in the African territories are giving urgent consideration to the problems involved in the implementation of the Report.

In London, as the Committee pointed out, the problem is shortage of accommodation for the Council of Legal Education's School of Law. The Committee hoped that the premises in Lincoln's Inn occupied by the Inns of Court Regiment might be made available for the purpose. The Government have now fully examined this suggestion, but we have had to conclude that it is not a possible solution having regard to the current needs, including recruiting, of the Territorial Army and Air Force Association of the County of London who hold the lease of the premises on behalf of the Inns of Court Regiment. The Council are urgently exploring the possibility of finding some alternative acommodation, and my right honourable friend the Minister of Works, has offered to assist in any way he can. My Lords, I apologise for the length of this Answer, but it is a most important subject especially to me.


My Lords, may I express my gratitude to the noble and learned Viscount for his long, detailed and informative Answer, and also for the care and attention that I know he has given to this subject. May I express my appreciation of what is being done in Africa, but my regret that, so far, nothing has been done in London. Would he himself continue to do what he can to assist the Inns of Court in obtaining alternative premises to No. 10, Stone Buildings?


I will certainly do that. We are examining again the possibility of sharing and, as I say, also the possibility of new premises. The noble Lord may take it that I will keep the matter under my own personal urgent consideration.


I thank the noble and learned Viscount.


My Lords, may I ask the noble and learned Viscount on the Woolsack whether it is considered that the facilities to be provided in Africa and in London are to be made available to persons from Basutoland, and if the needs of this Territory will be borne in mind?


My Lords, certainly. I am sure that all the educational institutions that I have mentioned, including those in London, would be open to students from the High Commission Territories. I assure my noble friend that I always have the High Commission Territories in mind when I am considering African problems of this sort.

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