§ Mr. Neil Macfarlane
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce amendments to the Criminal Justice Act 1972 to increase the powers of the magistrates' courts.
§ Mr. John
We need more experience of the working of the non-custodial measures provided by this Act for both the Crown Court and magistrates courts before contemplating adding to them. The limit on the power of magistrates to order compensation is under consideration in the context of the recommendations by the James Committee to increase the maximum level for certain fines in magistrates' courts.