HC Deb 22 July 1971 vol 821 cc1652-3
5. Mr. Peter Archer

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he proposes to implement the recommendations of the Justice report on Home Office reviews of criminal convictions.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Mark Carlisle)

My right hon. Friend has studied this report, which was published in 1968. He is always ready to consider proposals for the improvement of existing procedures, but he is not convinced that these recommendations provide the right answer.

Mr. Archer

The years are passing. Has the hon. and learned Gentleman read the article in The Times today by his hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South (Mr. Fowler) about two murder cases which, on any showing, give rise to great anxiety? Has not the time come to provide some kind of institutional machinery which does not impose the burden of proving innocence?

Mr. Carlisle

The difficulty about the proposals of Justice and, I think, the fundamental objection to them, is that they would erect a procedure for review of decisions of the courts which would be both outside the jurisdiction of the judicial system and only nominally within Ministerial control. This, we feel, is a fatal flaw in the proposals made by Justice.