UPDATE

The High Court was told that a notice of appeal was filed with Indonesian officials earlier this week and she was given a 14-day deadline to file grounds of appeal.

Sandiford's lawyer Aidan O'Neill QC said there was "no prospect" that competent counsel would be appointed to represent Sandiford on appeal without the Government providing some funding.

He told Mrs Justice Gloster and Mrs Justice Nicola Davies that the FCO had unlawfully fettered its own discretion by applying a blanket ban on providing legal representation to British nationals overseas.

The refusal to assist Sandiford was a breach of Government obligations to take all reasonable steps to ensure that her "inviolable human dignity" was respected and protected.

O'Neill said the Government was failing to protect her right to life - and not to face the death penalty - despite being required to do so by the European Convention on Human Rights.

FCO lawyers are arguing that it is not unlawful or irrational under UK-EU law and human rights legislation for the Foreign Secretary to refuse to fund Sandiford's appeal.


A British grandmother facing death by firing squad in Indonesia should be entitled to support from the British government because her life is at risk due to her poor finances, a court will hear.

Urgent court action is being brought against the Government today over funding for legal representation for Lindsay Sandiford, sentenced to death by a court in Bali for smuggling 4.8kg of cocaine onto the island.

The law firm involved in the case says the High Court challenge is against a decision not to arrange "an adequate lawyer" for Sandiford.

lindsay sandiford

British citizen Lindsay Sandiford, left, listens to her Indonesian lawyer Ersa Karo Karo

She was accused by the court of damaging the image of Bali and received the sentence despite prosecutors only asking for a 15-year jail term.

Sandiford, who is said to have no money, has notified Indonesian officials that she intends to appeal against the ruling.

Law firm Leigh Day, which is working with the charity Reprieve - which seeks to protect the interests of prisoners worldwide - said it would cost around £2,500 to pay for an adequate lawyer to take on her case.

Leigh Day is seeking a judicial review of the Government's decision not to pay.

Sandiford had not been properly represented since her arrest at Bali airport in May last year, when customs officers found the drugs sewn into the lining of her suitcase, it said.

hillary parsons

Hilary Parsons with her sister Lindsay Sandiford

Richard Stein, partner in the human rights team at the firm, said: "The Government has a duty to ensure that the human rights of British citizens are protected and that those sentenced to death, or suspected of or charged with a crime for which capital punishment may be imposed, have adequate legal assistance at all stages of the proceedings.

"This judicial review will challenge the Government's refusal to fund the £2,500 in expenses it would cost for a qualified Indonesian lawyer to represent Lindsay in her appeal against execution by firing squad which will take place on the beach in Bali if the Government do not act."

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said that the Government does not fund legal representation for British nationals abroad, but Sandiford's case was being raised through diplomatic channels.

A spokesman said: "We strongly object to the death penalty and continue to provide consular assistance to Lindsay and her family during this difficult time."

The application will be heard by Mrs Justice Gloster and Mrs Justice Nicola Davies.

On Wednesday, Sandiford's sister Hilary Parsons said she had spent the last pennies of her savings to try and find Sandiford a lawyer to challenge her death sentence for drug smuggling, but cannot afford even the expenses of an Indonesian lawyer who she says has agreed to act for free.

I can’t imagine what we will do if we miss the opportunity to save Lindsay’s life," she said.

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  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS-TRIAL

    Lindsay June Sandiford (2nd R) of Britain arrives at a court in Denpasar on January 7, 2013. Indonesian prosecutors recommended a 15-year prison term on December 20, 2012 for the British grandmother accused of trafficking in cocaine on the resort island of Bali. Sandiford, 56, was arrested at Denpasar airport in May with 4.79 kilograms (10.6 pounds) of cocaine stashed in the lining of her suitcase. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS-TRIAL

    Lindsay June Sandiford (2nd R) of Britain arrives at a court in Denpasar on January 7, 2013. Indonesian prosecutors recommended a 15-year prison term on December 20, 2012 for the British grandmother accused of trafficking in cocaine on the resort island of Bali. Sandiford, 56, was arrested at Denpasar airport in May with 4.79 kilograms (10.6 pounds) of cocaine stashed in the lining of her suitcase. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS-TRIAL

