Criminal Justice (Mode of Trial) Bill [H.L.]

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:30 pm on 20th January 2000.

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Photo of Lord Williams of Mostyn Lord Williams of Mostyn Attorney General, Law Officers' Department 6:30 pm, 20th January 2000

The noble Lord will know that I have a particular personal interest in that matter in any event, for reasons that he knows perfectly well. I suggest that we look at the figures for a moment or two. The figures show that, if one is black, one is 6 per cent more likely to be found not guilty in the magistrates' court than if one is white and that the same 6 per cent differential obtains in the Crown Court. I agree that perception is important, but I submit that it must never be determinative. Otherwise, people who have the perception that the world remains flat will find great difficulty about their everyday occasions.

I was about to conclude--hear, hear!