Required Custodial Sentences

Part of Schedule 3 – in the House of Commons at 7:15 pm on 2 April 2001.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Conservative, Reigate 7:15, 2 April 2001

I do not understand the distinction that the hon. Gentleman is drawing between serious offences and other offences. All offences in which a defendant comes before a justice system are likely to be serious if that defendant is likely to end up in prison. I am not sure, therefore, why the hon. Gentleman does not simply extend his argument to the whole of the courts martial system. Why should there be a particular cut-off point? Either the courts martial system is just or it is not. In my judgment, and that of the military as a whole, it is. The system is held in great respect and we change it at our peril. Will he pursue that point?