HC Deb 18 July 1980 vol 988 cc746-8W
Mr. Stanbrook

asked the Attorney-General (1) if he will list the factors he takes into account before deciding to institute or not to institute proceedings for offences under the criminal law in cases where he has been advised that sufficient evidence is available to justify proceedings;

(2) if, pursuant to his written answer to the hon. Member for Orpington on 11 July, he will give the grounds on which he decided not to institute proceedings against certain members of the staff of the BBC in respect of offences allegedly committed by them under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1976; and if he will specify whether he took his decision on the grounds of insufficient evidence being available or on other grounds.

The Attorney-General

I draw the attention of my hon. Friend to the statement made to the House by the Attorney-General, Sir Hartley Shawcross, as he then was, on 29 January 1951—[Vol. 483, c. 681–88]. In that statement he set out the factors which all Attorneys-General take into consideration in reaching a decision whether to authorise or approve criminal proceedings.

My consideration of the allegations under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1976 against members of the staff of the BBC was in accordance with the statement to which I have referred.