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Appeal Cases (Legal Aid)

Volume 955: debated on Tuesday 24 October 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will seek to revise the procedure for the granting of legal aid to ensure better justice in cases where appeal grounds have to be drafted in strict time limits; and what information he has of the number of cases where legal aid is not processed in time and where the applicant has to draft the grounds of appeal for himself, even in cases where the grounds are technical grounds of law.

The Thomson Committee, in its Third Report, has made a number of recommendations for changes in the system of criminal appeals including the extension of the present time limits, which are now under consideration. I do not know how many cases there may be of the kind referred to in the second part of the Question.