Criminal Justice Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:49 pm on 15th July 2003.

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Photo of Lord Brennan Lord Brennan Labour 6:49 pm, 15th July 2003

My legislative immaturity would be greatly advanced by an explanation of how the Secretary of State is to identify and organise lists of those eligible, without his being involved in a decision about who is on the list. No doubt, the noble Lord can amplify that if the amendment is pursued.

I turn to my fourth and final point, which is probably the most important of all in my critique. I am strongly against any accommodation in our debate about jury trials. Either one is for that system or one goes for a completely different approach. I would much prefer a judge alone to six special jurors. In making that remark, I do not see how the confidence of the public would be assisted by a system in which they saw the judgment of guilt or innocence in a fraud trial, from the City, for example, determined by people from the City. That would not produce the confidence that is essential.

The noble Lord must forgive me. I have been extremely harsh towards his suggestion, but for, I hope, good reasons. I admire his good intent. I simply suggest that, on this occasion, it is misplaced.