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Poor Persons Defence (Counsel's Fee)

Volume 443: debated on Thursday 30 October 1947

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143.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that counsel accepting Defence Certificates under the Poor Persons Defence Act, 1930, cannot receive more than ten guineas however long a case lasts; and whether he will amend the regulations so as to provide a maximum ten guineas for each week.

I recognise that the maximum tee allowed under the existing regulations to counsel under a Defence certificate may in cases of exceptional length be inadequate. As my hon. Friend will be aware, the Rushclifte Committee recommended that the basis upon which counsel and solicitor employed under the Poor Prisoners Defence Act should be remunerated should be the amount of work involved in each case. Whether it would be desirable to make new regulations under the Act at this stage is, I think, doubtful, but I am considering the whole matter.