HC Deb 27 April 1976 vol 910 cc66-7W
Mr. Whitehead

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the report of the Devlin Committee on evidence of identification in criminal cases will be published; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

The report is published today. I should like to express my thanks to Lord Devlin and his colleagues for their thorough and constructive work. I am studying the report and intend urgently to consult those with an interest in identification evidence and procedures before making proposals for change.

I had to consider whether it was right that the published report should include the name and photograph of a man who is said in the opinion of the Committee to have committed offences in respect of which Mr. Laszlo Virag was convicted in July 1969 and subsequently received a free pardon. Only in wholly exceptional circumstances would I think it right not to publish the report in full and my conclusion, after consultation with the chairman, was that the Committee's view that the photograph is essential for a proper understanding of the report should be accepted, and that it would be artificial to withhold the name but to publish the photograph, or vice versa.