Report (5th Day)

Part of Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill – in the House of Lords at 7:30 pm on 20th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Beecham Lord Beecham Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 7:30 pm, 20th March 2012

My Lords, I strongly support the amendment moved by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Woolf. We are entirely in agreement that restorative justice represents a significant way forward. It is calculated, as the noble Lord, Lord Dholakia, said, to save public funds, reduce reoffending rates and prove acceptable to the wider community, which is not as hard-line in these matters of penal policy as sometimes people imagine. Restorative justice has been shown to be welcomed by 80 per cent of the victims who participate in it. That in itself is a testimony to its effectiveness. I hope, therefore, that the Minister will feel able to accept the amendment but, if she is not, I hope that she will undertake to meet the noble and learned Lord and other colleagues before Third Reading to allow a further and final opportunity to discuss the way forward to improving this part of the Bill, recognising that it will contribute to the intentions of the Government.