Criminal Justice

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:32 pm on 27th February 1997.

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Photo of Michael Howard Michael Howard The Secretary of State for the Home Department 3:32 pm, 27th February 1997

"The fast track," says the hon. Gentleman from a sedentary position. I noted that he did not go into any details of his fast-track proposals. That is not surprising. Those who examine his fast-track proposals will find them very illuminating. As with everything else, the figures do not add up. Labour proposes to stop legal aid in cases in which it is hardly ever granted at present, and claims to be able, with those non-existent savings, to deliver a completely non-deliverable pledge. It proposes that stipendiary magistrates should try juveniles, and that lay magistrates should then come along to the same case and sentence them. Those proposals are half-baked, and would not be given house room by any decent think tank.