HC Deb 10 April 1989 vol 150 cc345-6W
Mr. Austin Mitchell

To ask the Attorney-General how many local prosecutors have issued instructions to their staff not to comment on the Lord Chancellor's Green Papers on legal reform; and whether he has issued such an instruction.

The Attorney-General

The Director of Public Prosecutions has reminded all members of the Crown prosecution service that, in accordance with standard Civil Service practice, they should not comment publicly on matters of current political controversy. The director has expressed the view that if members of staff wish to make comments on issues raised in the Green Paper, the most appropriate course is to send them to the working party which has been set up under the chairmanship of the deputy director-chief executive to consider the Department's response to the Lord Chancellor's proposals.

All chief crown prosecutors have taken steps to ensure that their staff are aware of the director's views. In addition, one chief Crown prosecutor has informed staff that he will forward their views to the Director of Public Prosecutions, but that they are not otherwise to comment, and one chief Crown prosecutor has issued instructions that his staff should consult him before commenting.

I have not issued any such instruction.

68. Mr. Favell

To ask the Attorney-General what assessment he has made of the savings to clients in the cost of provision of legal services which would arise from the Lord Chancellor's proposals for the legal profession.

The Attorney-General

The purpose of the Government's provisional proposals is to ensure that the public are provided with the most efficient and effective network of legal services at the most economical price. No assessment has yet been made of the potential savings to clients.

Mr. Baldry

To ask the Attorney-General what representations he has received on the Green Paper proposals on reforming the legal system with respect to their effect on the constitutional relationship between the Government and the judiciary.

The Attorney-General

As at 31 March 1989 a total of 72 such responses had been received.

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