HL Deb 17 June 1991 vol 530 c1WA
Lord Windlesham

asked Her Majesty's Government:

To update for comparable periods of 1989 and 1990 the statistics given in evidence by the Home Office on 14th November 1988 to the Select Committee on Murder and Life Imprisonment (H. L. Paper 78, 1988–89), indicating variations in the tariffs set by Ministers in cases of life imprisonment resulting from convictions for murder compared with the tariff periods recommended by the trial judge and the Lord Chief Justice.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Earl Ferrers)

Of the 91 mandatory life sentence cases considered between 1st April and 30th September 1990, Ministers set a longer period than that recommended by the trial judge in 36 cases; in 25 of these the Lord Chief Justice had made a higher recommendation than the trial judge. In 41 of the 91 cases Ministers accepted the trial judge's view. In the remaining 14 cases Ministers set a lower period than that recommended by the trial judge, but in all of these cases the Lord Chief Justice also made a lower recommendation. Information for 1989 is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.