HC Deb 20 February 1924 vol 169 cc1804-5W

asked the Attorney-General whether he will take steps to withdraw the exceptional privilege of reply given to the Law Officers of the Crown when conducting a prosecution, so that Law Officers of the Crown might be placed on an equal footing with other counsel as to the order of precedence in the final address to the jury?


The light of reply by the Law Officers in criminal cases is a prerogative right of the Crown, which has in the past been repeatedly confirmed by His Majesty's Judges. It is, therefore, not within my power, even if I so desired, to prevent the exercise of that right. It is, however, my intention to invite the opinion of the highest judicial authorities as to whether or not it is desirable in the public interest that any alteration in the existing system should be introduced.