Court Records and Transcripts

Oral Answers to Questions — Oral Answers to Questions – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th November 1979.

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Photo of Mr John Osborn Mr John Osborn , Sheffield, Hallam 12:00 am, 12th November 1979

asked the Attorney-General if, in the light of the case of Miss Tibbits, details of which have been supplied to him, he will bring forward legislation to provide for the correction of court records where the record is erroneous or disputed, or for the acceptance of subsequent affidavits in lieu of such correction.

Photo of Mr Michael Havers Mr Michael Havers , Wimbledon

If my hon. Friend is referring to a transcript of proceedings, as I believe, and not to court records properly so-called, the answer is that there is every opportunity to challenge the accuracy of transcripts on appeal from the lower court; and if there is no appeal there is no occasion to challenge them. If the transcript itself accurately records what was said in court, any remedy must lie elsewhere.

Photo of Mr John Osborn Mr John Osborn , Sheffield, Hallam

Will my right hon. and learned Friend bear in mind that my constituent's nephew was a litigant in a case and that she had attributed to her an intervention that was made by another person in the court? For reasons of other proceedings she wants that intervention corrected. She has been trying for four years and has been unable to have it corrected. Is my right hon. and learned Friend satisfied with the procedures?

Photo of Mr Michael Havers Mr Michael Havers , Wimbledon

There is really little that can be done so far as the courts are concerned. If the case is concluded and there is no appeal, unless the maker of the disputed statement is willing to acknowledge its inaccuracy and withdraw it, I do not know what else can be done.