Clause 4

Part of Fraud (Trials Without a Jury) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 12th December 2006.

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Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill Conservative, Bromley and Chislehurst 4:45 pm, 12th December 2006

I am grateful to the Solicitor-General, which I am becoming used to. With respect, he has not answered my principal point. If we are to move towards putting a defendant’s total criminality before one tribunal of both fact and law, it is important that we get the procedural rules correct. To start the new system only two months after the Bill is passed and without consultation, as my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham said, seems dangerous even from the Government’s point of view, leaving aside our objections to the proposal. If the Government are to make this change then, for heaven’s sake, they must take the time to ensure that they get it right. That is why I beseech the Government to reconsider being so arbitrary about the Bill’s commencement.