HC Deb 23 March 1972 vol 833 c1650
2. Mr. Jeffrey Archer

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects that the report of the Criminal Law Revision Committee on life sentences will be received; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Carlisle

I assume that my hon. Friend has in mind the review which the committee is undertaking of the law relating to, and the penalties for, offences against the person. This is a wide-ranging review and I cannot yet forecast when it will be completed.

Mr. Archer

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that it is now two years since this review was begun? Perhaps it would be wiser if the matter were brought to Parliament and discussed here; there seems to be a credibility gap on life sentencing at the present.

Mr. Carlisle

So far as the length of the review is concerned, as I said, it is a wide-ranging one, concerning the law relating to, and the penalties for all offences against the person, and it is being carried out by a committee under Lord Justice Edmund Davies. I cannot yet say when it will report. On my hon. Friend's second point, these matters have been discussed during the Committee stage of the Criminal Justice Bill. As for his third point, I do not accept that there is a credibility gap with regard to life sentences.

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