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Pre-Trial Reviews

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Solicitor-General – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 18th March 2004.

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Photo of Humfrey Malins Humfrey Malins Conservative, Woking 11:30 am, 18th March 2004

The Solicitor-General will be aware that every day throughout the country thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money is wasted in magistrates courts because trials that are fixed do not take place and have to be adjourned, quite often because the Crown Prosecution Service failed to warn witnesses, to deal with disclosure or to review its files. Would it not be sensible for the Government to introduce a system of pre-trial reviews across the board in magistrates courts, rather along the lines of the Crown court system, because by doing so the prospect of all these adjourned trials recedes, and that would go some way towards solving an expensive and serious problem?