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 John Greenway John Greenway , Ryedale 3:32 pm, 27th February 1997

In the 10 years I have been in the House, I have seldom heard such good sense from a Minister in a statement. Contrary to what the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. Fraser) said, I believe that we should never have abolished the practice of dealing with people in a magistrates court the day after they are charged, and that it should be reintroduced. It is not a problem for the police service: it certainly was not in my day. I believe that the police will welcome the proposal.

On either-way trials, if we can trust magistrates to decide guilt or innocence, why cannot we trust magistrates to decide whether cases are sufficiently serious to be tried by a jury in a Crown court?