HC Deb 08 July 2002 vol 388 c745W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is being done to combat racism within the justice system in the United Kingdom. [65660]

Beverley Hughes

[holding answer 3 July 2002]The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 is a direct response to the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. The Government brought forward amendments to the Race Relations Act 1976 to strengthen the duties placed on public authorities. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 presents both a challenge and an opportunity to public authorities. So for the first time we have placed a statutory duty on Criminal Justice System organisations to eliminate racial discrimination and also to promote race equality and good race relations when carrying out their functions.

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. and noble Friend the Attorney-General and my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary are responsible for the justice system in England and Wales. We have published Race Equality Schemes setting out how the new duties apply to our Departments and the action we will take to fulfil those duties.

Information relating to Scotland and Northern Ireland, is a matter for my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

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