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Prisoners: Legal Aid For Adjudications

Volume 448: debated on Monday 20 February 1984

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will make legal aid available for prison boards of adjudication following the decision of the Divisional Court in the case of

R v. Board of Visitors of HM Prison Albany ex parte Tarrant.

In consultation with my right honourable friend the Home Secretary, I have decided to make assistance by way of representation available where necessary to those prisoners who have been granted a right to legal representation at an adjudication by the board of visitors of a penal institution. This will provide, efficiently and economically, a form of legal aid appropriate to the nature of the proceedings. The arrangement is, however, an interim one; longer-term decisions on the form of assistance with the cost of representation must await the recommendations of the departmental committee set up to review the prison disciplinary system, whose establishment was announced by my right honourable friend on 24th October 1983, Vol. 47, c. 19. I shall make the necessary amendment regulations shortly, to take effect from 1st April 1984.