HC Deb 06 April 1936 vol 310 cc2436-7W

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can state in what Crown colonies, protectorates and mandated territories persons accused of criminal offences who might, on conviction, be sentenced to death, are refused leave to be heard by counsel, distinguishing between those in which the rule is statutory and a matter of practice, respectively; and whether, in such cases, any provision exists whereby legal advice or practical assistance of any sort is afforded under poor persons rules to defendants to assist them in preparing their defence against charges brought under Crown indictments?


The only courts in which the right referred to is refused are those in Somaliland and certain native courts in the Protectorate of Nigeria. In both cases the refusal is a matter of practice and custom. I am aware that provision is made for giving legal aid to poor persons in a number of dependencies, but I am not able to supply a complete list without further investigation which is being made.