The Oscar Slater Case (17 september 1928)

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The Oscar Slater Case is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in The Times on 17 september 1928.

The Oscar Slater Case

The Times (17 september 1928, p. 8)


Sir, — At the conclusion of this case I applied to the Scottish Office to find out how far they would contribute to the costs of the appeal. As the appeal was successful and they were the defeated party, it seemed only just that they should do so. I have now received a somewhat curt intimation that they do not intend to make any additional payment. This seems a very unfair decision, and I hope that some lover of fair play will raise the question in the House. The Scottish Office itself is the cause of all the trouble and expense, since at any time during 18 years it could have found out what the five Judges have unanimously pronounced — namely, that the legal procedure was at fault and that the verdict could not stand. No trial was needed to show that, but merely an examination of the records by a competent lawyer. It seems to me that it is they individually who should be liable for the money, since it was their stupid obstinacy which created the situation. I am quite ready to meet my own promises and guarantees — and the lawyers engaged have been most generous in their treatment but it seems a shocking travesty of justice that, having worked so long to set this wrong right, I should now be asked to pay a considerable sum in addition.

15, Buckingham Palace-mansions, S.W.1

See also