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Military Custody (Legal Aid)

Volume 978: debated on Monday 11 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what facilities are available to persons in military custody (a) in the United Kingdom and (b) outside the United Kingdom to get legal aid and advice.

A person in Service custody who is to be tried by courts-martialmay have a Service adviser or, if he chooses, can be represented by a civilian lawyer. If he wishes to have a civilian lawyer he is entitled to seek financial assistance under legal aid arrangements which are broadly comparable to the civil scheme. Where the charge relates to a lesser offence which involves only summary proceedings the accused would normally receive advice on the legal position, where this was necessary, from within his unit. The arrangements apply both at home and overseas.