HC Deb 22 March 1948 vol 448 cc296-7W
99. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for War what legal staff is now functioning in Somaliland for the administration of criminal justice in the form of judges, Crown counsel and bar and what provision exists for the defence of poor persons there.

Mr. M. Stewart

There are in British Somaliland a legal secretary and an assistant legal secretary, who are empowered to act as judges of the Protectorate Court, which sits both as a Court of First Instance and, when necessary, as a Court of Appeal from subordinate courts, which are normally presided over by the district commissioners. There are two legal officers who act as counsel in the Protectorate Court and can also act as magistrates in the subordinate courts. There is no bar. Provision exists for an accused person to have an advocate assigned to him where it appears to be desirable in the interests of justice and where his means are insufficient to enable him to obtain such aid; the legal officers may act as advocates in such cases.