HL Deb 16 October 1969 vol 304 c1605WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Since the coming into force of the Criminal Justice Act 1967:

  1. (1) How many committals there have been under Section 1 and Section 2 of the Act respectively and what proportion these numbers represent of the total number of committals during the same period;
  2. (2) In how many cases the accused has asked for publicity in committal proceedings;
  3. (3) In how many cases juries have returned majority verdicts and what proportion do these represent of the total of verdicts recorded during the same period.


I regret that complete information about committal proceedings is not available. It appears, however, from particulars provided by justices' clerks in relation to 20, 434 committal proceedings in England and Wales in 1968 that 13, 025 were under Section 1 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 (in these cases all the evidence consisted of written statements tendered to the court under Section 2), and that in 681 cases orders were made for the removal of the restrictions on reporting.

From October 1, 1967, when Section 13 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 came into force, until December 31, 1968, the latest date for which figures are available, the number of offences in respect of which a majority verdict of guilty was returned was 867. This represents 7 per cent. of all offences for which there was a finding of guilt after a plea of "not guilty". In accordance with the provisions of Section 13, juries are not asked whether a verdict of "not guilty" was a majority verdict.