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Sub Judice Rule (Rhodesian Court Actions)

Volume 978: debated on Wednesday 13 February 1980

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On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. It would be immensely helpful if you would make a statement as soon as possible about the applicability of the sub judice rule to actions pending before the courts in Rhodesia. The House should know the rules of sub judice as they affect potential litigation within the realm of the United Kingdom. There are special circumstances, because a Cabinet Minister is Governor of Rhodesia. Questions may arise that are subject to the sub judice rule. It would be helpful to know whether we may properly put questions to Ministers. We do not want to put questions that may be out of order.

Perhaps, Mr. Speaker, you will be good enough to give this matter your consideration. Perhaps you will tell the House whether the rules of sub judice that apply to the United Kingdom apply also to questions concerning prosecutions and judicial issues that involve the decision of the Governor of Southern Rhodesia.

I am much obliged to the hon. Gentleman. Neither he nor the House will be surprised to hear that I shall give my answer tomorrow. I shall take time to consider the question.