Criminal Justice Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:30 pm on 30th October 2003.

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Photo of Lord Lloyd of Berwick Lord Lloyd of Berwick Chair, Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee), Chair, Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee) 6:30 pm, 30th October 2003

My Lords, I am grateful for the support that this amendment has received from lawyers on all sides of the House and, above all, for the support that it has also received from laymen. There is no principle question of law involved here. This is simply a question of justice. To the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Worcester I say that the problem of retrospection will not apply as he thought it might in the case of those who are acquitted in the future, because they will know that acquittal does not mean that they cannot be tried again. Therefore, there is no unfairness or injustice. The injustice applies to those who were acquitted in the past and who have lived in the belief that they could never be tried again. That is what sticks in my gullet, if I may say so, and that is why I wish to divide the House on this issue.