    Lindsay June Sandiford (2nd R) of Britain arrives at a court in Denpasar on January 7, 2013. Indonesian prosecutors recommended a 15-year prison term on December 20, 2012 for the British grandmother accused of trafficking in cocaine on the resort island of Bali. Sandiford, 56, was arrested at Denpasar airport in May with 4.79 kilograms (10.6 pounds) of cocaine stashed in the lining of her suitcase. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS-TRIAL

    Lindsay June Sandiford (R) of Britain attends a court session in Denpasar on January 7, 2013. Indonesian prosecutors recommended a 15-year prison term on December 20, 2012 for the British grandmother accused of trafficking in cocaine on the resort island of Bali. Sandiford, 56, was arrested at Denpasar airport in May with 4.79 kilograms (10.6 pounds) of cocaine stashed in the lining of her suitcase. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS-TRIAL

    Lindsay June Sandiford (R) of Britain attends a court session in Denpasar on January 7, 2013. Indonesian prosecutors recommended a 15-year prison term on December 20, 2012 for the British grandmother accused of trafficking in cocaine on the resort island of Bali. Sandiford, 56, was arrested at Denpasar airport in May with 4.79 kilograms (10.6 pounds) of cocaine stashed in the lining of her suitcase. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS-TRIAL-VERDICT

    Lindsay June Sandiford (R) of Britain attends her trial at a court in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on January 22, 2013. An Indonesian court on January 22 sentenced a 56-year-old British grandmother to death for smuggling cocaine into the resort island of Bali. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS-TRIAL-VERDICT

    Lindsay June Sandiford (C) of Britain walks from a holding cell to the court room before her trial in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on January 22, 2013. An Indonesian court on January 22 sentenced 56-year-old Sandiford to death for smuggling cocaine into the resort island of Bali. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS-TRIAL-VERDICT

    Lindsay June Sandiford (C) of Britain reacts as she attends her trial at a court in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on January 22, 2013. An Indonesian court on January 22 sentenced 56-year-old Sandiford to death for smuggling cocaine into the resort island of Bali. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS-TRIAL-VERDICT

    Lindsay June Sandiford (R) of Britain reacts as she attends her trial at a court in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on January 22, 2013. An Indonesian court on January 22 sentenced a 56-year-old British grandmother to death for smuggling cocaine into the resort island of Bali. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS-TRIAL-VERDICT

    Lindsay June Sandiford (L) of Britain is escorted by a prosecutor as she arrives at a court in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on January 22, 2013. An Indonesian court on January 22 sentenced 56-year-old Sandiford to death for smuggling cocaine into the resort island of Bali. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS-TRIAL-VERDICT

    Lindsay June Sandiford (L) of Britain is escorted by a prosecutor as she arrives at a court in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on January 22, 2013. An Indonesian court on January 22 sentenced 56-year-old Sandiford to death for smuggling cocaine into the resort island of Bali. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS-TRIAL-VERDICT

    Lindsay June Sandiford (R) of Britain listens from her interpreter (L) during trial at a court in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on January 22, 2013. An Indonesian court on January 22 sentenced 56-year-old Sandiford to death for smuggling cocaine into the resort island of Bali. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS-TRIAL

    Lindsay June Sandiford (C) of Britain covers herself with fabric before her trial at a court in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on December 20, 2012. Indonesian prosecutors have recommended a 15-year prison sentence for Sandiford, who was arrested in May, 2012 with 4.79 kilograms (10.6 pounds) of cocaine after allegedly attempting to smuggle it into the island. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS-TRIAL

    Lindsay June Sandiford (R) of Britain listens to her interpreter (L) during her trial at a court in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on December 20, 2012. Indonesian prosecutors have recommended a 15-year prison sentence for Sandiford, who was arrested in May, 2012 with 4.79 kilograms (10.6 pounds) of cocaine after allegedly attempting to smuggle it into the island. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS

