Criminal Justice Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 30th October 2003.

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Photo of Lord Goldsmith Lord Goldsmith Attorney General, Law Officers' Department, Attorney General (Law Officers) 7:15 pm, 30th October 2003

My Lords, no, that is not the intention, nor can it be the construction of the Bill.

My noble friend Lord Judd raised a point. I am sorry to differ from him as I am from my noble friend Lord Clinton-Davis. We can see no reason why having a tightly drawn exception to the double jeopardy rule would cause the police to be anything other than scrupulous in their investigation, but we have provided a number of important safeguards to prevent the police relying on a second bite of the cherry. The Court of Appeal has to be satisfied that it is in the interests of justice. In Clause 64(2)(c) and (d), the court has explicitly to consider the extent to which the officers or prosecutors have acted with due diligence or expedition. All that has been taken care of.

On reporting—the right reverend Prelate referred to the issue in a previous group of amendments—juries can and do cope when properly directed. I am afraid that at the moment it happens all the time. We have carefully considered the issue of publicity. The Court of Appeal must take that issue into account when deciding whether a fair trial is possible, as the noble and learned Lord, Lord Donaldson, said.

Clause 67 goes further and imposes particular reporting restrictions so that the interests of justice can be safeguarded by the time the matter gets to the Court of Appeal.