Report No. 78
1.12. Ba.- British Conference.-
Some time ago, a conference on detention was held in England under the auspices of the British Institute of Human Rights(Human Rights Trust).1 In his concluding address, the Chairman of the conference, Lord Kilbrandon made the following observations on the subject of delay, which are pertinent:-
Again something must be said about the appalling delay that goes on awaiting trial. At the beginning of the eighteenth century the Scottish Parliament passed a law, which is strictly enforced to the present day, that once you have committed a man in custody for trial, his trial has to be completed within 110 days, otherwise he walks out a free man.
Now if you made such a proposal in most jurisdictions today it would be said that it was impossible. But it is not impossible: it goes on in Scotland. It simply imposes a certain amount of discipline on prosecuting counsel to see they don't overload their indictments, and to see that they get on with the work. The delays that go on in England are not so bad as on the continent, but certainly they are had enough and really I think something of this sort is probably needed."
1. British Institute of Human Rights, Detention: Minimum Standards of Treatment, (1975), P. xv.