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Legal Aid

Volume 974: debated on Wednesday 21 November 1979

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40.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, during the course of the year to the most recent convenient date, how many not guilty legal aid cases have resulted in pleas of guilty being lodged at the relevant trials; and what proportion of all legal aid cases this represents.

I regret that the precise information requested is not available. Information from the sheriff courts, however, indicates that in summary proceedings a considerable number of those accused who plead "not guilty" at the pleading diet and are granted legal aid subsequently change their plea to "guilty" at or before the trial.