Criminal Justice Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:30 pm on 15th July 2003.

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Photo of Lord Cooke of Thorndon Lord Cooke of Thorndon Crossbench 4:30 pm, 15th July 2003

I thank the noble and learned Lord for his reference to that paper. Indeed, I had not seen it, but speaking from experience I fundamentally disagree with it.

My own experience as a judge working in this field in New Zealand was in an appellate capacity where quite frequently in my court over the years we heard appeals from convictions entered by judges who had tried a case alone on the application of the accused. I fundamentally disagree with any suggestion that a sense was created of untrustworthiness in the legal system or anything of that kind. To my knowledge, the system worked perfectly satisfactorily. On the other hand, we had previously found that some convictions by juries were vulnerable because the juries appeared to have been swayed by emotions induced by the manner of the prosecution.