HC Deb 06 February 1956 vol 548 cc156-7W
75. Mr. S. Silverman

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the series of recent cases of miscarriages of justice occasioned by apparent failure to make proper inquiry and investigation, by false or mistaken identification and by other causes whereby public confidence in the administration of justice has been impaired; and whether it is proposed to set up a judicial or other public inquiry to ascertain what further safeguards are required to ensure that the traditional safeguards of British justice against the conviction and punishment of innocent persons are maintained or strengthened.

Major Lloyd-George

No. I do not accept the hon. Member's assertion that there has been a series of recent miscarriages of justice nor do I accept the statement that public confidence in the administration of justice has been impaired. I cause inquiries to be made into any case where it is alleged that a miscarriage of justice has taken place and appropriate action is taken where there is sufficient reason to think that a person convicted of a crime did not in fact commit it. Moreover, our law provides that any citizen who has been convicted because of misconduct on the part of the police may seek redress from the courts. Appropriate disciplinary action would be taken against any police officer whose conduct in the discharge of his duties has been blameworthy. The traditional safeguards of British justice do not appear to me to stand in need of strengthening.