HC Deb 21 March 1962 vol 656 cc441-2
The Attorney-General

I beg to move, in page 7, line 13, after "may", to insert: with his and the prosecutor's consent and".

This Amendment may be discussed with the following one, in page 7, line 15, which is of a drafting character.

Their effect is to require the consent of both the prosecution and the defence to be obtained before a case is committed for trial under this Clause to a sitting of assizes or quarter sessions already in progress. This makes an improvement in the Bill. The point was raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page) in Committee, although it had, in fact, already been drawn to our attention by the Bar Council and the Law Society; and we have given consideration to it.

It might prejudice the defence if the accused could be committed to a current assizes against his will. This provision removes any possibility of that happening. Equally, if one is to require the consent of the defence to this course being taken, it is only fair and proper that the consent of the prosecution should also be obtained. This makes an improvement to the Bill and I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Crosby for raising this matter in Committee.

Mr. Graham Page

I rise to express my gratitude to the Attorney-General for pursuing the assurance which was given in Committee.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 7, line 15, leave out "that person" and insert "him".