Results 41–60 of 440 for speaker:Mr Derek Spencer

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

Mr Derek Spencer: Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong again. Those hon. Members who go to their local branch of Crown prosecutors—they are few and far between, I regret to say—almost without exception come away very impressed with the professionalism, care, skill and dedication of the people who work in the CPS. Let that be known.

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

Mr Derek Spencer: Yes, I agree that it is. As I travel round the country or appear in court cases and speak to police officers at all levels, almost without exception they speak highly of the professionalism shown in their cases by the Crown Prosecution Service. Whenever possible, we are astute at reducing the paperwork involved in the preparation of cases. In the past 12 months, we have introduced a scheme to...

Orders of the Day — Criminal Procedure and Investigations Bill [Lords]: Primary Disclosure by Prosecutor (12 Jun 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: Such complaints are made by people who do not have sufficient first-hand experience of the system. One of the problems of the present system is that far too much material—indeed, virtually the bulk of the prosecution material as defined by the broad test of the Keane case—is revealed by the police, first to the prosecution and then by the prosecution to the defence, irrespective of what...

Orders of the Day — Criminal Procedure and Investigations Bill [Lords]: Primary Disclosure by Prosecutor (12 Jun 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: The elimination of the words "in the prosecutor's opinion" and the substitution of that subjective test by an objective one would lead to judicial review of many thousands of cases in the magistrates court.

Orders of the Day — Criminal Procedure and Investigations Bill [Lords]: Primary Disclosure by Prosecutor (12 Jun 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: The original White Paper, on which we consulted widely, had the word "undermine" in it. There was no dissent from that. When the Bill was introduced in the other place, the former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Taylor, gave it his blessing. We have considered time and time again the representations that we have had not only from the Opposition but from the Criminal Bar Association, the Bar Council...

Orders of the Day — Criminal Procedure and Investigations Bill [Lords]: Penalty for Failure to Disclose (12 Jun 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: Without being disrespectful to the hon. Members for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) and for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Mr. Michael), who have just spoken, I can deal with the matter quite briefly. In summary, the new clause is quite unnecessary, as a range of sanctions are already in place that are proportionate to the gravity of the failure to disclose. Let me explain. The objective, which...

Orders of the Day — Criminal Procedure and Investigations Bill [Lords]: Penalty for Failure to Disclose (12 Jun 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: My patience was taxed in Committee by the hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth, but, notwithstanding that, I shall give way.

Orders of the Day — Criminal Procedure and Investigations Bill [Lords]: Penalty for Failure to Disclose (12 Jun 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: There has never been any evidence that counsel or any Crown prosecutor acted in a dishonest way. I am surprised at the selective way in which the hon. Gentleman addresses the problem. When he made this complaint in Committee, and repeated it just now, he overlooked the prosecution of the police officers in the Birmingham Six and Guildford cases. He casts aspersions, sometimes on named and...

Orders of the Day — Criminal Procedure and Investigations Bill [Lords]: Penalty for Failure to Disclose (12 Jun 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: This has all been investigated in the greatest detail by Sir John May, whose report is available for anybody who cares to read it. The hon. Gentleman talks about rewriting the script. When rewriting the script is discussed, he should own up to doing just that, because his account of these matters does not bear the most cursory examination.

Orders of the Day — Criminal Procedure and Investigations Bill [Lords]: Penalty for Failure to Disclose (12 Jun 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: Let me proceed with something serious and not be distracted by such trivia. The second possible sanction available if there has been a failure to disclose is disciplinary proceedings against the police. New disciplinary arrangements are currently being developed following the Police and Magistrates' Courts Act 1994. Thirdly, clause 25(4) requires the court to take into account, when...

Orders of the Day — Criminal Procedure and Investigations Bill [Lords]: Primary Disclosure by Prosecutor (12 Jun 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: I listened with great interest to the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) on this important topic, which goes to the heart of our reforms. I am a member of the Criminal Bar Association and I practise in the courts. If the regime is going to lead to injustice, I—together with my colleagues in the association—will be engaged in the front line with it. Therefore, I am as anxious...

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Sentencing (29 Apr 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: Since 1989, 294 cases have been referred in England and Wales, and 15 have been referred in Northern Ireland. Twenty-two of those cases were subsequently withdrawn. Of the cases heard to date by the Court of Appeal, 85 per cent. have resulted in an increase in sentence.

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Sentencing (29 Apr 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: To convert my hon. Friend's sentiment into concrete cases, 201 persons whose sentences have been increased would have escaped justice had the Opposition got their way. Among the persons who would have escaped justice are those who have committed crimes of manslaughter, rape, robbery and others of the most serious crimes in the criminal calender.

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Sentencing (29 Apr 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: The hon. Lady is mistaken in suggesting that sentences for rape have fallen; the reverse is the case. Since the guideline case of R v. Billam, sentences for rape have increased quite markedly. The starting point for sentencing in such cases is five years, in cases in which there is one or more aggravating features the starting point is eight years; in the worst cases, double figure sentences...

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Sentencing (29 Apr 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: The right hon. and learned Gentleman will, indeed, be off this planet if he takes the view that the vast majority of the British public are not completely behind my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary in the proposals that he has introduced. In his remarks, Lord Justice Rose was referring to the impact of sentencing provisions on a juvenile case at a particular time. Those...

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Sentencing (29 Apr 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: My hon. and learned Friend is quite right. We have referred a number of rape cases in which the defendant has raped once before, has been given a substantial term of imprisonment, has been released and, before long, has committed a further rape. In some such cases, the defendant has been punished by a further determinate sentence. It would be quite unrealistic to view such a defendant as...

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Crown Prosecution Service (29 Apr 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: Among other things, the Crown Prosecution Service and the police are taking steps to improve the quality and timeliness of case preparation by reducing the volume of paperwork in police files and piloting the use of CPS lawyers giving on-the-spot advice in busy police stations.

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Crown Prosecution Service (29 Apr 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: We all have the deepest sympathy for the Lawrence family in their grief. I am well aware of the facts of the case because my right hon. and learned Friend and I have looked at it a number of times with counsel and senior members of the CPS. I have to say to the hon. Lady that it is of overwhelming importance that the rule of law be upheld. The plain fact of the matter is that, at the end of...

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Crown Prosecution Service (29 Apr 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: Those who think that the CPS requires certainty or near certainty before it will institute proceedings are utterly wrong. In 1995, 77.3 per cent. of contested cases before magistrates courts resulted in guilty verdicts, and 22.7 per cent. resulted in verdicts of not guilty. Such a dismissal rate gives the lie to the allegation that only certainties are prosecuted. The test is laid out...

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General: Magistrates Courts (29 Apr 1996)

Mr Derek Spencer: During the year ending March 1996, 90 per cent. of magistrates court sessions were covered by Crown Prosecution Service lawyers and 10 per cent. by agents.


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