The Government has been accused of breaching the "fundamental rights" of a British woman sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug smuggling by refusing to pay for legal representation.
Two judges at London's High Court are being asked to rule that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's failure to arrange "an adequate lawyer" for Lindsay Sandiford is unlawful.
Aidan O'Neill QC said Sandiford was urgently in need of funding because she is currently without legal assistance and her family have exhausted all of their available resources.
Mr O'Neill said there was "no prospect" that competent counsel would be appointed to represent Sandiford on appeal without the Government providing some funding.
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."
Urgent court action is being brought against the Government over funding for legal representation for a British grandmother sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug smuggling.
The law firm involved in the case says the High Court challenge is against a decision not to arrange "an adequate lawyer" for Lindsay Sandiford, 56, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
Sandiford, originally from Redcar, Teesside, was given the death penalty by a court in Bali last week for taking 10.6lb of cocaine onto the island.
Law firm Leigh Day, which is working with the charity Reprieve, said it would cost around £2,500 to pay for an adequate lawyer to take on her case and 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.
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.
We strongly object to the death penalty and continue to provide consular assistance to Lindsay and her family during this difficult time.
We have made repeated representations to the Indonesia authorities and the Foreign Secretary raised Lindsay Sandiford's case with Dr RM Marty Natalegawa, Indonesian Foreign Minister, during the recent November State Visit of the Indonesian President.
We understand that, under Indonesian law, Lindsay has at least two further avenues of appeal through the courts as well as an opportunity to apply for presidential clemency should these be unsuccessful.
HMG does not provide legal representation for British nationals overseas. However, we assist British nationals in identifying potential legal representation, including by working closely with NGOs. We will continue to raise this case on diplomatic channels.
The Government is to be challenged over its failure to fund legal representation for a British woman sentenced to death for drug smuggling in Bali, a law firm has said.
Lindsay Sandiford, 56, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was given the death penalty by a court last week for taking 10.6lb (4.8kg) of cocaine on to the island.
Ms Sandford has seven days to launch an appeal, but has no legal representation.
Law firm Leigh Day said it is seeking a judicial review of the Government's decision not to pay the £2,500 legal expenses needed.
Defence counsel Esra Karokaro told the AFP news agency that the sentence was "excessive" and that Sandiford's sister has been asking him "about the legal procedures required to file an appeal".
Capital punishment is a controversial subject in Indonesia where Lindsay Sandiford has been sentenced to death for smuggling cocaine, ABC's Indonesia Correspondent George Roberts told Daybreak.
The silent majority support the sentence, but judging by its record so far the Indonesian government is very reluctant to execute foreigners.
First, Mr Roberts was asked whether Sandiford's case was getting much coverage in the local press:
The Government said it strongly objects to the death penalty imposed today on a British woman who trafficked drugs into Indonesia.Read the full story ›
Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire has told the Commons that the Government "strongly objects to the death penalty" imposed on Lindsay Sandiford for drug trafficking in Indonesia.