    Lindsay June Sandiford (L) of Britain listens as fellow Briton Julian Anthony Ponder (R) testifies during Sandiford's trial at a court in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on November 28, 2012. Sandiford was arrested in May upon arrival at the resort island's airport in Denpasar from Bangkok after customs officials allegedly found 4.79 kilograms (10.6 pounds) of cocaine in the lining of her suitcase while Julian Anthony Pounder is accused of willingly receiving the drugs. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS

    Lindsay June Sandiford (L) of Britain covers her face as fellow Briton Julian Anthony Ponder (R) testifies during Sandiford's trial at a court in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on November 28, 2012. Sandiford was arrested in May upon arrival at the resort island's airport in Denpasar from Bangkok after customs officials allegedly found 4.79 kilograms (10.6 pounds) of cocaine in the lining of her suitcase while Julian Anthony Pounder is accused of willingly receiving the drugs. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS

    Lindsay June Sandiford (L) of Britain listens as fellow Briton Julian Anthony Ponder (not pictured) testifies during Sandiford's trial at a court in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on November 28, 2012. Sandiford was arrested in May upon arrival at the resort island's airport in Denpasar from Bangkok after customs officials allegedly found 4.79 kilograms (10.6 pounds) of cocaine in the lining of her suitcase while Julian Anthony Pounder is accused of willingly receiving the drugs. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS

    Britain's Lindsay June Sandiford, 56, covers herself while inside a holding cell after her trial at a court in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on October 4, 2012. Sandiford's trial, who is accused of smuggling five kilogrammes (11 pounds) of cocaine into Indonesia, opened on September 27 but was adjourned because she was not accompanied by a lawyer. The 56-year-old Briton was arrested in May on arrival at the Denpasar airport on the resort island of Bali after the drug was allegedly found in her bag. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/GettyImages)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS

    Britain's Lindsay June Sandiford (R), 56, listens to her interpreter as she attends her trial at a court in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on October 4, 2012. Sandiford's trial, who is accused of smuggling five kilogrammes (11 pounds) of cocaine into Indonesia, opened on September 27 but was adjourned because she was not accompanied by a lawyer. The 56-year-old Briton was arrested in May on arrival at the Denpasar airport on the resort island of Bali after the drug was allegedly found in her bag. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/GettyImages)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS

    Britain's Lindsay June Sandiford (L), 56, gestures as she attends her trial at a court in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on October 4, 2012. Sandiford's trial, who is accused of smuggling five kilogrammes (11 pounds) of cocaine into Indonesia, opened on September 27 but was adjourned because she was not accompanied by a lawyer. The 56-year-old Briton was arrested in May on arrival at the Denpasar airport on the resort island of Bali after the drug was allegedly found in her bag. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/GettyImages)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-DRUGS-TRIAL

    Britain's Lindsay June Sandiford (L), 56, wipes her face during her trial at a court in Denpasar on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on september 27, 2012. Sandiford was arrested on May 19 allegedly carrying 4.7 kilograms of cocaine in her luggage at Bali International Airport. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/GettyImages)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS

    Britain's Lindsay June Sandiford (L), 56, is escorted by a police officer before her trial at a court in Denpasar on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on september 27, 2012. Sandiford was arrested on May 19 allegedly carrying 4.7 kilograms of cocaine in her luggage at Bali International Airport. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/GettyImages)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS

    Britain's Lindsay June Sandiford (L), 56, attends her trial at a court in Denpasar on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on september 27, 2012. Sandiford was arrested on May 19 allegedly carrying 4.7 kilograms of cocaine in her luggage at Bali International Airport. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/GettyImages)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS

    Britain's Lindsay June Sandiford, 56, attends her trial at a court in Denpasar on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on september 27, 2012. Sandiford was arrested on May 19 allegedly carrying 4.7 kilograms of cocaine in her luggage at Bali International Airport. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/GettyImages)

  • INDONESIA-BRITAIN-CRIME-DRUGS

    Britain's Lindsay June Sandiford, 56, attends her trial at a court in Denpasar on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on september 27, 2012. Sandiford was arrested on May 19 allegedly carrying 4.7 kilograms of cocaine in her luggage at Bali International Airport. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/GettyImages)