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From the archive: April 25, 1903

No opinion in matters connected with the criminal law is more worthy of attention than that of Sir Harry Poland, but his letter to the Times of the 21st of April on the Poor Prisoners' Defence Bill is hardly convincing.

26 April 2016

He says the Bill is "absolutely unworkable"; but he gives no reasons for this opinion, except the difficulty of working it in London arising from the great number of prisoners tried at the Old Bailey and the sessions.

We cannot agree with Sir H. Poland that the Bill is unworkable. As we have pointed out before, there are defects in the machinery supplied by the Bill for carrying out its main object, but these defects ought to be capable of remedy without great difficulty.

Outside London we believe the system proposed by the Bill for the defence of poor prisoners could be carried out without the least difficulty. At all events, all difficulties are capable of easily being conquered if members of the legal profession of both branches shew any real desire to conquer them.

In London, no doubt, the difficulties would be great, but we cannot think the...

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