Results 21–40 of 440 for speaker:Mr Derek Spencer

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Laws on Privacy (2 Dec 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: The duties of the Law Officers are many and various, but we are not responsible for what goes on in France, nor for French law. The law in each country reflects its culture and domestic attitudes. A number of criminal cases each year are launched on the back of investigative journalism. Investigative journalism plays an important part in disclosing wrongdoing and hypocrisy. Before we start to...

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Laws on Privacy (2 Dec 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: I am well aware of my hon. Friend's interest in this matter and of the Bill that he introduced, which exemplified the difficulties. With the greatest respect, I say that it was a disproportionate response to a particular problem. I will see to it that his comments are passed on to the Secretary of State for National Heritage, who is responsible for policy in this area.

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Departmental Staff (2 Dec 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: Total staff in the four departments for which the Attorney-General is responsible were 7,117 in the year 1995–96, at a cost of £184 million. In the previous two years the number of staff was 7,346 and 7,322 and costs at current prices were £179 million and £184 million respectively.

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Departmental Staff (2 Dec 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: I can confidently acquit my officials of being involved in any such exercise. The allocation of legal aid is a matter for which the Lord Chancellor, not the Law Officers, has ministerial responsibility. All departments for which the Attorney-General is responsible show increased output, and that applies particularly to the Crown Prosecution Service, which we regularly visit at branch level....

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Departmental Staff (2 Dec 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: The hon. Gentleman's question is shot through with error—unsurprisingly and as usual. The department responsible for the prosecution of Mr. Nadir was the Serious Fraud Office, which has a total complement of 170 out of the 7,000 plus staff in the Attorney-General's departments. What is more, Mr. Nadir was able to leave the country because he had been granted bail by the court,...

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Lenient Sentences (Appeals) (4 Nov 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: In deciding whether to refer a case to the Court of Appeal, we apply the test laid down by the court—whether the sentence is not merely lenient, but outside the range which a judge could properly pass. We may also refer a sentence where it is appropriate to give the Court of Appeal the opportunity to reconsider sentencing guidelines.

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Lenient Sentences (Appeals) (4 Nov 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: My hon. Friend is quite right. When the Bill was proceeding through the House, one Labour Member—I shall spare his blushes—said that it was a cruel and heartless power, but that did not prevent him from writing to us when we were considering a rape case, encouraging us to refer it to the Court of Appeal. Since he wrote in confidence I shall naturally respect that confidence. We have...

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Criminal Trials (4 Nov 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: Following a number of representations, my right hon. and learned Friends the Home Secretary, the Lord Chancellor and the Attorney-General have set up a review—announced on 15 October, and to report by the end of January—to identify means of expediting the progress of criminal cases.

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Criminal Trials (4 Nov 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: The hon. Gentleman appears to overlook the fact that, in most Crown courts, the waiting period for trial is shorter than it was some time ago. He has also overlooked several initiatives that have been taken jointly by the police and the CPS to speed up cases in magistrates courts. Recently, we have instituted pilot projects in which lawyers have been placed in police stations to give advice...

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Inquests (15 Jul 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: The Law Officers do not receive notification of deaths. The timing of an inquest following a death in suspicious circumstances is a matter for the coroner concerned.

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Inquests (15 Jul 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: The matters of delay and legal aid are not ones for which I have responsibility, but I think that I can assist the hon. Gentleman in two respects. First, I understand that the new coroner's inquest will take place in September and, secondly, if new evidence is forthcoming at that inquest, the Crown Prosecution Service will consider it and decide whether, in the light of it, any criminal...

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Inquests (15 Jul 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: As my hon. Friend will know, the verdict of a coroner's jury in April 1995 recorded death by unlawful killing and, following that coroner's inquest, the Crown Prosecution Service obtained the transcripts of the evidence that had been given. It has obtained the advice of leading counsel and a decision will be taken shortly as to whether further criminal proceedings will be instituted.

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Petty Offences (15 Jul 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: The Crown Prosecution Service does not keep records for these individual offences but in the year ending March 1996 the CPS took proceedings in respect of 769,023 defendants for summary only offences. The prevalence of the offence is treated as a factor in favour of prosecutions.

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Petty Offences (15 Jul 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: Yes, I can give my hon. Friend that assurance. The Crown Prosecution Service takes into account a number of factors before deciding whether prosecution is in the public interest. It considers not only the interests of the victim, which are important, the victim's vulnerability and the likelihood that an offence will be repeated, but in particular—this may strike a chord with my hon....

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Petty Offences (15 Jul 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: I can assure the right hon. and learned Gentleman that the Crown Prosecution Service has adequate money and adequate staff. Notwithstanding a 2.9 per cent. cut in its budget for this year, its funds and the number of its staff are greater than they were when I became Solicitor-General in 1992. As for his comments on early retirement, information on retirement conditions is being circulated to...

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Petty Offences (15 Jul 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: The future of the application for rights of audience for the Crown Prosecution Service lies not with me but with judges designated under the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990. The judges concerned have an application in front of them now. My hon. Friend mentioned the CPS's standing in the eyes of the public and the police. I should tell him that the police—whom I meet frequently about...

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Successful Prosecutions (17 Jun 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: The CPS and the police are working together on several initiatives to bring the right cases promptly to court, including further charging standards, guidance on case preparation and measures to assist the police with early advice.

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Successful Prosecutions (17 Jun 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: That is not true. The conviction rate in the magistrates court is 98 per cent. and in the Crown court is just over 90 per cent. The cases received by the Crown Prosecution Service from the police have fallen from 1.53 million in 1993 to 1.3 million in 1996. The police police and the prosecutors prosecute, but they can prosecute only those cases that are sent to them.

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Successful Prosecutions (17 Jun 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: My hon. Friend is right. Information technology is a tool being increasingly used both within the CPS and in its relations with other criminal justice agencies. The case-handling computer system is now installed in 38 branches. By the end of the year, it will be installed in 57, including London. The e-mail system of transferring information is being piloted in Southampton and Ipswich and I...

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Crown Prosecution Service (17 Jun 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: Initiatives include co-ordinated police training to ensure early delivery of the right material to the Crown Prosecution Service and pilots to test the use of electronic mail between criminal justice agencies. None of those initiatives requires legislation.


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