Criminal Justice Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 30th October 2003.

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Photo of Lord Kingsland Lord Kingsland Conservative 4:45 pm, 30th October 2003

My Lords, before turning to my concluding remark, perhaps I may make an observation about the comments made by the noble Viscount, Lord Bledisloe, and the noble and learned Lord the Attorney-General. I now believe that I better understand the point made by the noble Viscount. Of course, if there is an argument between the defence and the prosecution about whether the statute which is relevant to the trial does or does not require mens rea, that is clearly not a matter which falls within the decision of no case to answer. It will be necessary for the trial judge to consider that point before he goes on to consider whether there is a case to answer.

I agree with the noble Viscount that a consideration of whether mens rea is or is not part of the case is not a matter which falls within the terms of no case to answer and in any event is not intended to fall within the terms of my amendment.