Results 1–20 of 600 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Claire Ward

Business of the House: Clause 10 — Consent to prosecution (7 Apr 2010)

Claire Ward: I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time. This Bill will bring about a much-needed overhaul of our criminal law as it applies to bribery. With the Bill on the statue book, we can be proud that United Kingdom law in this area will provide a benchmark for other countries, and with it this country will set the gold standard-I used that term in Committee-for our international...

Business of the House: Clause 10 — Consent to prosecution (7 Apr 2010)

Claire Ward: We had a good opportunity in Committee to debate the important issues relating to consent to prosecution. The hon. Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Djanogly) argued in Committee, as he has done here, that the offences under the Bill are sufficiently serious to justify vesting responsibility for consenting to a prosecution to the Attorney-General rather than to the director of the relevant...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Retail Crime (23 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: The Ministry of Justice's court proceedings database does not hold information on offences beyond descriptions in the statutes under which prosecutions are brought. However, I can tell the hon. Lady that convictions for shoplifting rose by 9 per cent. and that some 45,600 penalty notices for disorder were issued for retail thefts under £200 in 2008. The Government take crime against...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Retail Crime (23 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: It would be very interesting to see how the Conservatives would do better, given that they want to tie the hands of the police and crime enforcement officers in relation to many of the measures that we are using effectively, such as those involving DNA and CCTV. Perhaps the hon. Lady should talk to her Front-Bench team and her party leader about changing their policy if they really have a...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Domestic Violence (23 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: Since 1997, the Government have been working to ensure that domestic violence law supports and protects all victims of domestic abuse. We have introduced practical system changes to promote co-ordinated community responses to domestic violence, including the establishment of specialist domestic violence courts. On 19 March, we announced that from 1 April 2010 there will be 141 SDVC systems....

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Domestic Violence (23 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: Of course I join my hon. Friend in praising the work of the Cheshire domestic violence partnership. The effect on children who witness domestic violence and abuse can be harrowing, and their needs must be reflected in any strategy dealing with the effects of such abuse. The services of independent domestic violence advisers are integral to providing additional support to the victims of...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Domestic Violence (23 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: This Government have done far more for victims by introducing the national victims service, which will provide caseworkers for those who are affected by the most serious crimes and those who are the most vulnerable. In addition to bringing more criminal cases, the Crown Prosecution Service continues to improve its performance in respect of domestic violence, and the charge to conviction rate...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Domestic Violence (23 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: I am very happy to do whatever I can to support the good work that my hon. Friend is doing in her constituency.

Prayers: Marriage (Wales) Bill [ Lords] (12 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: May I first congratulate my right hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Alun Michael) on successfully steering this Bill through its remaining stages in the Commons? It is good to note from the speeches we have heard that it has not only cross-party support cross-denominational support. The Bill seeks to introduce widened "qualifying connections" for couples who wish to get...

Law on Assisted Suicide (10 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: I congratulate my right hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, West (Ms Hewitt) on securing the debate. The law in this area arouses strong and deeply divided views-across the political divide-the public, the media and many Members of the House. In Parliament the debate has taken place mostly in the other place, and it is therefore good for the House of Commons to have an opportunity to...

Law on Assisted Suicide (10 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: I shall discuss the royal commission in a moment. Other possible assisted suicide incidences were covered in exactly the same way by the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to the decision on whether to prosecute. The Government remain neutral on that and it will remain a matter for Parliament. Let me return to the factors that the Crown Prosecution Service take into account when...

Royal Assent: Bribery Bill [ Lords] (3 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: We have had an interesting debate with contributions from both sides of the House that in essence welcome this important piece of legislation. I welcome the fact that it has cross-party support, although no doubt in Committee there will be one or two differences of opinion. It is possibly best described, as it was in another place, as a love fest for all parties in support of the Bill. The...

Royal Assent: Bribery Bill [ Lords] (3 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: And those issues must of course be a matter for the prosecution. Bribery is a serious offence, but in deciding whether to prosecute, prosecutors will take all those factors into account and weigh them appropriately. They might take into account whether the loss or harm can be described as minor; whether it was a single incident; whether it was a matter of misjudgment; or whether the offence...

Royal Assent: Bribery Bill [ Lords] (3 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: Without wishing to get into a discussion about a case that is still subject to the courts, I would say to the hon. Gentleman that we believe it appropriate, in those exceptional cases where it is a matter of national security, for the Attorney-General to have the ability to intervene where appropriate. Let me turn now to facilitation payments. There was some discussion about the extent to...

Road Traffic Accidents (Compensation and Sentencing) (23 Feb 2010)

Claire Ward: First, I congratulate the hon. Member for Reading, East (Mr. Wilson) on securing the debate. I realise that it is a very important debate for his constituents. Given the presence of his constituents today, I should like to extend my sincere sympathy to the Hudson family and to the Alston family for their loss. Any death or serious injury that occurs as a result of a road traffic accident is...

Road Traffic Accidents (Compensation and Sentencing) (23 Feb 2010)

Claire Ward: In many cases, these are minimum sentences rather than maximum sentences. The minimum sentence essentially becomes a starting point for the court to consider. As the hon. Gentleman said, the court must then look at the aggravating circumstances and any mitigating circumstances. One factor that a court will take into account in sentencing is whether the defendant has pleaded guilty and, if...

Road Traffic Accidents (Compensation and Sentencing) (23 Feb 2010)

Claire Ward: That depends on the court's sentencing and on whether it has taken into account the period for which a guilty plea has stood and how long the discount will be. The court will take such things into account before determining the sentence. One of the most important things about the Sentencing Guidelines Council is that it does not operate in a vacuum or in isolation; it consults the public to...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Prisoners Maintaining Innocence (9 Feb 2010)

Claire Ward: The information requested is not collected. A person who believes that they have been the victim of a miscarriage of justice can appeal against their conviction. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be asked to review the case. The commission has the power to refer a conviction to the Court of Appeal.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Prisoners Maintaining Innocence (9 Feb 2010)

Claire Ward: There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the number of wrongful convictions is rising. The Court of Appeal quashes about 200 convictions each year, and I see no reason at all to make any change to the current arrangements.

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Prisoners Maintaining Innocence (9 Feb 2010)

Claire Ward: My hon. Friend has given the House some interesting information, and I would be more than happy to ask officials to look into it in more detail. He might also be aware of the Bradley report, in which my noble Friend Lord Bradley identifies the difficulties experienced by people with mental health and other learning difficulties. The report examines how the criminal justice system should...


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