HC Deb 21 January 1971 vol 809 cc1260-1
18. Mr. Edward Lyons

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to remove the fetters on the judicial discretion in sentencing young offenders imposed by paragraph 3 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1961.

Mr. Carlisle

The Advisory Council on the Penal System is considering the sentencing powers of the courts in the course of its current review of the treatment of young offenders.

Mr. Lyons

Would the hon. Gentleman bear in mind, when he has the report of the Advisory Council, the fact that judges find it invidious to sentence young people to three years' imprisonment when they think that perhaps 12 or 18 months is adequate, because the present law forces them to choose between a sentence of not more than six months or at least three years?

Mr. Maudling

I am quite sure the Advisory Council will be fully aware of the criticisms which many of the judiciary have made about Section 3 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1961.