HC Deb 03 February 1908 vol 183 c530

I beg to ask Mr. Attorney-General, whether, in view of the facts disclosed in the recent Druce perjury prosecution, he will consider the advisability of devising such means as will in the future prevent the use of the name of the, Crown in criminal courts for private ends as distinguished from the vindication of public justice.


I think it is highly undesirable we should take away from private persons the right to apply for criminal process. To do so would involve a complete change in our system and would throw great additional expense on the taxpayer. It seems to me desirable that all criminal proceedings, being, as they are, in respect of alleged offences against the State, should be in the name of the Crown. With regard to preventing the abuse of this criminal procedure, reliance is placed by us upon the vigilance of the magistrates and on the penalties attached to malicious prosecution and perjury. I should be glad to consider any further means my hon. friend may suggest having the same end in view.