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 believe so, if the other proposals in the package are implemented, as they will relieve many of the burdens that local magistrates suffer. I would envisage that if we proceeded to legislation, the legislation itself would identify the criteria that magistrates would take into account in deciding whether a case should be sent for trial by jury. The hon. Gentleman's proposal about the possibility of their sitting in camera when considering applications for trial by jury is a valuable one, to which we should certainly have regard when we examine the matters in detail.