HC Deb 03 July 1989 vol 156 c19W
74. Mr. Nicholas Bennett

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what percentage of cases dealt with by magistrates courts, judgment or sentence is deferred from the original hearing; and what proposals he has to shorten the length of time between arrest and the conclusion of a case and to cut the number of appearances of individual defendants in respect of a single charge.

Mr. Hurd

In 1988 it is estimated that 76 per cent. of cases were adjourned one or more times. Measures to reduce delays include the establishment of a scrutiny of the magistrates courts service and of a committee to review the procedure of the magistrates courts; the introduction on an experimental basis of power for courts to remand defendants in custody in certain circumstances for up to 28 days at a time; the development of the magistrates courts management information system; and the progressive introduction of statutory time limits which govern the period during which an accused may be held in custody awaiting committal or trial.