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

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his first point, which we shall take on board. It is an important matter on which we may want to reflect. As to his second point, I think that there would be considerable advantages in defendants appearing in court the day after they have been charged and, when they intend to plead guilty, being convicted the day after they have been charged. That would be a dramatic improvement in the system. I have every reason to believe that the police will welcome the proposals, not least because they would have that consequence. Shortening the time between the offence and the conviction and sentence may be Labour party policy, but Labour has produced no proposals that would give effect to it.