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Colonial Dependencies (Trial By Jury)

Volume 390: debated on Wednesday 30 June 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in how many territories under British rule does the right of trial by jury in civil and criminal cases not exist; whether such right has been abolished by an Imperial Act or by a local law; whether he is aware of the many British subjects being arraigned before the courts in Palestine and tried without a jury and, as there is a growing British community there, will he, in the case of British defendants, authorise by law the empanelling of a jury of British residents?

Trial by jury does not exist in the following Colonial Dependencies:

  • Ashanti.
  • Northern Territories of the Gold Coast.
  • Uganda Protectorate.
  • Tanganyika Territory.
  • Palestine.
  • Seychelles.
  • Western Pacific:
  • British Solomon Islands Protectorate.
  • Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony.
  • Pitcairn Island.
  • Cyprus.
  • Northern Rhodesia.
In none of these Colonial dependencies has there ever been any actual right of trial by jury. The question of its abolition by an Imperial Act or by a local law, therefore, does not arise. With regard to the last part of the Question, I have no information which would enable me to confirm the statement that many British subjects are being arraigned before the courts in Palestine, or that there is any demand for trial by jury. In these circumstances I do not think that the need for any action on my part arises.