§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in view of the remarks made by the judge in the recent trial of Charles Richardson and others, he will introduce legislation to give himself power to withhold the administration of legal aid.
§ Mr. Roy Jenkins
No. It is desirable that the grant of legal aid in a particular case should remain a matter for the court's decision. The Criminal Justice Bill now before Parliament, and regulations which I will have power to make under the Bill, should however result in greater uni-282W formity in the practice of the courts and, by empowering them to order the payment of contributions towards legal aid costs should help to remove anomalies which sometimes arise from the fact that at present legal aid must either be granted free of charge or refused altogether.