§ Mr. John Fraser
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek, by legislation or otherwise, to clarify the law relating to the power of a criminal court to bind a person over to keep the peace, in view of the recent decision of the Central Criminal Court to bind over a prosecution witness in the sum of £100 for one year when no complaint had been laid against the witness.
§ Mr. Taverne
Criminal courts have power to bind over to keep the peace any person who or whose case is before the court, and to require him to enter into recognisances. It is not necessary for a formal complaint to be made against a person whom the court considers likely to disturb the peace. In the case of courts of record this power is clarified in Clause 1(5) of the Justices of the Peace Bill at present before the House.