HL Deb 06 March 2002 vol 632 c11WA
Lord Hoyle

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they intend to publish a consultation paper on proposals to amend the law on payments to witnesses and pre-trial publicity. [HL3146]

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg)

I have today issued a consultation paper seeking views on the detail of the legislation the Government intend to introduce to outlaw payments to witnesses. The legislation proposed is that it should be a criminal offence to make, or agree to make, or to receive, a payment to a witness or potential witness in criminal proceedings for his or her story with a view to publication.

Also, following the abandonment of the first trial of R v Woodgate and others, the Government intend to amend Section 19 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 to empower the court to order a third party to pay costs incurred as a result of his or her unnecessary or improper act. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.